Well, It IS Crazy

Sanatorium should be relegated to inmates of said establishment since they will be the only people capable of following the tortuous plot! The acting in this flick is atrocious, worse even than the usual fare of lower budget movies. This is a classic example of a director trying way too hard to convey a convoluted, confused message.
Published:
Pros:
The cover art on the DVD is very pretty.
Cons:
Weak to no plot, terrible acting, uninspired sex scenes.
Rating by reviewer:
1
extremely useful review

Content / Genre / Audience



Sanatorium nearly caused me to wonder if I needed to talk to a psychiatrist for actually sitting and watching the whole movie! This is an attempt at a high budget movie with a plot and some sizzling sex. It fails miserably.

The plot is excruciating to follow and I THINK it's about a woman who was driven crazy because she liked to make porn. I am unsure who drove her crazy or why some creepy guy was threatening the lead character (Tabitha Stevens) or even what he was threatening her with. It involved some woman in a torture chamber, I guess. Confused yet? So was I!

The movie starts out with some pseudo claptrap politician going on and on about morals and values, the usual politician crap. He then returns to a hotel room and of course he has two women waiting in the bedroom. Our leading lady gives a dull diatribe about how evil he is and how it's guys like him that are the problem not porn stars and sex workers. Dull and forgettable though she tries to make it more interesting with penetrating stares into the camera and dramatic pauses that quickly lose their punch. What follows is a creepy woman/woman make out session that was anything but erotic.
That was just the first vignette and both Sigel and I were hopelessly lost. He ended up wandering out of the room and I didn't see him the rest of the evening!

I gather from the synopsis that Tabitha Stevens was supposed to undergo some crusade/journey that was supposed to turn her into a sexual warrior. This involved some pseudo shamanic rituals broken up by weird hallucinations that featured uninspired sex of all descriptions. None of the sex scenes were memorable and all had a creepy edge to them that left me wondering why the actors and actresses even bothered showing up for work! There was a whole lot of penetrating stares at the camera, done at odd intervals that left me wondering if I was watching a high school theater production with naked people. Whatever message they were desperate to convey was lost on me.

So after all these oddly non-erotic scenes of m/f sex, f/f sex, masturbation and some pseudo sun-ritual/ghost dance scenes our leading lady becomes a sex warrior poised to 'take down the bad guys' and show them that there's nothing wrong with a woman who loves sex. Huh? I'm sorry but I guess I don't see how having tons of sex and being hung by your skin proves anything to an uptight self hating system that abhors porn.

Is there a genre or category for creepy non-erotic porn? This would fit right in. It might appeal to viewers who can suspend reality and like to have their porn mixed with some message. Problem is the message gets lost in abysmal acting and lack luster performances. According to the DVD case this should be displayed in the couples section.
    • Hetero
    • Mild
    • Threesome scenes

Actors

Our three leading characters are Tabitha Stevens, Sara Sloane and Kagney Linn Karter. Tabitha Stevens manages to look goofy or completely unattractive through most of the movie. Her penetrative stares are so frequent that they lose effectiveness and are boring. Her sex scenes are uninspired and she looks like she would rather be anywhere than where she is. Given that this movie's attempt at a plot revolves around her being a woman who LOVES sex she failed miserably.

Sara Sloane and Kagney Linn Karter were two bright spots in this movie. They actually seemed to want to be there and their scenes weren't hard to watch. I really have no idea WHY they were there as by the time they showed up I had thoroughly given up on following the plot but I did enjoy their scenes.

Not even Ron Jeremy could pull this movie up and make it work, I give him credit for trying.
    • Bad acting / chemistry
    • Bad presentation

DVD Features

The DVD features the full movie on disc 1 and on disc 2 there are bonus scenes, pop shots, director commentary, Tabitha Stevens interview, some behind the scenes footage, and photo gallery.

I couldn't even get interested in the behind the scenes with Tabitha Stevens though I did struggle through it. It was interesting to learn that the movie contained Ms. Stevens first interracial sex scene.
    • Commentary options
    • Not very discreet packaging
    • Special features / bonus included

Personal comments

I like porn, I especially like porn with plot. I love erotica and even soft core porn can get me off. This movie was the worst movie I have ever struggled through. I don;t know if it was that I don't particularly like Tabitha Stevens or if the movie was just so bad that it wouldn't have mattered WHO was the lead in it. I'm leaning more toward the latter since I have seen movies where I enjoyed watching Ms. Stevens. Usually within the first few scenes of a blue movie I am wet and at least interested, I sewed through most of the movie and stared glassy eyed at the rest. None of the scenes were enough to get me going though a few were ok.
Follow-up commentary
Ok just to show that different strokes are indeed for different folks I opened my porn collection to a friend and she chose this one to watch. She absolutely LOVED it!
After reading the reviews on the site she actually started by watching the 'extras' and took Tabetha's advice about how to approach the movie. It worked for her and she watched the movie on several occassions getting new information each time.

I still stick to my earlier assessment of the movie but I will admit that Ms. Stevens intent for the movie did reach at least one viewer.

The DVD has held up to repeated use and some pretty rough treatment by my son who decided to use it as a teething ring after raiding my unlocked DVD box. The box is now locked! A bit of DVD cleaner and the movie loaded up just like it did when it was brand new.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Comments
  • ZenaidaMacroura
    ZenaidaMacroura  
    I kind of liked this movie, though I definitely see what you mean. The reepy stares and creepy music were...creepy. Haha. I'm having a really hard time reviewing it, but you did it perfectly!
  • Airen Wolf
    Airen Wolf  
    I am a bit harsh on actors I know. I feel kind of bad for not liking the movie more after meeting Tabitha and Gary. They put so much of themselves in the movie not to mention 5 years of their lives. After watching the director's interview I understood the direction and meaning of the movie but it's not one I will watch again and again. Though I respect Tabitha and her views and I will be looking forward to her next movie.
  • Blinker
    Blinker  
    All of the reviews about how CRAZY this porn is makes me want to see it all the more! Now I think I'M the crazy one. Thanks for the review, Airen!
  • Not here
    Not here  
    I am so glad someone else felt the same way I did about Sanatorium. I certainly respect Tabitha and Gary for their efforts, but I really couldn't enjoy this film. Great review!
  • Selective Sensualist
    Selective Sensualist  
    Yeah, I feel somewhat the same. It took me two days just to get through the movie the first time. After watching the director's commentary, I understood it much better. But I don't feel like watching it a third time just to see if my understanding helps me enjoy the film more. I don't like watching the unpleasant scenes. They just do not mix well with a sexy mood for me.
    Great review.
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