Extras: I really enjoyed the 27:39 minute long Behind the Scenes feature by someone credited as "Faria", a new name for me in terms of production assistants. There was some additional nudity and sex, the guy getting the ladies to play some more for him and the high definition version looking very nice indeed given the added resolution and bitrate. There were also trailers for Hustler titles, a slide show, and some spam with the cover sporting a second side that displayed related titles in the series.
Carli Banks and Jana Jordan
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Audio/Video Quality: Hot Showers 18 was presented in a fetching 1.78:1 widescreen color by director Matti Klatt for Hustler Video using the AVC codec; a standard on Blu-Ray discs; the standard definition version in MPEG-2 with the usual 480p resolution compared to the 1080i resolution of the high definition version, partially made up for by the SD's anamorphic nature). My knowledge of the SD version of the title allows me to compare the two; it lacked the better resolution and purity of fleshtones this version had, the bitrate often hovering around 19.2 Mbps area compared to less than a third that in the SD version which seemed to hover around the 5.6 Mbps mark. The use of video bothers some folks but it suited the nature of the show far more than film would have and the contrasts were all enhanced by the high definition approach. There were no obvious compression artifacts, no grain to speak of, and I saw no macro-blocking or other issues that pop up; thanks in no small part to the proper lighting applied here. The summation of the visuals is that they made the show look better than ever, my sole complaint being that the composition of the camera angles and editing, while good, did not seem to be the best way to enhance the looks of some of the ladies. The gals were all generically lean and youthful as the series promotes but minor flaws and blemishes did not seem to be handled as well as some of the older volumes in the series, relatively minor quibbles considering how much more resolution the new format offered up for my inspection. The audio was presented in a 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo English using a 224 Kbps bitrate at 48 kHz in the Blu-ray version but the bitrate was a mere 192 Kbps in the SD version (very little difference). The vocals on the scenes were flat and even in most cases, the voice-overs sounding somewhat warmer in tone and always easier to hear, and the minimal music seemed to come from the stock library used for years by the series/company. In terms of upgrades then, the visuals got the largest boost by a wide margin with the aural capabilities once again cleaned up but only slightly (and in the BTS, I could barely hear the gals speak on occasion).
Bridgette B. and Daisy Marie
Body of Review: Hustler Video has long been known for offering simple scenes of couples getting it on sexually, the company emphasizing teenage ladies in many of their series more often than not. While the company has long explored other genres, this has been their fallback niche for what seems like forever, their recent excursions into sitcums and parody porn just now starting to show some promise. As the company expands, it has also shown a propensity to test out production crew as directors, some recent efforts by Matti Klatt gaining notice by a few people who tell me he is an "up and comer". Well, with the passing of Clive McLean some time back, the series he directed are now being assumed by men like Matti, including one that I last saw years back with Hot Showers #10 giving way to last month's Hot Showers 18. The emphasis is simple enough with five generic scenes of lipstick lesbian love employing some very attractive ladies in a variety of ways that all focus on water activities like showering. Anxious to see how the director would handle this niche compared to some of his previous work, I sat down to check out both versions of the movie, the Blu-ray substantially better looking. Here's a brief look at the scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were used for those still interested:
Nika Noire and Riley Evans
Scene One: Jana Jordan, a sexy little blond Texan gal with a lean figure, was up first with also cute jogging pal Carli Banks, the two getting all hot and sweaty during their run. They decided to clean up in a showering exercise by the pool, their lithe and naked bodies responding well to the water and caresses of each other. The feeling up led to them kissing, fingering, and eating each other out before some vibrators were used for vaginal penetration. While there was no wad of genetic juice to punctuate the ending, they at least appeared to like each other as they went at it, the ending kind of diffuse.
Dakoda Brookes and Piper Austin
Scene Two: Daisy Marie, the sexy brunette on the front cover, and tasty blond babe Bridgette B., were up next in the shower, carefully cleaning each other off with the pulsating showerhead. Their tanned bodies and warm touches were set to some light music, the camera unable to capture the essence of what could have been a very heated scene with these two together, their hands and tongues finding all the right spots to work on. When they were finished cleaning up, they used a large vibrator (as a dildo since it must have made too much noise when turned on), Bridgette on the receiving end initially but both getting some vaginal penetration while on the floor. The scene looked so much better in high definition than the washed out SD copy that it was night and day better visually, the downside being that neither gal appeared to be getting off for real, just going through the motions as directed.
Jennifer Dark and Evie Delatosso
Scene Three: Nika Noir, an all natural gal with bright blue eyes, was up next with curvy babe Riley Evans, the two providing some entertainment for their gal pals that initially were shooting them in action in the shower but then left. Riley looked like she wanted to seriously get off, Nika displaying a similar dynamic for her need for seed as the shower head stimulated her body. The lighting and camerawork were suspect again, this time looking orange due to the backdrop, but they followed the formula well enough that series fans will appreciate checking them out (even as male voices in the background mumbled something to them half way through). Each licked the other, took a toy inside of her, and offered up some taste testing, the lack of actual chemistry balanced out with some enthusiasm to perform.
Scene Four: Dakoda Brookes and Piper Austin, both looking similar under the light bouncing off the orange sheets and flesh colored walls of a bedroom, dispensed with the theme of the day (it was satisfied by virtue of their non-sex roles in the previous scene where they shot their friends on a handheld camera) to just go at one another orally. There was spitting and a lot of licking, an anal plug used to stretch out one of them for possible anal play. Dakoda liked her ass played with and Piper seemed to appreciate the moans she elicited by virtue of her oral attentiveness, the technical DP shown as extreme as the show got, some flirting with a shower as if it was a television set a nice touch that might have worked better if used more. The scene finished up in the bathroom too but it was over long before that in terms of limited replay value.
Scene Five: Jennifer Dark, a lean European brunette, and curvier Latina Evie Delatosso, were up last in a pool, the garden hose serving as the showering device of the day for them. They squirted each other with it while going down on each other, some toys pulled into service after they ate each other thoroughly. The mechanical nature of the scene was almost overcome by the playful antics at first but it quickly settled into a routine that was not as exciting as it could have been, the resulting action okay for occasional outings in porn but nothing a seasoned veteran would find particularly appealing. They used dirty tak and kissed to close things out, a dose of population pudding probably in order to spice things up by the looks of it.
Summary: Hot Showers 18 by director Matti Klatt for Hustler Video was one of those shows that looked decidedly better in high definition but the limitations of the sexual action were such that the absolute best I could rate it was as a Rent It. The modest ambitions of the director and the lack of chemistry between most of the performers made this into a generic lipstick lesbian snooze-a-thon at times, even the better looking gals barely there in terms of the sexual heat. In short, Hot Showers 18 was far from the best that Hustler has to offer the world these days, their growing ambitions with parodies and sitcums at least providing entertainment when the sexual aspects are not up to snuff and their barely legal series showing women that have not been over used in productions.
---- 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