Thinking as usual outside the box, David Aaron Clark creates an offbeat, fascinating hybrid, a fiction feature shot gonzo-style.
Clark's prowling camera and the presence of his frequent collaborators Loni and Brian Surewood, who play people kind of like themselves, lead you to expect a non-feature, but soon a story emerges.
Clark, behind the camera, plays Mr. Hentai, who chronicles the interactions of various shady characters and sexy Asians, including Hiroko, a chic Japanese MILF who masturbates to a body-shaking orgasm.
Key persona is Kaiya Lee, a pretty Japanese peep show girl, who is an enigmatic, haunting, highly sexual presence. The dark shadow of the title falls on her.
Kaiya is convinced that nothing is real; she's living in a dream. When her disturbed boyfriend (Buster Goode) interrupts her sex partying, he finds out just how far into a dream she is.
There's a pervasive unreality about L.A.'s rainy streets and the nightmare paradise of Las Vegas where scenes were shot, and the videography, by Clark and Glenn Baren, is often stunning.
Unfortunately, sound mixing glitches obscure some crucial voice-over narration. But even flawed, this is still more interesting - and erotic - than most of what's on the market in the feature genre.
Pre-noms: Best Video, Best Actress: Kaiya Lee, Couples Sex Scene: Kaiya, Goode and Videography (Clark, Glenn Baren).
Retailing: Pitch to consumers looking for something different and challenging; play up the cult-item attraction.