After arriving on the video scene several months ago with the disappointing The Girls of Penthouse, Penthouse Magazine has brought us an unadulterated winner with Penthouse Video's Love Stories. This is as good as the softcore field gets; a slick and extremely erotic potpourri that'll leave you totally immersed in its titillating, sultry vignettes.
Here we have a magazine-style format with an accent on the glossy pictorials Penthouse does so well. The style of the video is set with the first segment, a look at Monique Gabrielle, the blonde softcore starlet seen in such movies as Screen Test and Bad Girls IV. Director Ed Holzman meshes MTV-like visuals with a lovingly voyeuristic look at Monique's magnificent body. The same successful strategy is used in the next alluring episode, which features the late adult film star Shauna Grant (billed here under her real name, Colleen Applegate) and a hunky attendant in a sensual romp that takes place in an out-of-the-way service station. Sensitive yet totally tantalizing, this segment also offers a touch of poignancy to those who remember the beautiful starlet.
Other segments of equally erotic quality include "Ecstasize," in which a dark, muscular, fabulously built woman — headband in hair, dripping with sweat— utilizes both a Nautilus machine and a sinewy body builder for a carnal workout; "AC/DC," a kinky lesbian story that will appeal to lovers of The Story of O, features a gorgeous blonde, a resplendent brunette, a whip, some leather and a seductive score, and "The Therapist," about a new form of psychotherapy designed to unleash sexual frustrations.
And that ain't all. Thankfully there's no problem of repetition, which marred the previous Penthouse Video entry, as a couple humorous bits tie the sexcapades together. Zafthig "Happy Hooker" Xaviera Hollander offers some sound advice on sex, and a roving reporter does "Ugly George" one better by persuading a spunky Southern California blonde to show us her private parts. These clips add balance to the serious tone of the rest of the tape.
It's something of a surprise that the love-making sequences in Love Stories go further than what we expect from a softcore tape. Indeed, the sexual couplings are simulated, but there's male and female frontal nudity displayed, as well as moments capturing the fondling and licking of private parts. The good thing is that there's nothing offensive in the way it's presented. Highlighted by beautiful people in provocative sexual situations, and propelled by appealing music and stylish photography, Penthouse Video's Love Stories is a class act all the way.