|Released||Dec 01st, 2003|
|Company||Elegant Angel Productions|
|Cast||Ava Vincent, Gia Jordan, Jay Ashley, Rachel Rotten, Flick Shagwell, Ashley Long, Mickey G., Avy Scott, Denis Marti, Rob Rotten, Jack Spade, Kurt Lockwood, Aria, Ramona Luv, Robert April, Renee Pornero, Katrina Kraven|
|Critical Rating||AAAA 1/2|
If you haven't seen this gorgeously executed, fantastically acted opus from Axel Braun and Elegant, you really should do yourself a favor and pick up the DVD - it doesn't disappoint. Bringing the richness and brilliance of the film's palette alive in expansive widescreen, this is the way Compulsion should be viewed. Of course, Patrick Collins, Ashley Long and Kurt Lockwood's sublime performances don't hurt, nor does all the scalding sex.
Completing the package is a very engaging featurette that traces the production from inception through casting, all the way to the overwhelming reception it got from critics. Also included are interviews with all the primary cast members, as well as a detailed look at how Belladonna wound up singing the title song, "I'm Not Afraid." It would have been nice to see a few more extras here, but the featurette is pretty thorough, and the movie otherwise speaks for itself. Pre-nom for Best DVD.
Elegant Angel, couples fare producer?
Well, at least as it concerns this superior film, yes. Beautifully produced and directed (undoubtedly with the biggest budget in Elegant's history), pre-nom laden with a dark, compelling story and sex that in general isn't as hard as Elegant's typical raincoater fare, but isn't as limp as a lot of couples product, Compulsion is one of the most impressive features of the year. Your plot-oriented porn lovers who would never think of wandering over to your Elegant section now have a very good reason to do so. Elegant's bread and butter single stroker demographic, on the other, uh, hand, are likely to be disappointed in Compulsion's less-than-scorching sucking and fucking - except for the blistering closer, that is. More on that later.
The film's story centers around gangster Big Charlie (Patrick Collins), his young bride Maya (Ashley Long) and his son, Nick (Kurt Lockwood). Without giving too much away, the plot hinges on the notion, as the box cover states, that "sometimes temptation cannot be resisted." How and why it can't be resisted unfolds in a pretty - sorry - gripping manner.
All three lead performances are pre-nom worthy in a porn acting kind of way, most especially Collins for Best Non-Sex Performance, but also Long and Lockwood for respectively, Best Actress and Actor - Film (let's also pre-nom Mr. Bigg for Best Supporting Actor - Film for his thug/bodyguard portrayal).
Axel Braun's fine direction and editing, and John Luker's cool, moody cinematography - as good as anything found in most mainstream films - meanwhile, are very deserving of pre-noms in their respective categories.
The sex is really the least impressive thing about Compulsion. Like the rest of the film, there's no arguing that it's beautifully shot. It just isn't all that wankable, hovering around the warm, not sizzling mark. This includes Lockwood couplings with Ava Vincent and Long (even so, we'll give the latter pairing, just because of the small field, a pre-nom for Best Sex Scene Coupling - Film) and an orgy featuring Rachel Rotten, Flick Shagwell and others. But couples presumably won't mind since those scenes are so prettily staged and placed within the film's overall virtues - top-flight story, performances and production values - Compulsion is still worthy of Editor's Choice status.
The closing group scene - in which a literally encaged Long is roughly used and abused by three hoods (Mickey G. and two others) while Lockwood is forced to watch at gunpoint while tied to a cross - is another animal altogether, scalding and perverse. Pre-nom it for Best Group Sex Scene - Film. It's entirely keeping with Elegant's rich history of take-no-prisoners raunch.