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Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1

Studio: Bizarre
Category:  Bondage
Directed by:
Starring: , , , , , , ,
Released on: 
Where to buy:DVD NewStreaming/Download
astroknight's ratings for Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1:
Overall Rating 2.5 stars
Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 overall rating 2.5 stars
Female Looks Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 Female looks rating 3 stars
Male Looks Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 Male looks rating 3.5 stars
Sex Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 Sex rating 3.5 stars
 
Plot/Acting Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 Plot/Acting rating 0 stars
Extras Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 DVD Extras rating 1.5 stars
Audio/Video Quality Julie Strain's Dark Haven 1 A/V Quality rating 3.5 stars
Worth$11.00
Rating Scale
Reviewed by astroknight  on  6/6/2004

The Little Details

Running Time: 59 min.

Production Date: 8 / 14 / 2000

Director: Luc Wylder

Cast: Gummi, Ivy English, Julie Strain, Nikki Steele, Woe, Dizzy Blonde, and Joey Ray and Alexandra Silk in a cameo role

The Short Story

Initial Expectations: Luc Wylder often impresses me. I’m really looking forward to this one.

Initial Reaction: It’s a very nicely done bondage feature with plenty of variety

Who Should Watch It : Anybody wanting a bit of artistic bondage action

Who Should Avoid It: Anybody wanting bondage that pushes the limits and gets into pain

The Technical Stuff

Audio /Video Quality: The technical aspects are very nicely done. The audio is clear and well balanced, and the biggest problem is a couple spots which appear slightly hollow. The video is just as good. There’s just a hint of grain, and the biggest problem is where the natural light bleaches out some of the colors in a couple scenes. There’s also a bit of minor camera shake and a few minor soft focus blurs, but that’s about it.

Music: Unlike most bondage features, there’s actually music here. It varies in style a bit and is very nicely balanced with the rest of the audio.

Misleading Advertising: Dale DaBone is listed in the credits for the movie, but never actually appears in the movie. His only appearance is in a trailer for Dark Haven 2 at the end of the feature. Alexandra Silk also gets one of the top billings in the movie, but only has a cameo appearance and I’m not sure if there’s two full minutes of screen time for her. Technically I guess this is true, but it’s also extremely misleading as it makes it appear that they both have a scene in the movie. Part of the reason I checked this one out was for Alexandra, and I feel slightly ripped off because of it. I’m deducting a half point from the overall score because of it.

Menus: The menus are pretty standard. The main menu has some decent animation to give it a good first impression and the chapter menu lets you choose a scene based on a small clip of each scene and a chapter number.

The Feature

When it’s time for a little time away, Ivy books her and her boyfriend Joey Ray for a little stay at Julie Strain’s Dark Haven. Ivy seems to know what’s going on, but Joey’s a bit surprised when he finds himself at a bondage mansion. He resists a little at first, but the staff has an idea of just what both of them need.

Scene 1 - Julie Strain, Nikki Steele, and Dizzy Blonde

When Mistress Julie wakes up and finds that Nikki and Dizzy aren’t there, she has to make her own breakfast. She isn’t happy about it, so when she finds them, she makes sure they’re both punished. She flogs their asses while pointing out their other transgressions. She mixes a bit of care in by ticking Nikki’s ass and letting them each suck a nipple after they worship her boots and Tod kisses her pussy through her leather bikini. She also has them kiss her ass and clean it up with their tongues before giving them a spanking to finish things up.

This is a very nice opening scene. You can sense some of the darkness of B&D, but there’s still a light and enjoyable feel to the scene as well. The two merge very well here, and Nikki and Dizzy do a very good job with Julie as she works them through a variety of pleasure and pain.

Scene 2A - Nikki Steele and Ivy English

When Ivy questions Nikki after being taken to her room, she’s quickly reminded of who’s in charge. Nikki has her strip down and flogs her ass as she leans against the bedpost. She also gives Ivy’s legs, nipples, and feet a little attention from her flogger while mixing in a little love. Ivy gets her ass kissed and her pussy tongued briefly before Nikki has her dress in an acceptable outfit.

This is another nicely done scene. There’s nice chemistry between Nikki and Ivy, and you can see that they both really enjoy their roles. I really like the addition of a little oral action into the scene, as I think it added just enough to take the scene to the next level.

Scene 2B - Gummi and Joey Ray

When Joey’s mistress arrives, she gives him some tough love right away. She has him strip down, and makes him box the clown wearing clothespins as she flogs him. She also spanks him as he’s down on all fours before leading him away with a leash.

This scene leaves me with mixed feelings. On one side, it’s nicely done. Gummi comes off as very dominant and Joey comes off like he’s enjoying himself. On the other side, Joey looks like he should have received a good beating. He was constantly smirking and looked almost like he was laughing at Gummi a good portion of the time. From the little I know of this lifestyle, I don’t think this would have been tolerated or ignored, and I was a little shocked that it was just ignored. In the end it’s still an enjoyable scene, but I think hardcore bondage fans will be a bit put off by Joey.

Scene 3 - Ivy English, Woe, Nikki Steele, and Dizzy Blond

When Nikki brings Ivy to Woe, Woe has Ivy pose for her. In the fantasy, Ivy’s put into a tub and washed by Woe, Nikki, and Dizzy, who’s basically a human sponge and dunked whenever the sponge needs to get more wet. After she’s washed up, Ivy fucks Woe’s tits and face with her strap-on while having Nikki spank Dizzy’s ass. Finally, the scene cuts back to Woe sketching Ivy.

This is another nicely done scene. I like how Dizzy’s brought in as a slave, as well as the touch of sex at the end with the strap-on. Somehow it brings in a soft and romantic feel while still keeping some of the bondage feel. It’s a very different scene, and a very good scene to finish things with.

Dark Haven is a different type of bondage feature. In every scene you can tell that the cast is enjoying themselves, and the action varies nicely from scene to scene. There are a few problems, such as Joey Ray’s smirking while being disciplined and a few minor camera angles I would have liked changed, but for the most part Dark Haven is a bondage feature which feels a bit unique just due to it’s feel. It seems like a very good feature for people who are curious about bondage but haven’t yet watched a feature due to some of the softness of the scenes, and at the same time strikes me as a feature which would probably be best avoided by hardcore bondage fanatics for the same reason. Regardless, I found myself enjoying Dark Haven.


The Extra Stuff

Trailers are included for Spiked Heel Diaries 14, Dresden Diary 20, Lusty Busty Dolls, and Spankenstein. There’s also internet information and a photo gallery with about a dozen nice looking snapshots and full screen photos.

The Down -n- Dirty Sex Stuff

Themes: Bondage, straight, group, lesbian, toys, and spanking

Raincoat Factor: High

Condom Usage: None

The Bottom Line:

Currently, many Bizarre DVDs can be found online for between $14 and $28 with most stores offering them for over $20. If this sounds like you’re type of thing, I’d recommend picking it up at the low end. The action is nicely varied and you can tell that the cast is enjoying themselves. The technical aspects are also nicely done, but as usual, Bizarre hasn’t really put any effort into the extras.

Note to Bizarre Video: You have a great start here that with a little polish would be a very nice DVD. Some decent credits or a cast listing as an extra would be very nice here so that people can check out other Bizarre features with this cast. In general, your extras need work. There’s been nice effort in Bizarre’s movies, but the DVDs feel like they’re just stamped out without any effort being put into them.

If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail me .

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