A beautiful reporter gets caught up in the deadly and erotic world of an online ‘murder club’ in this red-hot thriller.
I usually only review films that are available for purchase on DVD, either on Amazon or iOffer, so I can include a link of where to buy it at the end. I want people who read my film reviews to have the option of immediately being able to go order the film if they want to, as opposed to waiting for it to show up on TV. Unfortunately the studios just don’t seem to be releasing many of their newest films on DVD anymore. I understand them wanting to maximize the views they get on the cable channels first, but I see films that were made last year, and in 2012, playing on Cinemax or Showtime but still not on DVD. Apparently some are available on PPV also. I still have an old analog TV, no TiVo or DVR, I can’t even record stuff on my VCR. However I realize that many of you reading these reviews do have that option so it’s not hard for you to just program your DVR to record a film whenever it comes on. So for that public service I’ll break my rule now and then.
First up is this film, Criminal Desires, which played again tonight on Cinemax (specifically the sister-station MoreMax). Written by Tina Hawthorne and directed by Alan Kramer, It stars Erika Jordan, who’s become one of my favorite softcore actresses over the past year, and she says this is one of her favorite films that she’s been in. The picture above is one that she posted on Twitter while promoting this film (since I don’t have a DVD cover to post). Erika plays Kayla, a college newspaper reporter. Lily Labeau is her fellow reporter Marissa, and Bobbie Miller (yes, he’s a dude) plays Sam, their editor who also owns the newspaper that they work at.
The film doesn’t waste any time giving us what we want to see. The opening scene is Marissa with a man named James (Ryan Driller) whom she met at a bookstore and they’re back at her place, having sex on a couch that’s in her backyard next to a pool (being a college reporter must pay really well). Afterward they talk about crime (they met in the “True Crime” section) and he gives her a card that invites her to something called The Murder Club (which was apparently the original title of this film). Then we cut to Sam’s house where he and Kayla are discussing the Murder Club, which is an online website, which she wants to investigate, but he thinks isn’t worth it. And then they have sex. The next morning Sam has had a change of heart, and tells Kayla to work on the Murder Club story, but insists she work with Marissa on it. Kayla’s reluctant because they don’t like each other, but agrees to go along with it.
Kayla goes to Marissa’s house and they compare notes. But when Kayla finds out that Marissa slept with James just to get a lead on the story, Kayla thinks that’s unethical and leaves, with the two ladies working on the story separately, each trying to get the full story before the other. That night Marissa invites another student named Rick (Josh Rivers) over and interviews him about the club, although he feigns ignorance. So she seduces him and they have sex in her bedroom. The next morning, at Sam’s insistence, Kayla goes back to Marissa’s place to apologize and work with her on the story, only to find Marissa laying dead in her living room, wearing nothing but a pair of panties.
Capri Anderson plays Nina, a girl involved with the Murder Club. When Kayla goes to her house to talk to her, Nina refuses to say anything. And after Kayla leaves we see that James is there and he and Nina have sex on her couch (a lot of sex on couches in this film).
The plot of this film harkens back to the erotic thrillers of the early 1990’s, before softcore just became about getting as many big breasted XXX stars as you could and come up with flimsy excuses for them to have sex (not that there’s anything wrong with that), with a story that requires a fair bit of acting. And thankfully director Kramer assembled a stellar cast, who all play their roles very well (no, none of them look quite young enough to pass as college students, but I can overlook that). Erika Jordan carries most of the load in terms of dramatic scenes, and handles it very well. She has some particularly good scenes with Josh Rosete who plays a homicide detective that investigates Marissa’s murder and actually suspects Kayla of being involved. I think this film really shows Erika Jordan’s rang, and what she can do when given good material to work with.
There’s three more sex scenes before the dramatic ending (which I won’t spoil). Kayla and Sam have sex again (yes, it starts on the couch, but then switches to a chair) and then the last two I can’t say who is paired up in them because that would give hints to the ending, by revealing connections between characters. But they’re both male/female scenes (sorry, no lesbian scenes in this film). All of the sex scenes in this film are very hot. Soft mid-tempo music plays during each one (not the loud techno-music typical in Jim Wynorski or Dean McKendrick films), and they are some of the most realistic sex scenes I’ve seen in a softcore film lately. Really, kudos to the director. They’re shot “romantically” with lots of kissing and caressing and most open with the men going down on the women. I think this is one of those softcore films made with couples in mind. It’s the kind of film a couple could watch together with the woman feeling like it’s exploitative.
Overall this is an a very good film, which I highly recommend with a Chacebook rating of FIVE STARS
Check your cable listungs, check Cinemax and HBO for the next time you can catch this film. And if anyone who works at Mainline Entertainment/MRG Entertainment is reading this: PLEASE RELEASE THIS FILM ON DVD!
Categories: SOFTCORE FILMS