There's a side to the world of cheating and lying and running around behind your spouse's back that rarely gets discussed in adult films. Usually, the sexual freedom that abounds gets treated like our fantasies dictate —with plenty of orgasms and no repercussions. But a universe exists where people who screw around get screwed right back. And, despite what you've seen in adult movies so far, these people have feelings that go far beyond the come shots.
Before getting carried away with clinical analysis, I'd better say that Cecil Howard's newest release on videocassette, Scoundrels is certainly the most erotic hardcore film released so far this year. With such sexual masterpieces as Neon Nights and Platinum Paradise to his credit, it's hard to imagine that Howard could achieve new perfection. But Scoundrels somehow manages to discuss the most serious elements of the infidel marriage (better than most mainstream films on the subject) without sacrificing eroticism. Scoundrels classifies as thinking man's porn.
Totally cerebral and deadly serious, Scoundrels depicts the boring married lives of Ron Jeremy (a psychiatrist) and Lisa Be (a supposed tennis player and housewife), who lie to each other at every turn, while enjoying sexual escapades of every kind during the afternoons. Their daughter Franci, played marvelously by chelsea manchester, acts as sweet daughter to her naive parents while sleeping with every man she can get her wandering little hands on.
With all of the fooling around, we se a family deteriorate into complete instability. Franci comes to whoring at the same brothel her father frequents. Dad's affairs are going astray and Mom's rendezvous with her husband's best friend are no longer a secret. The many hardcore acts with Be and Jeremy are some of the best straight sex scenes you can get on video.
And as we see the three star players in and out of everyone's sack, they must answer to a superior being. While this supernatural thread is unnecessary, it adds another interesting angle to this many faceted film.
Thanks to Anne Randall's magnificent script, Scoundrels gives us three-dimensional characters that rarely find their way into adult plots. This family is sensitive and very normal in their feelings; the abnormalities come from the unstable setting. Scoundrels takes serious themes (the kinds that Taboo and Roommates tried to tackle) one step further, showing that its subject can be erotic and dangerous at the same time.
Lisa Be and Ron Jeremy turn in excellent performances as a very realistic couple with very realistic desires, but unrealistic values. Their one big sex scene shine with erotic vitality, as do most of the encounters. Chelsea (Tigr) Manchester arouses as the daughter-nymphet, a sexy, staid blonde with small round breasts, hard nipples and relentless body movement. Her sexual encounters are truly a treat, especially one menage-a-trois scene filmed with orange light. In fact, Cecil Howard films several three-way encounters with his usual flair.
The direction is otherwise superb, with interesting camera angles and hardcore close-ups at just the right times. We know that both the director and the characters in his film love having sex. It's a very hot film that doesn't forget what motivations drive its characters. Even the rawest scenes (like Ron Jeremy getting tongued up his rear by a very young prostitute) shine above the normal porno on-screen acts.
Finally, a great supporting cast that includes R. Bolla and beautiful Ariel Lee (naked, but no sex) help keep Scoundrels flowing. And there's opera music, to boot. One can be thankful that the definitive statement on infidelity is also a sexual masterpiece.
Cecil Howard's talent for bringing a dramatic element to hardcore sex is in abundance in this compelling story of a young psychiatrist (Ron Jeremy) with more than his share of female troubles. Howard lets the eroticism come out of the characters and situations. The effect, while sometimes overused, is quite good here, drawing us into the shrink's life. While trying to get his daughter to cool down her erotic adventures, he discovers that his wife has been unfaithful, and now must contend with that while trying to soft-peddle the daughter's flagrant sexuality. While trying to figure out what to do, he meets a beautiful girl (Ariel Lee), who falls for him. Even knowing that his wife's been cheating on him, he doesn't think it's right to make it with the girl; so he's thrown into an erotic dilemma, creating the thrust of the dramatic action. The serious encounters are balanced with several fantasy sequences, making the show an impressive and hot one.