Cast: Hillary Scott, Mick Blue, Marco Banderas, Alex Sanders, Trina Michaels, Holly Wellin, Amber Rayne, Trinity Post, Evan Stone, Derrick Pierce, Christian, Tori Black, Morgan Layne, Jennifer Dark, Heidi Mayne, Tyler Knight, Cheyne Collins, Mark Davis, Alec Knight
Non-sex roles: Eli Cross, Ren Savant, Dizzy Cash, Kylie Ireland, Belial, Dave Williams, Eric Emmanuel, Katie Fey, David Lord
Length: 180:23 minutes
Date of Production: 4/17/2008 to 4/29/2008
Extras: In reverse order of the four disc set, the fourth disc had bonus scenes from previous outings, including scenes from Chocolate Dipped Vanilla Girls, Creamy Stink Stars, Girls Gone Anal, I Touch Myself, Memoirs of Mika Tan, No Morals, Sex Cravings, and Teen Cock Rockers (totaling about two and a half hours of unrelated material to the movie). The third disc was a similar proposition with scenes from Backdoor Beauties, Blow Me, Corruption, Desperate Wives 3, Extreme Asshole Makeover, Hillary For President, Sweet Things, and Upload (totaling around three hours of unrelated material). The second disc was where I started paying any sort of attention since the extras were related to the actual fucking movie this time (sorry, but tossing in extra scenes from other movies doesn't merit a lot of points with me but if they had been shot for this flick, I'd be tallying the bonus points in copious quantity). The main extra was a lengthy 44:58 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by Kylie Ireland and Jef Hickey that documented the making of the movie in depth, from Eli's bad days at the office to Kylie looking as hot as ever, to the crew (like Crawdaddy or Julie Knight), and cast (emphasis on Hillary of course) in various situations. Frankly, it was a pretty funny BTS worthy of additional credit even with it having minimal extra sex. Then came ten short photogalleries, trailers to shows like Upload, Corruption, and Icon, and even an interesting MTV styled music video directed by Eli called "Victim" by The Cock Diesel (it was the theme song for the whole movie and menus). The first disc did not have an audio commentary or other extras like sock puppet theater (but I had hoped for one!).
Morgan Layne, Jennifer Dark, Tori Black, and Hillary Scott
Heidi Mayne and Hillary Scott
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Audio/Video Quality: Icon was presented in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen color offering as shot by director Eli Cross for Sex Z Pictures for this standard definition presentation using 480i resolution and the MPEG-2 codec (though it was shot in 1080p, I'll have to wait for the Blu-ray version to see all the production had to offer). The video bitrate hovered around the 4.8 Mbps mark whenever I spot checked it, a nod to some of the more artistic movies deployed on some of the scenes while others used a straightforward approach. There were multiple cameras recording the action this time, allowing for a wider variety of camera angles though some of the editing appeared to be choppy at times (at least to me). Still, the lighting allowed the cameras to pick up all the action in most cases and the fleshtones were accurate, few compression artifacts observed here. Unlike Eli's last two big blockbuster titles (Upload and Corruption), this was made on what appeared to be a markedly smaller budget as a showcase for Hillary Scott, the movie succeeding as such though not coming across nearly as ambitious. The 2.0 Dolby Digital English audio track sported an audio bitrate of 224 Kbps and a 48 kHz sampling rate, the music showing some separation between the channels but not the vocals of other aural effects. The theme song was also included on disc two as an extra (a music video) and was pretty cool but each scene had a theme of its own that made it better than many movies of this type.
Body of Review: Eli Cross is a talented director known for making Upload and Corruption thanks to Sex Z Pictures. His skill levels with blockbuster titles rely heavily on his main squeeze, Kylie Ireland, and other staffers, but ultimately, it is his personal vision of decadence that drives his success as far as I'm concerned, production difficulties postponing a similar effort overseas to be replaced by the far more modest Icon for 2008. The movie is a showcase for contract performer Hillary Scott, the blond gracing the front cover that is known far and wide as an anal whore type of gonzo gal, her ability to aggressively impale her asshole on large objects renowned throughout the industry before she slacked off into the easy life of a contract gal. The back cover said it like this: "ICON: "one who is the object of great attention and devotion" This is the only word to describe Hillary Scott. Fans and critics agree, Hillary is the hottest performer of her time. Described as the "Dirties Girl in Porn" by FAME in 2008, see what makes her such an incredible performer and why she has received awards from AVN, XRCO, VideoBiz, AFW and critics from all over the world." While not nearly as ambitious as the big budget titles of the past two years, I expected a lot from this cast and crew given the way Eli has managed some of them previously, my only concern being how the third and fourth discs of bonus scenes were seemingly tossed in to provide quantity over quality. Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Eli explaining how he licked gals as "work".
Scene One: Hillary Scott, the award winning contract starlet on the front cover, was up first in a brightly lit room (white walls pouring light on her too). There had been a limited "feature opener" that was quite amusing but the scene it led to had her wearing body paint as she modeled with Mick Blue. The effect was mixed for me in that a wall of light can be really harsh on a gal as light skinned as Hillary but she dropped to her knees to messily slob his knob hungrily, focusing on Mick as she looked at him the entire time. This is greatly preferable to checking out the camera as so many other directors have the cast do and it helped elevate the amount of chemistry I perceived between them. The deep throating and hand to gland combat showed Hillary to be back to her old whorish self, Mick grabbing her neck as he pulled her near to ready her for an aggressive bout of boning, skipping any reciprocating head until after he fucked her biscuit. The vaginal led to the anal and Hillary was very vocal during the entire penetrative sex part of the scene, some slapping and additional choking at her request working for me. Mick then did some oral on her and went to tapping her well worn ass, the taste testing by the gal eventually leading to her swallowing a moderate load of genetic juice. While not Hillary's best work to date, it was a heated opener for the rest of the carnal trysts, perhaps made better by my own lack of seeing her at work in a long time.
Scene Two: Hillary Scott, Marco Banderas, and Alex Sanders, were up next in an Asian massage parlor set up where she was the client and the men set out to ease all her tensions. The opener tying it to the movie was a hilarious meeting among the production crew and Hillary about finding men to participate since one flaked (the veiled references to an idiot that used to work for the company as a "director/performer" and others in the industry were great except the names were bleeped out; Hillary saying she'd rather eat glass than fuck Eli). Marco was the initial masseuse and he rubbed her the right way to the appropriate theme music, pushing what he did until the pair kissed at the unstated connection between them. Hillary responded as she does, by blowing him actively and Marco feeling her up more overtly in a sexual manner. They began screwing with some taste testing and Hillary rubbing her clitoris, Alex joining in to make it a trio. Hillary warmly invited his participation and slobbed his knob too, then moving to anal and allowing both men to drill her in a double penetration (DP). The trio continued to fuck and suck until Hillary received what appeared to be a genuine anal creampie, soon followed by Alex unleashing a wad of population pudding on her breasts. I was happy the vocals came back into play before too long into the sex (when Hillary was blowing Marco) but I would have preferred the music to be a bit less aggressive and remain, staying the duration of the scene.
Scene Three: Trina Michaels, Holly Wellin, Amber Rayne, Trinity Post, Evan Stone, Derrick Pierce, Christian, and Marco Banderas, were up next in a dungeon scene where poor Hillary Scott had to watch from a cage (locked away to "whine, pout, and diddle herself"). Eli is a long time aficionado when it comes to BDSM and edgy sex play in his private life so I knew his use of his near infamous dungeon and fetish attire on the ladies would add some spark to the scene, the funny dialogue opening the scene quite cute too. Eli walked around to place the ladies in various positions of vulnerability on the equipment, admittedly stirring some response in myself as I liked the female casting her in their attire. Of interesting note, when I went to watch this a second time on my computer, the early part of the scene kicked me out to the menu page a few times, perhaps a technical glitch in the mastering process that no one caught. In any case, Eli did lick the ladies and feel them up, precluding my ability to consider him as a "non-sex participant". That said, the use of sex toys like paddles, dildos, and gags was interesting (as was the music) but the sexual parts were even better as the men came in with a vengeance to get blown as well as bone pussy and ass as they saw fit. There was some rough stuff here such as choking or spanking/slapping to spice things up further, Hillary making me laugh as she was unable to participate. They guys went down on the ladies too (breaking the purist view of the ladies in what could be called "topping from the bottom"), some of the gals better at providing dirty talk than others. Derrick seemed the most aggressive among the men and Evan kept his usual persona but all the men appeared to take care of business as they screwed pussy and ass to the liking of the ladies, the sheer amount of taste testing (lesbian antics included) helping to give the scene some fine replay value. The pop shots were not placed consistently here either, some going to the abdomen, others to the mouths hungry to swap the semen, but there was so much going on (even some DP work) that I give extra credit to the editor(s) for showcasing the entire event so well. Holly and Trina stood out for their manner of handling cock and Amber was the dirty talk winner, Trinity probably the best lay of the show in terms of variety. On a side note, I'm not really into rough sex or BDSM but those elements here were much like Eli's previous efforts that made me something of a believer. Whew!
Scene Four: Hillary Scott, Tori Black, Morgan Layne, and Jennifer Dark, were then up in what some might call the obligatory lesbian scene wearing slutty groupie outfits (muff buffer skirts, thongs, fishnet stockings, wannabe punk rocker accessories, and heavy, heavy makeup). They were on a big bed out in the open on the roof, the gals diving in to eat each other, a whole lot of fingering and masturbation used to explore their holes. There was a substantial amount of anal play here too, either rimming, fingering, or toy play, but what worked for me the most was the levels of energy they showed and how attentive they were to one another. The camera work made it look like it was shot by a few cameras that were not readily paid any attention to, the ladies having far too much to take care of than bother with the observing eyes covering their scene. Some of the other scenes showed what amounted to simulated but believable passion and energy but this scene, while including some of that too, came across as though they were in a contest to get each other off. This differed considerably from the other scenes and added some strokable replay value that some detractors might overlook if they skip it or speed through as though it was fast forward fodder. Sweet!
Scene Five: Hillary Scott, Heidi Mayne, Tyler Knight, Cheyne Collins, Mark Davis, Alec Knight, and Alex Sanders, were up next in what amounted to a second orgy scene. Initially, Hillary did Cheyne while Mark did Heidi on a large round bed, the lack of a tie in bit making me wonder if something happened to screw it up or result in it being edited out. Heidi had been the red carpet interviewer and as the two gals started getting warmed up, the other men joined into to fuck mouth, pussy, and eventually ass as they saw fit. Hillary's over the top vocals weakened the scene for me here (a little goes a long way when viewing this at home), her love of Tyler's black dick a highlight for me more than the eventual anal and double anal (DAP) or other DP action by the ladies. The extensive zooming in and out of the cameras was distractive too but what struck me as most out of place was the manner in which the sex seemed to be a straightforward gangbang without Eli's rougher edged aspects to make it different from the sea of gonzo on the market. I'm not fixated on porn as a sexual Olympic sport (where the more extreme the sex gets, the better it is) but the gals were more passive in accepting cocks into their bodies than any other scene where men were present and it was not the scene I would have ended the movie on. The scene ended when the men jerked off to the faces of the ladies, the gals exchanging sperm with each other to close to the ending clip and credits.
Summary: Icon by director Eli Cross for Sex Z Pictures was unlike either Upload or Corruption so those seeking to compare the trio of titles should skip the exercise in futility altogether and evaluate them all on their individual merits. In terms of the "feature" aspects, the writing was sparse but indicative of talent, the sexual elements more consistently heated than any parody or blockbuster of the year even if lighter than what I expected due to Eli's previous releases. I haven't seen enough movies from Sex Z Pictures this year to say this was the hottest title they made (I'm willing to bet it was though) and it might not have provided the best gonzo sex of the year, but it did provide a lot of strokable entertainment value even without the two "bonus discs" of unrelated scenes. I'm not going to boost the rating much on the additional discs since they had nothing to do with the movie but in my opinion, Icon earned a low end Highly Recommended despite not living up to expectations from previous years and it should be considered a "must have" for any fans of Hillary Scott due to how much she was showcased in the flick. I would have preferred another true feature from the director but in all, it struck me that he managed to show he could bring home a winner on a lower budget, albeit a less ambitious effort that is unlikely to gather nearly as much acclaim at awards time.
---- You can email me with questions at Houstondon @ hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter @HoustonDon