Sanatorium - dvd by Zero Tolerance - review by Kayla


Sanatorium attempts to giving a great, feature-length pornographic movie, but the confusing story, only-okay sex, bad acting, and very odd plot bring it down too much to be a good movie.
Neat costumes
Horrid/confusing plot, mediocre sex, music is odd, bad acting, lots of screaming
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review

"I wanted the viewer to watch the movie, be so fucking confused and have no idea what was going on, and to go jerk off. Then I wanted them to come back and watch it, two, three, four times, and still be so fucking confused." - That is a paraphrased quote from this movie from the director, Tabitha Stevens. I always feel like, when I pick up a movie, I don't want to leave it going "why the heck did I just waste my time on this?" And unfortunately, that's exactly what happened with Sanatorium.

Sanatorium is a movie (released 2010) directed by Tabitha Stevens. The movie comes with a regular disk and a special features disk and runs two hours and eleven minutes long. Within these two hours is ten different scenes - 7/10 starring Tabitha. This is considered a "Feature/couples" film which means it is a film that is supposed to have a plot as well as contain good sex.

The basic plot seems like it might be interesting, but here's what the box has to tell you: "...Tabitha Stevens embarks on a journey to recover her sanity after wrestling with the hypocrisy of the anti-porn crusaders who condemn her... Their wicked deeds send Tabitha on a personal vision quest fraught with sexual illusions and wildly erotic dream states that turn her into a sexual warrior." Yes, that's right. A sexual warrior.

The basic plot? Tabitha starts off having sex for a corrupt politician who is attempting to ban porn but secretly enjoys having prostitutes perform for him. From there, we learn the rest of the story while she "tells" it to him. For the rest of the story, we follow her through her intro into the porn business, and how she finds that the producers keep wanting her to do more and more which she's unwilling to do. After she finds out that her evil producer (really. He's evil. He plays an organ in most of the scenes and has skulls all over his office. He reminds me of the bad guy off of any video game.) has kidnapped one of her sister performers and is keeping her in a locked room until she dies, Tabitha sets out on her "vision quest" (Jor and I were never really quite sure. Just one day, she sets off in her car to the middle of the desert. Yes, this movie is entirely set in the desert.)

Once in the desert, she goes to this guy in a cave who's watching TV in a cave. (I wouldn't listen to this guy.) Tabitha does listen though when he tells her to go up to the mountains and find a cave and hide there. So she does. In this cave, she sits there and starts to daydream about having sex with other people. So there are the majority of the sex scenes of the movie. In between the scenes, we find out she's been in the desert for about five or six days. When she's hungry, she randomly starts screaming at the sky that she wants food. Obviously, food never comes with this hunting strategy. She also is almost constantly screaming about something, and there are frequent outfit changes that usually have a large amount of tulle fabric that make me wonder where's getting these outfits.

She gets into some odd adventure in the desert including the ability to telepathically speak to the evil producer. She also finds herself in some wooden stocks then whipped by a random desert-dweller. She also finds herself "tied" to a cross but just randomly escapes. She also digs around in dirt while screaming, covers herself in mud while screaming and crying, and floats down a raft while crying. She finds herself drenched in a mud puddle and then she achieves her "vision quest". The outcome? That she should not be guilty about enjoying sex. Six days in a desert. For that. I won't spoil the ending, but the movie does end in the "present-tense" with the politician she was speaking to.

I'm confused about this porn if you couldn't tell. The plot is so confusing the boyfriend and I were constantly yelling "What the hell?" at the TV. The entire time. But what about the sex?

The sex scenes were okay - nothing special and honestly, not much passion in them. A bigger problem? Right after each scene is done, it almost-always chooses gross-content to go to. For example, after two of the scenes, we go into a close-up of watching a scorpion very, very close up crawl across the desert. Gross. After another, Tabitha goes to a shoot only to witness a murder and a man throwing up all over. So, sorry to say, the sexy times don't really last after the scene.
The scenes:
1) Nick Manning watching Ashley Roberts and Tabitha.
2) Mark Wood (a lawyer who prosecutes prostitutes) "examining" then having sex with Sara Sloane.
3) A POV with a random penis having intercourse with Tabitha
4) Tabitha giving a blowjob to Gary Orona (very short scene)
5) Tabitha gets it on with Gary Orona while trying to tempt Kris Slater to have sex with her. He won't. Instead, he sits at her head and strokes her hair while she has sex with Gary.
6) Tabitha walks in on (and proceeds to just stand and stare at) a foursome between Ethan Hawk, Francesca Le, Mark Wood, and Raylene. The performers sometimes take breaks between the actions to all "group stare" at Tabitha.
7) Tabitha and Tyler Knight have sex in her first interracial scene
8) Tabitha watches Kagney Linn Karter and James Deen.
9) Tabitha gives a handjob/blowjob to unknown man (never see a face).
10) Tabitha and Nick Manning have sex.

The sex scenes were all of the regular type of sex scene - nothing amazingly kinky included in this movie although some bad porn dialogue was included like: "Thank you for cleaning my pool. Would you like to clean my pussy now?" They did perform the scenes well like any actor/actress would. I just didn't find myself aroused by any of them. A big distraction was the music - each sex scene was usually backgrounded by some version of tribal music including the loud backbeat. It never covered up the action, but it always had me going "what in the world?"

The entire second disk is special features. It includes trailers for other movies, a compilation of all of the ejaculation scenes, a behind the scenes feature, a slideshow from the movie, and an interview from the director - Tabitha. It also includes four bonus scenes - two from Sara Salone and two from Kagney Linn Karter. It also includes two deleted scenes.

Again, I'm not sure what this movie was going for. It really felt like the movie was trying way too hard to be "deep" and "philosophical" but bombed it miserably. If I was going to take a "moral" out of the story, it seems to be like "sex is a normal part of life, and as such, we should all accept pornography for what it is." I'd consider it much more of a movie that just happens to have sex scenes in it because honestly, the sex scenes are just thrown in as "visions" while she's on this quest. (After six days in the wild, I wouldn't be daydreaming about sex, I'd be daydreaming about a bed. To sleep on.) If you are turned on by Tabitha Stevens, if you have a fetish for "wild/outdoor" types of sex (since this takes place in the desert), or if you like wet/messy scenes, this is going to be a good movie. However, if you want a good couples movie, something that's arousing, or something that makes sense (and has good acting), this is something to avoid. At the end of this movie, neither my boyfriend and I were aroused - and in fact, we both were about as unaroused as could be.
Follow-up commentary
We watched it once after our review watching, and we haven't touched it since. Even when we revisited it, it was still just as confusing as the first viewing. It is now known as one of the oddest porn titles in our collection though.
This product was provided free of charge to the reviewer. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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  • Serendipity
    I actually liked the music! Thanks for your review, very in-depth.
  • Nigglemagic
    Thanks for the great review!
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