SOFTCORE FILMS

SEX, SECRETS, AND LIES (aka “Passion Before Midnight”)

Alright, time to start the new year off with what I’m most known for here on Chacebook, another softcore film review! I saw this on Cinemax back in 2003, where it aired under the title PASSION BEFORE MIDNIGHT. I recorded it on tape (remember video tapes?), and have rewatched many times over the years, including just last night. Written by Elena Shuman and directed by Stan Allen, this film stars legendary adult film star Shayla LaVeaux as Crystal Strickland, a wealthy housewife seemingly happily married to her husband Tommy (James Bonn). The film opens with Crystal and Tommy having sex in their bed, as the credits role, in a very hot scene. Afterwards, Tommy starts getting dressed, because he has to drive somewhere for a business meeting. He has to drive overnight, because it was a sudden meeting, and there was no time to catch a plane. So he leaves and Crystal goes to sleep. A few hours later a masked man breaks into the house and attacks Crystal with a knife, she fights him off an during the scuffle she rips his mask off and it’s Tommy! She looks at him in shock, and Tommy runs out the house without saying anything. Crystal then calls her friend, and lawyer, Amy (Julia Parton), who was in the middle of having sex with some random man (I didn’t catch his character’s name, so couldn’t check the credits to figure out which actor he was), but she answers the phone anyway and agrees to go right over to Crystal’s. Together they discuss what happened, and try to figure out why Tommy would do that, when Detective James Brody (Randy Spears) knocks on the door and tells them that Tommy’s car was found crashed over a hill, and his body hasn’t been recovered yet, but he’s presumed dead.

So this sets up the mystery that drives the rest of the film. Why was Tommy trying to attack Crystal, and is he really dead? And if is dead, was it an accident or something else? This plot takes several twists and turns that you won’t see coming, with almost no one in this film being exactly whom they seem to be. Mandy Fisher plays a psychiatrist that Amy sends Crystal to see, to help Crystal deal with the trauma of what happened. Robert Baldwin plays another psychiatrist that Mandy’s character works with. Amber Newman plays Det. Brody’s girlfriend in the beginning of the film, who dumps him because of all the time he spends on his job. Throughout the film there are plenty of nicely-shot sex scenes. LaVeaux and Spears are, of course, hardcore porn veterans and, as I’ve noted before, XXX performers seem to the best when it comes to filming softcore scenes. They know how to make the sex look as real as possible. In additions to LaVeaux’s sex scene with Bonn, and Spears’ sex Newman, they have two sex scenes with each other, as Det. Brody gets a little too close to Crystal while he’s investigating her case.

Julia Parton and Mandy Fisher (who may have done some hardcore herself, but I’m not sure) are a couple of extremely sexy voluptuous women, and they have two sex scenes together, one a lesbian scene, and the other a threesome (I can’t mention whom the 3rd party is, as that would spoil the ending). Parton also has another scene with a man (again, I can’t say who), and Fisher has one with Baldwin). Every scene is worth watching, much credit goes to Stan Allen for they way he shoots these scenes. Also credit the Elena Shuman for her script. This was made during the last days of when softcore films were taken seriously by those who made them, and most films actually tried to give us a credible story and not just rely on hot sex scenes to keep us interested. It also helps that this cast is actually pretty decent in the “acting” department. LaVeaux and Spears in particular are very convincing in the roles, and I’ve praised Julia Parton before, and she also does a great job.

All around an excellent film, worth 5 STARS

Unfortunately, the original unrated version, doesn’t appear to be available on DVD, just the R-Rated version, under the name Sex, Secrets, and Lies, which you can find on Amazon.com

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