Released: Dec 01st, 1988
Running Time: 85
Director: Paul Thomas
Company: Western Visuals
Cast: Ariel Knight, Rick Savage, Nikki Randall, Jeffrey Wallach, Aja (I), Tom Byron, Jamie Gillis
Critical Rating: AA 1/2
Comparing this sequel to the AVN award winning 1987 video of the year is like trying to moonwalk on glue. Though I must admit, casting Aja as a klutzy, benign Juliet is one of the keener strokes of this feature. The original lacked a sensitive and vulnerable love interest since Kim Alexis played her Juliet role more like Alex Karras. Whereas Aja is terminally sexy in a wounded fawn sort of way.
Be that aside, we have pretty much the same story. The same repertory company (minus key players), directed now by Jamie Gillis, is putting on the same play and encountering the same set of obstacles in the form of cultural missing linkage supplied by theater owner Rick Savage who wants to have either a big-titted actress (Jacqueline Lorians) play Juliet or else he’ll convert the theater to a topless sushi bar. Only we’ve got none of the kindling backstage energy, maybe, and discord of the original feature. We miss Butler, Bullock, Hartley and Silvera. But then, why would they want to go through the same drill? Nikki Randall who scores a couple of potent sex scenes – one, with Lorians, will learn about sequels. Even the “real” stagehand who forgot there was a sex scene being shot and is captured on camera fleeing the scene will learn. An editing gem.
An interesting development, Ariel Knight plays the “real” Juliet beamed down from heaven to get the comatose pot boiling. It comes off more like a Shirley MacLaine out of body seminar, unfortunately. The Aja/Byron love interest is the only spark, but this could have been set off a number of different ways rather than play out Romeo and Juliet once again. Even Jeffrey Wallach who plays Shakespeare looks like he’d rather have had the plot dumped in Neil Simon’s lap.