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A Hardcore Whodunit

Throat: A Cautionary Tale is an intriguing murder mystery that shows the darker side of life in a believable plot full of drama and hardcore sex. It's a movie that will both arouse you, and keep you wondering, right up to the very end.
Published:
Pros:
The plot holds your attention. Hot sex scenes.
Cons:
The ending was rather abrupt.
Rating by reviewer:
4
extremely useful review

Content / Genre / Audience

Throat: a Cautionary Tale brings a whole new dimension to the world of plot-based porn, with a dark sex club murder mystery storyline that could rival anything found on mainstream TV.

The opening of this feature length film is short and shows Sasha Grey, who plays the role of Julie Garrett, lying nude on a coroner's table. A brief female voice over chimes in from first-person point of view, introducing herself as the tragic victim. The scene shifts to show us two L.A. detectives (played by Tom Byron and Penny Flame) investigating the crime scene, with clips of Julie's final moments and the coroner's exam thrown in to build suspense.

As the story unfolds, it switches between two timelines of events; one of Julie's life and one of the investigation of her murder, until all of the pieces finally fall together. The transitions between past and present times are smooth and swiftly paced, creating a drama that catches and holds your interest right from the beginning.

Julie's story begins when she takes a job at a peep show theater to try to pay her way through college. At first she's shy and awkward to the point of where it's almost amusing, but when a sexy co-worker (played by Aliana Love) shows Julie how to deep throat a dildo for her act, things change drastically. Julie discovers that her clitoris is in her throat, and that sucking cock is the road to orgasm for her. When she uses her new found skills on her live-in boyfriend, played by Trent Tesoro, he quickly realizes that he can use her talent to his advantage. To Julie's dismay, Trent pimps out her throat to a room full of low-class bozos in order to earn enough money for a motorcycle that he'd been wanting. During this scene, which probably features more deep throat action than all of this year's other porn movies put together, sex show promoter Dan Quinn (played by Evan Stone) approaches Julie. He really seems to have her best interests in mind, and Julie leaves her boyfriend behind to go work in his night club. Unfortunately, although Quinn's methods are a bit more sophisticated, he too exploits her talents, which leads to her final demise.

Meanwhile, there's a subplot going on alongside the main story, between Penny Flame and Tom Byron. Penny's character, Detective Byrd Smith, is a recovering alcoholic struggling with her addiction and marital problems. During their investigation of Julie's murder, she unleashes the dark side of her sexuality (without her partner's knowledge) in the night club where Julie had worked, and it was a truly steamy performance. Later, Tom confronts Penny about her drinking, and she reveals the sexual tension between them when she suggests that he "punish" her for her transgressions. There is some real chemistry between the two, and their down and dirty sex scene behind an abandoned warehouse is not something to be missed.

All in all this well-written film is moody and intense, with plenty of hardcore sex, and the ending is a real surprise.

The majority of the sex scenes are shorter than those of the average porn movie, giving you plenty of time to enjoy them but not dragging them out to the point of boredom. And there's a lot of variety here. You see ass spanking, straight sex, anal sex, a raunchy night club orgy, and of course a lot of sloppy deep throat blow jobs and facials.
One notable scene even features a threesome between porn stars Penny Flame and Voodoo, along with Beverly Hills. Instead of the typical two-girls-on-one-guy though, Penny and Beverly take turns being brought to orgasm by the other two partners. Voodoo delivers some intense anal action, and there's plenty of girl-on-girl pussy eating going on during that scene.

Although this DVD seems to be geared more toward the heterosexual male viewer, due to the very theme of it, anyone who enjoys dark mysterious drama interwoven with hardcore sex will undoubtedly enjoy it as well.

Actors

Female Cast:
Emilianna Penny Flame Allie Foster Sasha Grey Beverly Hills Aliana Love
Carmen McCarthy Megan Monroe Ricki Raxxx Brynn Tyler Kelly Wells

Male Cast:
Marco Banderas Jarod Diamond Tom Byron Jerry Jordan Lane Jack Logan Pike Nelson Rocco Reed Herschel Savage Evan Stone Lee Stone Trent Tesoro Voodoo

As you can see, the cast of this movie features some of the top names in porn, but it's Sasha Grey's performance in the leading role that really shines. She stays in character and manages to portray a deep range of emotions, from vulnerable to broodingly resigned, that really brings her Julie Garrett's story to life. Even when there are no lines to be spoken, Sasha's facial expressions and body language leave no doubt as to what her character is feeling.

Sasha indeed has some remarkable deep throat skills, and does a convincing job of making you believe that she had the ability to cum from sucking a cock. She takes an energetic ass pounding from Evan Stone as well, along with several assorted vaginal fuckings, with great enthusiasm. For someone who supposedly only received true satisfaction from having her clitoris stimulated (which was in her throat) you couldn't help but wonder how she was getting so much from regular sex. That alone was the only thing that seemed a little off in her performance.

The rest of the cast did a decent job of staying in character too, with very few instances to remind you that they were just acting. In fact, during several of the movie's sex scenes, the performers often seemed to forget that they were on camera at all.

DVD Features

Throat- A Cautionary Tale comes on a single DVD in a slimline cardboard case with plastic insert. The cover art features a softened photo of Sasha Grey caressing her throat, alongside very faint trails of blood that run down over the text, giving the buyer a hint of what's in store. The back cover art shows a bare torso shot of Sasha, and the artist cleverly used the chest area for some faded text and added darkened explicit scenes from the movie along the side.

The movie is filmed in high definition and is presented in wide screen format in 16:9 ratio, and the lighting throughout almost the entire film is well done and appropriate to the scenes. Director Paul Thomas obviously used the visual effects to enhance whatever mood he was trying to express to the viewer, which at times is dark and a tad eerie. The one exception, when the lighting was not so good, is during the scene where Sasha Grey is in the hot tub. It's one of the many outdoor scenes, but there was some off-color glaring that appeared on her skin along with a general "washed out" tone to this one.

The audio comes through in Digital Dolby Surround Sound, with music selections that are subtle enough that they are often times not even noticeable, and are not a part of every scene. As with the lighting, the director chose to use the music to enhance a mood or situation, and he did it well, particularly during the Zone Club orgy scenes. At no time is it difficult to hear the actors.

The Special Features are accessed through the DVD's main menu and include Scene Selections, Positions Room, Behind the Scenes, Vivid Girl Extras, Movie Gallery, Vivid Previews, More Adult Fun, Vivid Products (advertisements), and Vivid website info.

The Positions Room allows you to choose from five sexual acts, and will play clips from the movie that feature your choice. The selections are Pussy Eating, Missionary, Doggy, Blowjob, and Cum Shot.

The Behind the Scenes segment is over 20 minutes long, and features interviews of several of the female cast members, as well as spots with Tom Byron and Herschel Savage.

Vivid Girl Extras are bonus scenes from other Vivid films. It includes footage from the movies 20 Questions, Power, The Nikki Jayne Experiment, Sugar and The Set Up. There is also a textual biography for Sasha Grey.

The Movie Gallery is actually a slide show photo gallery of assorted Vivid girls getting down and dirty.

Vivid Previews features trailers for the movies All Dressed Up, Going Deep, Funny Bone, and Strip Tease.

More Adult Fun is more of Vivid's phone sex ads.

Personal comments

When the DVD first starts, you get nothing but a long line of advertisements for Vivid products and phone sex services. It was lengthy enough that at first we wondered if we had gotten the right DVD, but we figured out that you can chapter-skip through them one at a time to get to the movie. The movie's running time is about 1 hour and 20 minutes, and there are chapter stops throughout that as well, so it's easy to bounce through and replay specific scenes if you want to.

One thing that was impressive about this whole movie was the realism of it. Although Penny Flame's verbal performance seemed a bit stiff here and there, the acting in general didn't seem forced nor did the sex seem excessively scripted. Very rarely did you hear the fake robotic moans of a performer who was making noise just because they had been told to, as you see in the usual mainstream porn.

There were a few time when things were a bit *too* real, such as the scene toward the beginning where one girl had some kind of wicked rash on her parts, but since many of the scenes were supposed to be somewhat sleazy, it was excusable. The characters are all natural... no silicone tits, no airbrushing to hide skin flaws, and not every one had a picture perfect physique. All of this added to the feeling that you were actually getting a peek at the real life of an adult performer, instead of seeing some sort of made-up sexual circus show.

Experience

Alan says:
I enjoyed this movie, and I think most other guys will too. Sasha Grey is sexy as hell in her role and there's plenty of hard sex and deep throating going on. The scene where she's blowing all the guys to earn enough cash to get her boyfriend a motorcycle is a deep throat lover's dream. The story itself was good, and there wasn't a lot of wasted dialogue to make me want to reach for the remote.

As a man, the incident that occurred right before Julie Garrett's death really made me cringe though. It made sense why things played out the way they did, but damn!

There isn't much bad to say about the movie, but there were two or three spots where the director used very brief skip-action photography and I've never been a fan of that. The ending of the movie struck me as being a bit abrupt too. I can't really put my finger on what exactly was wrong with it, but there was just something missing. Last but not least, I couldn't help but wonder how this girl who was hurting for money so bad at the beginning of the movie was living in such a nice house?

Michele says:
A very disturbing yet enjoyable show. I kept watching because I just had to know what happened to the main character. I went from feeling sorry for her, to feeling pissed off at how she was treated, to applauding her outrageous act at the end. Well, not the *very* end, because that is when she was killed, but moments before that little Julie Garrett did get a small taste of justice. It's not often that a porn movie makes you care one way or another what happens to the characters, so that alone was impressive. I also like the general moodiness of the show, and the way that even the most hard core of the sex scenes supported the plot as a whole.

There were a few things about the movie that didn't work for me. The first is that Trent Tesoro was cast as Julie's boyfriend, and there was absolutely no chemistry between them that I could see. It wasn't just that the character that he played was a real jerk, Trent just didn't seem to be a good match for Sasha in any way.

The second thing is that the little subplot between Penny Flame and Tom Byron was totally unnecessary. Sure, it made for some additional sex scenes in the movie, but the director didn't really flesh it out enough to make it feel like much more than a distraction from the main plot. It actually would have been better if the two would have just snuck off and fucked here and there during the murder investigation rather than have had any kind of story forced on the situation.

The final issue is nothing more than a personal pet peeve of mine. Girls in porn never seem to be able to deep throat a guy without gagging, even the less endowed ones, and there were few exceptions in this movie. Sasha does do an admirable job, but there are still times when you wonder whether or not she's going to puke on the guy.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • deceased
    deceased  
    Great review. Porn with a good plot is a great find! Thanks for an intense review!
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    We appreciate the comment! Yes, we are big fans of plot-based porn, and were surprised at just how solid this one's was. Almost like prime time TV... with explicit sex. Big smile
  • Adriana Ravenlust
    Adriana Ravenlust  
    Really good review. The cover on this is so hot
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    Thanks, Adriana! Yeah, I think the cover's sexy too Smile
  • Maiden
    Maiden  
    You seriously made me want to see this one! I buy very few dvds now that my son is here and I'm not working, but if I'm "good" maybe "Daddy" will buy this one for me!Winking
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    LOL Maiden! Well, it shouldn't be hard to convince him because this is the kind of movie that a 'Daddy' would love!
  • Juliettia
    Juliettia  
    Great review. I wasn't sure about it from the description alone, but after reading I definitely want it.
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    Thanks Smile I'm glad it helped you decide.
  • ~LaUr3n~
    ~LaUr3n~  
    Such an entertaining review! A prono with a twist...sounds up my alley!
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    Thanks LaUr3n! It was definitely unlike anything we've watched before.
  • Penguin
    Penguin  
    My gf really likes Sasha...I might have to get it for her. Thanks for the review.
  • Alan & Michele
    Alan & Michele  
    Well, Sasha really does give a great performance in this one, so I'd wager your gf will enjoy it.
  • LuLu Love
    LuLu Love  
    I saw this recently and it wasn't horrible. I'm glad they at least tried with a plot even though porn stars still can't act....at all.
  • Jon S
    Jon S  
    ty for the review
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