Sanatorium - dvd by Zero Tolerance - review by Jenny Swallows


DVD by Zero Tolerance

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Watch it with the lights on!

One of the most powerful and thoughtful XXXs of recent years, with a great cast, alluring action and enough going on to keep the plot alive in your mind, whatever else is happening on screen. And there's a lot!
Beautifully shot, engrossing storyline, enjoyable sex scenes and some shocking kink too
Not one for the faint of heart, the easily offended, or the one-off-the-wrist brigade
Rating by reviewer:
extremely useful review
I have often wondered about XXX DVDs whose packaging recommends them to “Couples.” As opposed to... Threesomes? Lonely Singles? Orgies? Hope you have a really big screen for that one.

Sanatorium lays down its ground rules early on, laying bare the hypocrisy that every passing news week insists lays behind the political point-scoring war against porn; in this case, an uptight Utah Senator who will speak on TV about the need to legislate against hardcore video, then pay for a lesbian live show in his hotel.

Similar jibes are made in movies as far afield as Who’s Naylin’ Paylin and This Ain’t Fox News, but the photography here is a class above most, and I’m still celebrating a scene that allows the visuals and a well-chosen soundtrack to lead the way, and not the over-wrought yowling of an alley-cat in heat. Sorry, I mean the “fuck-me-fuck-me-fuck-me” bleatings of the average XXX hottie. Hmm... looks like there isn’t a nice way of saying that, is there?

Tabitha Stevens plays things very cool throughout, reminding us why she is one of our leading porn actresses, as opposed to simple stars; whether gripped by passion, perversion or power-play, she never forgets that this is a dark drama, and not a simple stroke movie, that there is a meaning deeper than denial behind the political games. Something we should all remember.

“The ones who condemn us,” Stevens reminds her Senator, “are often the ones with the darkest secrets” - and we cut to the criminally cute Sarah Sloane being laid bare by the Federal Prosecutor who’s about to jail her ass. But only after he’s fucked it.

A fiery blowjob, all giggles and gagging, is one of several scenes that leaves you wishing it was longer (full marks to a movie that doesn’t leave you fast-forwarding through the umpteenth fuck in search of the next hint of plot!). But that’s only to contrast with a desert gonzo sequence that is shot like a wired Depeche Mode video, all cutaway quickly and scorpion menace, as Tabitha reveals her own wild ambitions, how she will do absolutely anything to remain on top of her game. Just like the Senator, in fact.

By now, you’ve probably gathered this is not your standard feelgood porno, and we’ve not even got to the really twisted bits yet - Tabitha’s meeting with movie mogul Marcellus in a wonderfully warped approximation of church, her role as a spectacularly animalistic supermodel (and a photographer’s cock that just won’t quit!), the horrifying fate of her friend and former costar Kelly, and the even more horrific ends Tabitha must go to, to put an end to her suffering.

It’s around about now, as we head back into the desert and some stunningly lovely location shots take on all the dislocation of a brainful of peyote, that if you are watching with a partner, he’ll be watching you with a distinctly uneasy look on his face. I know, because I did it.

An amazing movie, then; a feast for more senses than your average XXX dreams of, because so much of it is dreamlike, whether you want to go there or not. And you emerge from a genuinely surprising final few scenes (my lips are sealed) wondering who got it right in the end.

The Senator? Who continues to insist that everything is evil?

Tabitha? Who believes that art and beauty still have a role to play?

Or Marcellus, who seemingly dismisses the last two hours of film with a dismissive shrug? “Nobody cares what you do. They just want young girls fucking.”

And bleating “fuck-me-fuck-me-fuck-me” while they do it....
This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for an unbiased review. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.
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Do you like this review?
  • married with children
    thanks for sharing.
  • Mnemosyne
    Thank you!
  • Darklyvan
    excellent review
  • TakeHimAway
  • Sin Secret
    this sounds really cool. Good review.
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