|Where to buy:||Streaming/Download|
Running Time: 86 min.
Production Date: 11 / 8 / 1998
Director: Jonathan Morgan
Art Director: Brad Armstrong. I know I donít normally mention the art direction, but if Brad is doing it, itís worth mentioning as you know itís going to be good.
Cast: Stephanie Swift, Brad Armstrong, Sydnee Steele, Raquel Devine, Sana Fey, Melanie Stone, Sharon Mitchell, Mr. Marcus, Herschel Savage, and Melissa Hill and Frank Fortuna in non - sex roles.
Initial Expectations: Itís a Wicked release. Nuff said.
Initial Reaction: Wow. I really like this one. Itís got a great story and the sex is hot too.
Audio /Video Quality: Both are typical Wicked high quality transfers. Thereís a little grain near the end and some of the audio is pretty noticeably dubbed, but thatís about it. Neither of these bothered me too much while watching the movie.
Music: The music is very well balanced. The music varies during the sex scenes, but itís mostly the typical high quality porno music. During the plot scenes itís very emotional and sad and mostly orchestral. Unlike most adult films thereís actually a song with lyrics in Knockout .
Review: Knockout is one of the rare pornos that could actually stand on its own if the sex was removed. It revolves around a failed boxer (Brad Armstrong) and a failed ballerina (Stephanie Swift) who realize theyíre at the bottom of the barrel and arenít really sure where they want to go. Brad was almost the middleweight champion of the world and is trying to work his way back into the ring. He cuts a deal with his former manager Herschel Savage to take a fall in the ring so another boxer (Mr. Marcus) can have a better chance to make it to the big show so he can have enough money to make rent. In order to make it he canít have sex while training so that he focuses on the fight. Stephanie canít make enough money as a backup ballerina dancer so she starts working as a stripper for Miss Sharon Mitchell. Unbeknownst to Stephanie, Miss Sharon is renting out some of the girls on the side. Unfortunately, Stephanieís so short of money that she canít make her rent. Brad feels sorry for her and lets her crash at his apartment until she can come up with the money while he trains.
The entire movie has a lot of emotion and everything is developed pretty well. Even the sets are noticeably good, much of which Mr. Morgan credits to the art direction of Brad Armstrong. I hope that they team up a lot more in the future. Knockout uses itís time very well and for a little while I wasnít even sure if I was watching a porno. The third sex scene doesnít start until fifty minutes into the movie. Itís also done well enough that I didnít care. Like the rest of Jonathan Morganís movies, the sex in Knockout is as well done as the plot sequences.
After a little intro to Bradís character, he getís down to business with Sydnee Steele, whoís married to another man. If you havenít seen Sydnee in action, youíre really missing something. She always gives a great performance and before the scene starts you know that this isnít going to be an exception. She also gets her ass pounded on by Brad which you can tell that she loves. Itís a hot scene and it lets you know what you can expect sexually through most of the movie.
When she applies for the job as a stripper, Stephanie asks for an advance on her pay so she can make rent. Miss Sharon Mitchell is willing, but first she wants to see if Stephanie has what it takes. I normally donít expect this kind of scene from Wicked. Itís very rough. Iím almost surprised that Stephanie didnít start bruising by the end of the scene. I canít say that I was entirely comfortable with this scene but thatís the way it seems to have been intended to be. Iím impressed with it after listening to the commentary because Mr. Morgan admits that he was concerned about it also. He checked with Stephanie while they were doing the scene and Stephanie was so into it she was dripping wet. Although I didnít care much for the scene, I was extremely impressed with Wicked and Mr. Morgan.
In exchange for a little inside information on the fight, Miss Sharon Mitchell sets up Herschel with Sana Fey and Melanie Stone. Miss Sharon has a nice line leading up to the scene about not knowing if the girls are clean and chuckling as if Herschel thinks she tests them. Itís a very nice subtle hint towards AIM . Herschel takes the ladies in a well - decorated stairwell in the back of the club with a very hot, although highly edited, scene. Itís a little unusual as Melanie only has vaginal sex and Sana only has anal sex. Itís all explained in the commentary, but you wonít really care with how well done it is.
After arguing with Brad in a bar, Mr. Marcus takes Raquel Devine out in the alley to relieve a little tension. Raquel really impressed me here. She really gets into the scene and does a great job of trash talking. If I didnít know better I might have thought Tabitha Stevens wrote Raquelís lines for this scene. Although a hot scene, it does have a few problems. First it seems really short. It might not have been, but I sure wanted it to last longer. The bigger problems are some of the camera work. There are a lot of close-ups and very few distance shots. I donít remember a single shot where you saw all of both Mr. Marcus and Raquel on the screen. Other than that, itís a great scene that looks amazingly good for the light it appears to be shot in.
Finally, thereís the main attraction: Brad and Stephanie. There seems to be a lot of hope built into this scene. Everything is extremely bright. The colors almost seem faded from the light which bring the grain out a little. Itís a very hot scene and it maintains the momentum thatís been used to build it up. Itís slightly nasty while still remaining a little romantic. Itís not easy to combine the two, but when you combine the talent of Mr. Armstrong, Ms. Swift, and Mr. Morgan, itís not impossible and sometimes seems almost effortless.
Knockout has a couple other very nice touches. It ends with the typical Jonathan Morgan flair and humor. Almost everything is worth paying attention to in his movies, even the credits. This one is pretty tame, but itís a serious film. That doesnít mean the credits are completely serious as thereís a great disclaimer thatís worth paying attention to.
Even the cover for
For another perspective on Knockout, check out reviewerís review.
Extras: There are two slide shows, one from the movie and one that includes behind the scenes photos. They both last about three and a half minutes with about eight seconds per picture. Itís a mix of full screen shots and snap shots and has Wickedís normal high quality.
Audio bios are included for Stephanie Swift, Brad Armstrong, Sydnee Steele, Raquel Devine, Sana Fey, Sharon Mitchell, Mr. Marcus, Herschel Savage, and Jonathan Morgan. Wicked has changed their audio bios slightly, but they still contain much of the same information including a link to the performerís scene, personal info, and pictures of the performer. Itís a very nice update.
Trailers are included for The Kissing Game, Crossroads, In Style, Crazed, Spellbound, and Heart & Soul . Of course, thereís also web site info, company profile, Wicked Casino (DVD-ROM), and AVN winners and nominations
Themes: Straight, lesbian, anal, domination, rimming (female > female), toys, group, and inter-racial
Raincoat Factor: Medium low
Overall: Currently, Knockout can be found online for between $25 and $30 with almost all of the stores offering it for under $28. Itís worth the money. Thereís hot sex, a great plot, an excellent transfer, and some great extras. Itís what you should expect your DVDs to be.
Note to Wicked: Once again, great job. There was a little dead air in the commentary, but from what I understand youíre not doing the solo commentaries anymore so this is kind of a moot point.
If you have any questions or comments, please e- mail me .