Released: Mar 01st, 1994
Running Time: 82
Director: Paul Thomas
Company: Cal Vista Film
Critical Rating: AAA 1/2
One thing we can give Cal Vista and P.T. credit for: In an industry that thrives on playing it sate, hedging its bets and appealing to the lowest common denominator of prurient interest, these guys are taking chances. Best Film of the year Justine (see December) was a throwback to the classic plot & character oriented films, while Pretending attempts to break the ten-minute-per, five-scene combo that's strangling creativity across the board.
And an honest attempt it is, though in the current climate it's somewhat of an errant stab in the dark; missing as often as it hits — but there's an explosive sexual sequence well worth the viewer's patience. Cross-pollinating concepts borrowed from Mirage and Chameleons, Pretending mixes real and surreal, as Tony Tedeschi jealously fantasizes fellow party guests (Vixxxen, Sarah Jane Hamilton, Stephen St. Croix, Mark Davis, Nick East) having their way with his girlfriend Leena. Even if AVN's Best Actress in a Video Feature of 1993 has little in the way of engaging dialogue to chew on, film accentuates her radiant energy even more than video!
In six incomplete (shall we say unclimaxed) tease sequences, Leena fondles and sucks such disparate partners as the erudite Mark Davis, the scruffy street bum Colt Steel, and the entrancing Christina Angel. Vittles mix with spittle as the dinner itself becomes fervid fodder for Tony's imagination, however the culminating effect of the unconsummated sequences raises more frustration than anticipation for a big payoff scene.
Hang in there. It appears that Tony's got more up his sleeve (and down his shorts) than one might expect. At home, he and Leena engage in a game where he pretends to be St. Croix, and suddenly he becomes him, plus all the aforementioned partners (minus Steel) simultaneously: in her head. The ensuing bacchanal, with multiple flying jizz shots, a couple of gushers from Sarah Jane, oiled butts,' strap-ons, Vixxxen's animalism, and generally damned fine copulation all around, is a scorching experience — a payoff of gigantic proportions that makes any of the lackluster moments (including a carnal coda with Leena and Steel) eminently forgivable.
Well worth stocking in stores who have been paying attention to the quality productions currently being offered.