Cast: Amy Rapp and Colin Matthews in softcore lead roles; Nicole London, Martin London (aka Anthony Crane), Ava Grace, and Paris Phillips in sex roles; Michele Capozzi and ten extras in non-sex roles.
Director: Candida Royalle
Production dates: ©1992 (original), 5/26/05 (DVD)
Length: 73 min.
Extras: Behind-the-scenes documentary (33 min.), director's commentary (26 min.), bonus scene "Taken" (18 min.), bonus scene "By Invitation Only" (16 min.), trailers for 13 Candida Royalle movies, 38 production stills, 24 behind-the-scenes photos, Royalle's biography (3 min.), and a few other promotional materials.
False advertising: The box cover describes this movie as "A 35mm Feature Film," which is only partly true. The three main sex scenes were shot on video. The reasons for this mixed format are disclosed in the documentary. The overall audiovisual quality is exceptionally good, so I believe relatively few viewers will take offense at the "cheated" footage.
Audiovisual quality: Wow. The only significant audiovisual bobbles I've seen are sporadic artifacts in the video footage. The film quality is pristine. The musical score suits the action perfectly. The continuity is flawless. The costumes, sets, and props are all appropriate. The errors common to lesser productions—poor framing, focus drifts, boom mike dips, flubbed lines, etc.—are almost entirely absent here. A five-star level of care and passion went into this movie.
I've had mixed feelings toward Candida Royalle's productions in the past, but this one demonstrates how much she can accomplish with an adequate budget, skilled actors, and a dedicated crew.
Plot synopsis: The New World Order rules America in the not-so-distant future. Sex is illegal for all purposes except procreation. Our protagonist in this gray, regimented society is a young bride named Ariel. She witnesses the arrest of her neighbor Mr. Simpson. Curiosity gets the better of her, and Ariel sneaks into his apartment, where she encounters a hidden stash of erotica.
Ariel learns to masturbate while watching Mr. Simpson's pornography. She discovers orgasms and begins to imagine that sex could be a pleasurable experience. Her husband Zain warily watches the changes in her. Zain is terrified of intimacy. After dishonorable discharge from the military, his sole obsession is to produce a child who will serve as a soldier in the New World Order. Ultimately, Ariel's blossoming proves too much for Zain, and he allows her to be incarcerated. Ariel relates her story to us from her spartan cell.
Revelations takes the highly unusual approach of mixing mainstream actors and adult performers. Amy Rapp and Colin Matthews are the actors starring in the roles of the unhappy couple. They each deliver the dialog with great sincerity and finesse. Amy does bare all, appearing nude several times. Amy and Colin also simulate one sex scene together. I was sufficiently engrossed in the story to find the sex reasonably convincing. Be forewarned that it's a rather harrowing scene, so weird in its sense of utter disconnection that it becomes grimly humorous.
Sex highlights: The sex in Mr. Simpson's stash of videos, on the other hand, is lush and life-affirming. There's no direct view of penetration during the heterosexual intercourse, but the Londons are a real couple with genuine chemistry. "The Beginning: When Every Touch Is Full of Wonder" displays the amorous devotions of two people who've just fallen in love. They make out on a white bed in a black room, absorbed in kissing and full-body rubbing. He presses his mouth firmly against her vulva. She lifts a gauzy drape from his cock with her teeth before taking him into her mouth. Neither Nicole nor Martin orgasm in an obvious way, but don't worry: we're just warming up for the next scene.
"The Dance: Passion in Full Bloom" shows the Londons at play in an uncluttered yet elegant living room. They alternately pull together and push apart as they dance in all-black attire. Nicole squeezes and nibbles Martin's bulge through his slacks, and he teases her by lightly wrapping her wrists with her own hosiery while she reclines on a glass table. A brisk oral exchange precedes some fun-looking vaginal sex, which leaves him with pink, crisscrossing fingernail scratches all over his back. She gets off by masturbating for him while he offers supportive caresses. Hot!
"Two Women: Sharing the Forbidden" stars another real couple, Ava Grace and Paris Phillips, creating romance in a dystopian world where same-sex love would be the ultimate offense. They shed their standard-issue jumpsuits and undies and wiggle into pretty lingerie. They affectionately apply contraband cosmetics to each others' faces. The brunette has a cute little gap in her teeth, and the redhead has peglike nipples which stand at attention. The brunette videos the redhead as she poses on the bed. They then trade lots of kisses, especially for the breasts, and take turns going down on each other. Both women appear breathily ecstactic.
Bonus scenes: The bonus scenes were originally filmed for the movie and later cut to improve the flow of the story. This was the right decision, but I'm glad they're now included as extras in the DVD set, since both scenes still work well as standalone material. "Taken" is an inexplicit yet hot vignette in which T.C. and Rick Savage switch between dominating and submitting. There are BDSM elements (she briefly lashes his clothed body with a belt), but the mood is sensual, even tender at times. "By Invitation Only" features Chelsea Blake and Chris Macbeth as an older couple who invite young stud Joey D to their studio. The wife and the guest dance and fuck while the hubby watches (to live piano accompaniment, no less). The dialog's a little forced, but it's fun to see a mature lady still working her sexual mojo in her 40s.
Other extras: The "Making of Revelations" documentary is an outstanding extra. It includes copious footage of the rehearsals and atmosphere on location, interviews with the director and actors, a detailed discussion of the politics and philosophy behind the movie, and nifty tidbits about film techniques and budget. The "Director's Commentary" is articulate and interesting; unfortunately, it covers only a third of the movie (primarily the two sex scenes by the Londons). One teeny correction to Candida's remarks: she says Martin "didn't go on to do a whole lot more." In the years 1994–2003, he worked under the name Anthony Crane. The Internet Adult Film Database (iafd.com) shows 144 movies to his credit. Revelations was his debut, and he looks especially sweet and eager and handsome here, even with his biceps tattoos already in place.
Thumbs up: This truly is the best story-oriented porn I've watched in a long time. The women's bodies are all-natural, too—there are no breast augmentations or artificial nails, and the pubic hair is trimmed, not shaved.
Thumbs down: My only concern is that Revelations is ambitious enough to perhaps invite comparisons to mainstream movies, which in turn can only lead to frustration and disappointment. For reasons too complicated to discuss here, the budgets of adult movies are miniscule (tiny even when compared to independent films), such that none will ever fully compete on the mainstream level. For those of us who love adult features in and of themselves, however, this one stands out for overall excellence.
Themes: Pairs (m/f, f/f), solos (f), real couples, affection, foreplay, kissing, tease, undressing and dressing, afterglow, softcore, strong story emphasis, high production values.
Condom use: Candida Royalle is a strong proponent of safer sex. No condoms were used in the main feature since all intercourse is performed by real-life couples. This was the best and safest way to handle this movie, since prophylactics would've been utterly illogical in a plot where sex is permissible for procreation only. The bonus scene "By Invitation Only" does incorporate an opaque black condom for a nice dash of kink.
Juice-o-meter Well, this movie is intended to provoke thought; it's not particularly engineered as masturbatory material for the raincoat crowd. Nonetheless, "The Dance" and "Two Women" both sent warm, pleasant, excited sensations to my girl bits. And the bonus scene "Taken" provided good jill-off support for me.
Final analysis: I've watched my share of hardcore, penetrative porn, so I'm pleasantly surprised that Revelations caught and completely held my attention. If I ever thought my arousal absolutely required explicitness, I was wrong. I've watched Revelations twice and added it to my keeper shelf with the intention of viewing it again in the future. It's an interesting erotic feature with an underlying plea for sexual freedom that's just as important and urgent now as when this movie was made.