Sanatorium - erotic video by Zero Tolerance - review by Tori Rebel

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Not my kind of porn

Sanatorium was definitely unlike anything I'd seen before. The scenery and costumes were beautiful and it's obvious that a lot of time and thought went into the production. Unfortunately, the intended message and plot come across completely garbled and overall it's more likely to leave you confused than turned on.
Published:
Pros:
Completely unique, excellent camera work, great costumes, beautiful scenery.
Cons:
More plot than sex, poor acting, confusing imagery, nonsensical plot.
Rating by reviewer:
2
extremely useful review


When Sanatorium was assigned, I was excited because I generally enjoy porn with a horror or thriller plot. Unfortunately, this movie was really neither horror or thriller, and save for a few close-ups, I'm not sure I'd even consider it porn (it's more akin to the stuff on Cinemax after 10 p.m.).

The DVD packaging is very attractive and well-done. The standard DVD case has an artistic front cover, a more detailed back cover, and is housed in a larger and very attractive outer box. It contains two discs: the first is the movie, while the second includes an interview with Tabitha Stevens, upcoming movie trailers, a selection of popshots, and a behind the scenes feature. Some of the talent featured in this film includes Nick Manning, Tabitha Stevens, Mark Wood, Sara Sloane, Gary Orona, Kagney Linn Karter, James Deen, and a short (non-nude) cameo by Ron Jeremy.

The premise is fairly simple, on the surface. Tabitha Stevens is entertaining an anti-pornography senator in his hotel room. The begin talking about how she got to where she was and the movie becomes a series of flashbacks to different points in her life in the porn industry. Some of the lowest points include working for a director by the name of Marcellus who was willing to risk her life for a good shot, tried to force her to do scenes she was not comfortable doing, and constantly puts her down for her choice of careers, insisting she'll never be anything else. He is depicted however, as almost an entity of evil, and when Tabitha embarks on a vision quest to find her own empowerment, he becomes quite a frightening player in her delusions - if that's what they are. Mixed in with this plot, however, are many, many, disturbing images: a girl being held captive in a straightjacket and hood, a rather large man with a troll-like face, a naked girl murdered in a small building in the desert, lots of bones, Tabitha covered in mud, Tabitha hanging from a tree, Tabitha performing suspension (ok, THAT was cool, but too short), eyeballs bleeding, scorpions in the desert, creepy cave drawings, and even a creepy stuffed animal. The music is also daunting and almost that of impending doom, adding to the creepy feel of the film. While the plot line was interesting, and these images were obviously all well planned and placed in the film, they don't really mesh well. There are also several portions of Tabitha performing a monologue that can be very confusing, and lots of artful shots of her out in the desert, but they just don't fit. There are definitely a lot of questions remaining at the end of the movie (even after watching it twice) and I think that's because they wanted so badly for it to be disturbing and creepy that they lost a lot of the intended storyline along the way.

The sex in this one wasn't phenomenal but it wasn't bad either. It's not a constant thing, as there is a lot more story than sex, which just isn't for me. I like my porn to be, well, porn. I don't mind some acting and background but for the most part, I just enjoy the XXX aspects. There are several scenes depicting Tabitha, with another woman, with male partners, and with faceless male partners. Her scenes aren't as graphic as I like as there are a lot of wide-frame angles and lots of caressing and touching in most of them. There is also a scene with two couples that switch off (that was more my style than most of Tabitha's scenes) and one between a young 'amateur' couple Tabitha watches perform together during her vision quest. The sex, overall, was on the vanilla side but still enjoyable. Unfortunately, it was dispersed in a way that I didn't really enjoy it because of the big gaps of confusion between sex scenes.

Overall, this just wasn't for me. The scenery, costumes, and nature shots were all beautiful. I didn't like all of the random imagery, the monologues, and while I liked the artful shots of Tabitha out in the desert, I don't like them in my porn. And quite frankly, the sex looked too performed and kind of overacted. I definitely give them credit for trying to do something so unique and that I really don't think had been done before, but in the end, it just didn't produce an effective product for me.
Follow-up commentary
This DVD has not left the case since I wrote the original review - I doubt it ever will again. While it's interesting, it's simply not what I look for in porn - or even close to it.
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  
    It was definitely a weird movie! Good review.
  • Love Perpetua
    Love Perpetua  
    Thanks for the review!
  • digit88
    digit88  
    ty
  • misterazor
    misterazor  
    i was serioulsy thinking about this...but now, not so much. thanks for saving me some money. ps. any suggestions as far as porn? do you have a favorite?
  • Thomas90
    Thomas90  
    Great review!
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