Sanatorium - A Moratorium for Your ArousalSanatorium is impossible to follow and is rife with symbolism and metaphors. If you’re into deep psychological thrillers that leave a lot of unanswered questions and happen to have some really hot sex scenes sprinkled throughout, this is the movie for you. But if you watch porn to intensify your arousal and have a good time, then you’ll probably want to fast forward through all the dialogue and psycho drama. It just detracts from the hot sex, making it difficult to stay aroused.
High quality production values, erotic sex scenes, and excellent cinematography
Weird psycho-thriller scenes were a bit over the top and overshadowed the hot sex
After watching the trailer for Sanatorium, we were a little apprehensive about watching the movie. For us, it just looked a little beyond our comfort zone. The trailer contained several disturbing images and this did not seem like a traditional porn movie at all. The woman in the straight jacket with the mouth spreader was the first clue that this was not something we would normally watch. The lady with blood dripping from her eye - what have we gotten ourselves into? More blood- uhh-ohh! We sat just staring at the screen when it showed the lady hanging from the hooks through her back - this was definitely beyond our normal viewing. But we decided to go ahead with this movie because it looked so intriguing and different from anything else we had ever seen in a porn movie. Fortunately, there was nothing any more graphic or explicit in the movie than what was included in the trailer.
After watching the movie, I don’t really know how to describe it, so I’ll use the words of the producer, director and cinematographer, Gary Orona:
“Sanatorium is a unique, twisted thriller…it is non-linear, and unlike most XXX films, has a very compelling meaning…several messages within it…may take four or five times or even more times to really try to understand what is going on… It is twisted, demented; there are symbols and metaphors everywhere.”
I agree. He is right. This movie is twisted and demented, and it would take watching it multiple times just to figure out what is going on. We’ve only watched it three times, so we still haven’t figured it out completely. But, here is what I can say about Sanatorium.
The movie begins with Tabitha Stevens in a hotel room watching a TV clip of a politician, Senator Grimm (Nick Manning), condemning the porn industry. Next, we see Senator Grimm entering the room, where he calls his wife and professes his love for her. He hangs up, pours himself a glass of whiskey, and then turns to Tabitha and a female companion (Ashley Roberts), who perform sex acts on each other for his voyeuristic pleasure. This is the first scene in which we see the hypocrisy of those in power. Throughout the rest of the film, Tabitha tells her story to the senator of how she became the woman she is today. Unfortunately for the viewer, she doesn’t do it in a straightforward manner. Instead, the story bounces back and forth between scenes from Tabitha's past and the present day where Tabitha is in the hotel room telling the senator her story.
The sex scenes are all pretty hot. However, they are always followed by strange or disturbing images that greatly dampen the arousal factor. The movie is filled with hidden messages, symbolism, and metaphors dispersed with disturbing and shocking images. Dang, we were hoping to be stimulated and aroused. Instead, we were left stunned and often confused. Why is Tabitha rolling around in mud? Why is she hanging from a tree? Why did she go out to the desert in the first place? What the hell is going on here?!
After watching the movie three times, we figured out that this movie is a somewhat autobiographical representation of Tabitha’s career in the porn industry. Tabitha was reaching the point where the porn movie producers wanted her to do more and more things she didn’t want to do. She goes on a vision quest to discover herself. The film is a series of flashbacks and scenes in which an evil movie producer named Marcellus is holding Tabitha’s alter ego Kelly hostage in a padded cell somewhere (a sanatorium, maybe?). He is threatening Tabitha that Kelly will die if she doesn’t do the things he is demanding of her (Tabitha). Other scenes show Tabitha on her vision quest in the desert, where all of the gory psycho-thriller scenes take place.
On the positive side, this movie does have a lot of good things going for it. There are some very hot sex scenes. Tabitha has a rock hard body, especially considering how many years she’s been in the industry. In fact, all of the actors and actresses were hot. The acting is some of the best we’ve seen in a porn movie. Sarah Sloane does an especially convincing job in a scene with Mark Wood. She has mad skills. The production values are very high. I thought the soundtrack was really good and added to the suspense, although my wife found the music to be repetitive and somewhat distracting. This really is a big budget film and the quality is excellent. I was surprised to find out later that Gary Orona and Tabitha Stevens made it with their own money.
Personally, when we sit down to watch a porn movie, we are looking to have a good time. We use the porn to heighten arousal and to maybe see something new that we want to try. However, we don’t typically get through an entire porn movie because we do end up getting aroused and paying attention to each other rather than what’s on the screen. But this movie was different. So different, in fact, that it was difficult for us to get aroused and we did end up watching the whole movie without having any sexual contact. It’s definitely not your run-of-the-mill porn movie.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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