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Dark Garden

Studio: VCA » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 12/8/02

XCritic's Advice: Highly Recommended

Dark Garden

VCA Interactive

Genre: Feature, Science Fiction, Police Drama

Director: Michael Ninn

Cast: Nikita, Vicca, Julian, Lea Martini, Juli Ashton, Mia Smiles, John Decker, Ramon, Lisa Belle, Kyle Stone, Michael J. Cox, Jack Garfield
Jamie Gillis (non sex-great supporting role)

Length: ~116 minutes

Date of Production: 6/99

Audio/Video Quality: As one would expect from a VCA Interactive movie taped in 1999, both are exceptional. I saw no artifacts or video noise and I watched it twice (some scenes more than that). The music is generally exceptionally well done. The lighting and other technical aspects were obviously given high priority too.

Extra's: Director's audio commentary track (with the technical director-D3 and Nikita), 3 trailers, 9 minute long behind the scenes documentary, 2 interviews, a few biographies-with direct scene access, ~2.5 minute long photogallery
(note: I wish the director's commentary was by Mr Ninn. I also couldn't find any of the advertised bonus scenes either.)

Body of Review: The movie is about the intrigues surrounding a device that uses sexuality to control people. The police are generally in cahoots with the antagonist, well played by Jamie Gillis, and Mr Ninn's style is almost a plot in and of itself.

-- sponsored by --

The movie has 7 full sex scenes and a few minor glimpses as well. The scenes include straight, masturbation, anal, oral, multiple partner, lesbian, DP, condoms and voyeurism.

The first scene has Vicca masturbating and then screwing Jack. She looks as good as always in this noir styled movie. The sex was hot and you hear about this scene both in Mr Ninn's interview and the commentary track.

The next scene had Nikita getting it from both Kyle and Michael while being watched. Like many other VCA movies, there is considerable motion enhanced sex (usually, but not always, slow motion). It was still hot.

The third scene had Julian and Juli having a quite warm time. They are partners in the movie so it made sense on several levels.

The fourth scene was in a jail and had Lea and Ramon screw while Julian watched them. I liked the scene on a technical level more than for the performance. Not bad but not great either.

The fifth scene had Mia and John having an office tryst. She looked rather exotic and his many tattoo's were covered up so he looked better than usual. The sex was very warm.

The following scene was between Lisa and Nikita-both dressed in a masculine manner. It gave a whole new meaning to "love in an elevator" (although they were beside the elevator in question). I liked it as a change of pace-and hot Nikita never fails to make one happy.

The last scene, of course, is between Nikita and Julian. The sex and setting were very good and very hot.

Summary: If you've seen any of Mr Ninn's other movies, you'll know up front whether you will like this one or not. I like his feature films and this is no exception. You get good sex, good looking women, and a stylish setting which all help make this an enjoyable way to spend an evening or two (or three...).

On the down side, I wish the commentary had been by Mr Ninn himself and not his surrogate, D3. D3 was the Technical Director so I suppose VCA wasn't actually lying and he gave good commentary-along with Nikita-but it's not the same. I was less than happy with the lack of a bonus scenes section which was advertised on the dvd case too. Other than that my complaints are minor. The layer change was in the middle of a sex scene-a big no no in a porn movie. It was also a title change so backing up was not possible without a lot of work. I would think VCA could put the movie on one title and the extra's on others if space is such a consideration. No matter-as I said, it was a minor issue.

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

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