Directed by: James Avalon
Screenplay by: George Kaplan and James Avalon
A young woman (Sunny Lane) wakes up in a motel room, naked with only a volatile, ill-tempered cowboy (Evan Stone), and a few scattered photos of her in various sex acts. She has absolutely no idea who he is, how she got there or who took the pictures. Finding out is the whole story as the plot moves backwards in time, uncovering rough sex, house orgies, a jealous boyfriend with a sadistic bent, a sex club, and a little romance.
Let’s see here. Do we have a sex club setting? Check. Do we have a perplexing violent streak against women? Well, it’s not always present, but I’m going to have to go with check. Do we have bad acting, mostly due to actors being asked to attempt material out of their range? Check. Do we have a storytelling device overtly lifted from a mainstream film? Check; in this case the device is the "beginning is end, end is beginning" non-linear storytelling from Memento (2000). Well, my friends, this box may say Red Light District, but all of these attributes inarguably add up to an adult feature.
Yes, with Sex Pix (2005) we have James Avalon’s second feature out of his contract with RLD and the first to be produced in High Definition video (Darkside was shot on Super 16 film). However, VCA John Leslie this is not. We get sex that is explained away with the ultimate adult feature cliché in the sex club setting, or simply with, “She’s a stripper. This is what comes natural to her.” Logical or illogical, it is simply not very compelling. So, the reasoning for the sex is not very engaging or satisfying, but how is the actual sex? Well, it’s Red Light District sex. There are multiples in all but one scene, anal and a couple of DPs, no condoms, and cum-swapping in all of the multiples scenes. In the context of the film, it looks a bit ridiculous. Outside of the context, it’s still not all that hot, both due to chemistry and poor camerawork issues (did Avalon or Vince Vouyer direct the sex?). The one exception is Sunny Lane’s scene with Kurt Lockwood, which is phenomenal. I can’t begin to describe how incredibly sexy I find this girl, and this scene is her doing what she does best. She definitely has my vote for Best New Starlet...eh, if I had a vote that is.
So, is the storyline at least interesting? Not particularly, and the backward way of telling it does not help much. Essentially, it is the tale of a stripper (Lane) enlisting the help of her boss (Veronica Hart, looking good at 53) to aid in leaving her overly possessive and abusive boyfriend (Stone) for a man she just met (Lockwood). A violent confrontation after the boyfriend catches the lovers leads to HeadWound Sunny. Add a purse full of sex pictures and you’ve got your Memento premise. Lockwood and Hart are serviceable in their roles. Lane’s dazed and confused act wears a bit thin, kind of like River (Summer Glau) in any number of episodes of Firefly (2002). However, she does an overall excellent job (the expression on her face when staring into the camera during the opening credits is just priceless, darkly comedic perfection) in what, if there’s any sense in the adult industry, should only be one of many leading roles for her before her career’s done. It’s Stone who brings the rest of them down, hamming it up even worse than he typically did in all of his recent Skinimax (softcore) work. So, whereas Lane, Lockwood, and Hart are playing it fairly serious he’s, well, just really, really bad. His violent behavior toward Lane and Hart made me cringe, and his fights with Hart and Lockwood are very poorly executed.
Scene 1: Sunny Lane, Kelly Wells, and Isabella Stanza w/Evan Stone (22 minutes)
Stone attacks Sunny, who is practically naked. She stabs him in the neck with a broken beer bottle, and he does a corny pratfall to his death. Who was that? Who is she? As she looks at her driver’s license and then in the mirror, she realizes that she is Cheryl Bee Classic. What does any of it mean? A couple hours earlier, Sunny, looking convincingly dazed and confused, is dragged into a hotel room by a man in a plaid shirt and cowboy hat (Stone) and they are followed by his two hookers (Wells, Stanza). This cowboy, whose shirt barely hides a nasty looking wound (courtesy of Mr. Lockwood in defense of Sunny) that is poorly bandaged, is rather hostile to Lane. Her sincere pleas of, “Who are you? Why are you doing this?” only serve to further fuel his rage. He pours beer on her chest, rips off her wet red top, briefly sucks on one of her nipples, and then pushes her to the bed. The hookers join her and the three of them proceed to give the cowboy a triple blowjob, as Sunny more or less just goes along with it. Eventually, she is forced onto her back so that Evan can rip off her pink panties and use his dick to quickly stab her pussy four times before laying into her. He tags her in missionary and reverse cowgirl and the whole time Sunny does an excellent job of looking entirely disoriented, as if she is enjoying the sensation of sex but has little clue as to what is going on. She is then surprisingly pushed to the side and becomes a spectator as the other two girls take it up the ass from Stone in a variety of positions. Wells and Stanza end up swapping Stone’s meager cum shot. Personally, I lost interest once Lane became a non-factor. Stone does some choking, slapping, and verbal taunting throughout.
Scene 2: Hillary Scott, Staci Thorn, Luccia, Gia, and Dominica Leoni w/Mr. Marcus, Tee Real, and 1 White Guy (42 minutes)
It’s five hours earlier and Sunny is awaking on a couch she doesn’t recognize in a mansion she doesn’t recognize. After exploring the contents of what she correctly guesses to be her own purse, she proceeds to investigate a noise she hears. Turns out, there is an orgy going on in the other room and a woman who seems to know her (Veronica Hart) directs her to a couch where she can watch the action or even join in. A busty Latina with black hair (Luccia) immediately approaches Sunny and drags her to one of the male strippers. Sunny’s gaze of bewilderment gives way to a mischievous grin as she throws herself into a pretty hot double blowjob alongside Dominica Leoni (when did she become a blonde?). Hillary, Staci, and Gia work on Mr. Marcus as Lucci blows Tee Real. It’s an orgy all right. However, Sunny’s part in it is quickly over. A man she shouldn’t trust (Kurt Lockwood) comes and pulls her out of the action, pointing out that she has a head wound to which she replies, “What head wound?” The action keeps going though, but it’s an orgy. There’s not much to say because there’s too much to say. Luccia and Dominica Leoni are pretty much the odd girls out and Stacy Thorn and Hillary Scott get DPed, with this apparently being Scott’s first time. We end with Luccia and Gia taking a load on the tits and the other three swapping two separate loads.
Scene 3: Alektra Blue and Tyla Wynn w/Manuel Ferrara (24 minutes)
It’s the previous evening and Sunny has wandered away from the nice lady (Hart) in a sex club of some sort. She finds herself watching a peculiar strip show by Alektra and Tyla where they are under a shower head and on top of a glass surface, which leads to several crotch shots from below the glass. Eventually, a man in the crowd brandishing a paddle (Manuel Ferrara) joins the girls on stage. After putting his paddle to excessive use, he tags Alektra in several standing positions, all of which are filmed in a variety of angles running the gamut of above the showerhead to below the glass. Tyla takes it up the ass in several standing positions, the hottest one being a far too brief reverse cowgirl. The girls get a lot of cum to swap with each other in the end.
Scene 4: Haley Paige and Veronica Jett w/Brett Rockman and Erik Everhard (20 minutes)
It’s an hour earlier and Sunny is being told by the nice lady to stay put as she goes to check on something. However, being in the back office of a sex club allows you to hear weird things and Sunny has to look into it. What she finds, before stumbling onto the aqua twins of course, is a room full of docile people all facing a door guarded by a masked man. Inside the room is Haley Paige, wearing a plaid skirt and white blouse, getting drilled by a leather-clad Erik Everhard as Veronica is chained to a wooden device and thus at Brett Rockman’s whim. Sunny enters the room just in time to see Everhard slip into Paige’s ass in standing doggy. However, when Erik recognizes her and asks her to join she freaks and runs. Veronica and Kurt barge in looking for Sunny and leave just as quick as they came. As for the sex, eventually they switch partners but the majority of the attention is given to whoever Erik is fucking. Ms. Jet takes anal from Erik in standing doggy and mish. The girls swap one load of cum, as Rockman is never showing giving either girl a facial.
Scene 5: Sunny Lane w/Kurt Lockwood (20 minutes)
It’s earlier in the day and Sunny and Kurt are waltzing into a loft. She is sans head wound and coherent, displaying a playful personality. This is an afternoon matinee for them, and they are both pressed for time since they have to get back to work. So, they just get to it with some enticing foreplay, although an attentive eye will catch that what is edited to look like a 69 wasn’t quite one. Similar to Stone, Lockwood teases Lane by stabbing her pussy, but he does so gently and lovingly so that when he finally sticks it in and keeps it in she lets out a nice moan. They go through a battery of positions, some of them a-typical (missionary, sideways missionary, cowgirl, reverse cowgirl) and some of them uniquely intimate (a standing 69, a standing position that sees them head to head with her leg on his shoulder). The highlight comes in cowgirl when he sticks a finger up her ass, making it the first time I’ve ever seen anyone do that to her. Things really pick up from that point, with her quickly nearing orgasm. Once the big O has apparently been achieved, they keep going and try to get her over the hump a couple more times in different positions. Both of their bodies drenched in sweat, he pulls out and shoots a pretty big load on her face.
The film concludes by explaining where the pictures, which I've failed to overtly discuss, came from, and we get to see Sunny at work in the sex club. However, just as an orgy seems set to break out (Veronica Jett has some guy's dick jammed down her throat) the film ends.
Disc 1-Interactive Menus, Chapter Selection, Trailer for Sex Pix
Disc 2-Behind the Scenes, Bonus Scene, Bloopers, Trailers, Slide Shows, Director’s Commentary with Sunny Lane
Is it just me or does it seem like RLD is hyper-sensitive to what their fans might think of these features, as indicated by them totally overdoing the sex in these films? In Sex Pix, there is one orgy and four of the five scenes are multiples. There is cum-swapping at the end of all of the multiples, as well as anal and DP spread throughout. It’s not just the sex acts though. Pix stars 12 girls. Darkside starred 10 girls. Avalon’s next feature, Bustfull of Dollars, stars 10 as well. They are just stuffing these films full of so much superfluous window dressing that the actual films are suffering. However, with so many girls even the sex scenes are suffering, with too many cooks in the kitchen if you will. It’s a shame because I think the Red Light District Films division could produce some great stuff once the producers stop over-emphasizing the "Red Light District". It's still clearly a work in progress, and as a storyline-loving porn fan who finds the styles used by Vivid and Wicked non-enticing I have to hope that RLD works the formula out. I’ve been hopeful that this partnership between Avalon and RLD would usher in a new era of gonzo-hybrids.
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About the Author: I’m an undergrad in college writing reviews of porn DVDs every now and then, hopefully giving you enough (sometimes overly serious) information to aid in porn shopping decisions. My favorite porn star of all time is Avy Scott with Christy Canyon right behind her. Among the active girls, I enjoy Sunny Lane, Kinzie Kenner, Sara Stone, Harmony Rose, and Haley Paige. I also appreciate some of the stars of yesterday, particularly Jacqueline Lorians, Taija Rae, Joanna Storm, April West, PJ Sparx, Victoria Paris, Nikki Dial, Zora Banks, Melody Max, and Jennifer Luv. I avoid Max Hardcore, Ed Powers, Evasive Angles, and compilations like the plague. I keep track of new releases from Platinum X, Third Degree, and Evil Angel. I generally favor anal and DP scenes with big facials, but am too timid for gangbangs and any such other extremities. When it comes to directors, I enjoy the vintage films from Henri Pachard, Paul Thomas, John Leslie, and John Stagliano whereas I currently enjoy the work being done by Chris Streams and Dirty Sanchez (bangbros). My favorite porn films of all time include The Fashionistas (2003), The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women 1 (2000), and Nightshift Nurses 1 (1987).