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Heart of Darkness

Studio: Vivid » Review by Don Houston » Review Date: 3/7/04

XCritic's Advice: Watch On Demand

Heart Of Darkness

Vivid Interactive

Genre: Feature

Director: Paul Thomas

Cast: Sunrise Adams, Randy Spears, Cameron Caine, Sophie Evans, Nikita Kash, Dru Berrymore, Mickey G., Crystal Carter, Rafe, Jordan Haze, Ava Vincent, Jeremy Steele, Steven French
Non-sex roles by: L., T., Demi, Candace, Ashley Moore, Frankie, Erika, others were completely uncredited

Length: 79.5 minutes

Date of Production: 8/20/2002

Extra's: five bonus scenes, three of them featuring Sunrise Adams, 7.5 minute long Behind the Scenes featurette by Dave Stotts, positions room, double sided DVD cover, short biography for Sunrise Adams, multi-angle feature, two photogalleries, trailers, spam

Condoms: Yes

Audio/Video Quality: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color porno's are typically filmed in. It was made on film, which caused a lot of grain due to the lighting issues and DVD transfer, but the color over saturation and video noise were also a problem here. The fleshtones were somewhat off but the other visual flaws paled in comparison to these difficulties. The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 stereo English and was often hollow, but not nearly as bad as the picture.

-- sponsored by --

Body of Review: Vivid had a somewhat good year at the 2004 AEE Show, winning a number of awards for their various releases over the previous year. The one that stood out in my mind was a feature made on film by Vivid's lead director (Paul Thomas), Heart Of Darkness. The movie dealt with a sex addict played by Randy Spears. Randy goes through life looking for sex with lots of partners, even though he's married to a very attractive gal (Ava Vincent). His best relationship is with a professional dominatrix (Dru Berrymoore) and eventually, he bites off more than he can chew, paying the price for his sickness. Here's what the box cover said about the movie: "Paul Thomas presents Heart of Darkness,a tale of sex and addiction. Johnny (Randy Spears) has a massive sexual appetite. He needs it...a lot of it...and needs it bad. And he doesn't care how nasty it gets. Hookers, sex in an alley, sex with strangers are all in a day's work. Johnny then meets Sylvie (Sunrise Adams) who is just as sex depraved. But soon the police catch up to Randy's sexual deviancy and his sexual life comes to a climax. Will Johnny be reformed, or will it be just another chapter in his sexual mischief?" Okay, whoever wrote the box cover blurp probably works a day job cleaning windows but the intent is clear, Randy is a sicko heading for a fall. Here's a breakdown of the scenes, noting that many scenes were so short that they really couldn't be classified as such:

Scene One: Sunrise, the blonde hotty on the front DVD cover, and Randy, had a scene in the back room of a business. It was oral and straight only, lasting about five minutes long. I liked the action, it was just barely a warm-up for me and that was a pain. She did look good though.

Scene Two: Randy got a quick blowjob by Cameron in the alley behind the club. It was extremely short but okay to watch once.

Scene Three: Sophie and Nikita, both established veterans in the porn world, had a lesbian scene while Randy jerked off. Sophie blew him once she was through licking (and getting licked) by her girlfriend. The two gals also used toys on one another but it was the best part of the scene.

Scene Four: Dru, in the role of a dominatrix, taunted Randy while he jerked off. She began masturbating too and then had him eat her out before this short scene ended.

Scene Five: Dru, after whipping a loser, sucked him off while she wore some red vinyl fetish garb. They then screwed in vaginal and anal positions but again, the scene ended quickly.

Scene Six: Randy got another blowjob, this time in an alley, by Crystal. Her dirty talk made me want a long, fuller scene but it wasn't meant to be.

Scene Seven: Sunrise, still the hottest gal of the movie, had a scene with Rafe in her home. She gave a great blowjob before they screwed in several positions. She always looks good but I wish she had longer scenes since you just start warming up and it's over here.

Scene Eight: Crystal, finally getting a decent scene, took care of Randy again. This time, she wasn't limited to a blowjob and the two of them screwed afterwards. It was pretty solid with chemistry and both of them appeared to get off.

Scene Nine: Jordan, a large breasted gal (implants) with a love of sex, had a solo scene while Randy jerked off on the phone. She used toys and seemed to have fun.

Scene Ten: Ava, a majorly cute blonde, had a scene with Randy on a table. He plugged away at her while she spoke dirty but the scene ended before it really got going.

Scene Eleven: Cameron, a blonde with a mane of kinky hair, started this one off by blowing Randy. He returned the favor by eating her out. They screwed in two positions and he came on her ass.

Summary: I have always wondered exactly how people at AVN vote for best film (or movie, or anything) considering that the sex here was not nearly as good as a great many other features (even some at Vivid itself), the story not as well written as dozens of other releases, and the technical problems so glaringly obvious. Don't get me wrong, Randy is a fine actor (in porn terms, he's among the best), and there is a market for porn that has very short scenes of unfulfilled promise (often referred to as couples porn) but this one has me perplexed. I liked enough of the action and story to be generous and give it a rating of Rent It, if just to see what wins awards these days, but Vivid has released far better movies that have been unnoticed for years. This was also pegged as Sunrise Adams' debut on Vivid so her fans will also want to check it out for that fact alone.

Note: You can see recent candid shots of several of these performers by visiting: My Photo's and read about their antics at 2004 AEE Show.

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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