Released: Nov 01st, 1998
Running Time: 73
Director: James Avalon
Companies: Metro Media, Cal Vista Films
Distribution Companies: Metro Media
Cast: Nikki Tyler, Lauren Montgomery, Pat Myne, Charlese, Julian (I), Marie (I), Anthony Crane, T.T. Boy, Charlie (I), J.B. (I), Reyna (I), Markku, Tom Byron, Flower (VII)
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
Couples, couples, couples; but guys, guys, guys seeking a break, however temporary, from all that non-stylized wall-to-wall action could be pleasantly surprised
Had the considerable heat of the first three sex scenes not cooled down somewhat in the final two sequences, Carnal Instincts likely would have been destined for Editor's Choice status.
And why not? It certainly has just about everything else going for it, including superior direction from James Avalon (Red Vibe Diaries), firs-rate production values, and an intelligent, compelling script.
The result is not only one of the best couples films of the year, but one that even single guys can get off on (at least in its first half). Pre-noms at least for Best Film Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Screenplay - Film, Best Editing and Best Actor - Film (Tom Byron).
Sizzling, built-like-a-brick-shithouse Nikki Tyler plays a stripper who is forced by her boss -- the wealthy, evil Mr. Snow (Anthony Crane) -- to entertain himself and his friends by participating in kinky sex parties. Through a series of circumstances, she becomes romantically involved with good guy Byron, whose help she enlists to free herself from her insidious employer. With plot twists straight out of the film noir playbook, of course, not all is what it seems and naturally, the best laid plans go awry.
The opener is a well-energized, beautifully shot boy/girl. Titty-bar patron T.T. Boy fantasizes about doing mainstage show-stopper Tyler, the embodiment of lust in thigh-high black patent leather boots and bust-revealing leopard skin top.
That's followed by a steamy Sapphic threeway between Tyler, Charlie and newcomer Flower. Next up is one of Mr. Snow's perverse parties, at which Dominatrix Charlese walks slaves Julian and Reyna into a crowded room on leashes, commands 'em to start fucking like well, dogs, then joins the copulating couple. Nasty stuff.
The Byron/Tyler coupling that follows is shot in an extremely romanticized style that, while quite a conceptual tour de force, simply isn't all that hot. Sorry, that romance and porn, as they demonstrate here, usually work at cross-purposes.
The closer, meanwhile, is a rather mild meeting between Lauren Montgomery (dressed up as some sort of fairy princess) and three guys in bowler hats. Especially compared to most of what preceded it, it's an anti-climactic under-achiever.