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August 13, 2011

Movie Review: Pandora's Mirror

For several years, I’ve been an admirer of adult film director Shaun Costello. Shaun is the talented creator of such 35 mm Porn classics as More than Sisters, Hot Dreams, Midnight Desires and the film I’m about to review for you Pandora’s Mirror – starring adult film legend Veronica Hart and the late-great Jamie Gillis. The strange thing is though, I never knew –up until a few years ago- that I was a fan of Costello’s work, because this mans name had never been attached to his productions. It was the year 2005 when a bootleg adult film company had exposed this. Costello was using numerous pseudonyms for his features - Warren Evans, Russ Carlson, Helmuth Richler, Nicholas Berland, to name a few – where he was able to maintain some degree of anonaminity. Now, thankfully, Costello’s films are receiving legitimate releases in the best possible quality –utilizing the only remaining masters- via the Denmark based company, Pink Flamingo Entertainment. More importantly though, all features are director approved, by Costello himself.

Shaun Costello’s, Pandora’s Mirror, was produced about 8 years after the debut of his, notorious, feature-film directorial debut of, Forced Entry – also available by Pink Flamingo. The best way I can describe the plot of Shaun Costello's, Pandora's Mirror is; imagine the most perverse, sexually graphic episode of Friday the 13th: The Series. Only subtract the horror part, and you have a good indication of what this film entails. I seriously was thinking that, at any point in the picture that Jack Marshak, owner of the mysterious, "Curious Goods" antique shop, would surprise unsuspecting guests by trickling, runny, grandpa loads on their cabesas. No, Jack, from Friday the 13th: The Series, is not here. but the lovely, Veronica Hart is...THANK GOD!

Pandora (Veronica Hart, AKA Jane Hamilton) discovers an antique shop run by.. well, the old shopkeeper ( Fredrick Foster ). After having a graphic conversation about Olivia Newton John’s vagina – Olivia’s name is hilariously censored by car horns- with her gal-pal, Liz (Sandra Hillman), she decides to investigate the store. Low and behold, Pandora has found a magical mirror; where she can see the sexual exploits of people through out history. The mirror has many, many filthy stories. My favorite being, a raunchy 1920’s mini-orgy by a pool .These are the kind of barbeques I like!

In one of the other more memorable scenes, Jamie Gillis makes an appearance as Pandora’s unsatisfied boyfriend, “Peter”. Peter can’t seem to get Pandora to take his man-mess in her face, but hey that’s what her dirty salad-tossing girlfriend, Liz is for. Gillis’ scene with Sandra Hillman is easily the most eye-opening – er brown eye-opening. Complete with a throat gagging blowjob, analingus (on Gillis), and of course , a the gooey finale where our the very eager minx’s face is coated with Gillis’ Hidden Valley Ranch. Hillman isn’t a very attractive woman but seriously makes up for it, in this wild display of fornication. Pandora continues to be preoccupied with her mirror. The more she glances into it, the more of what’s in the mirror becomes reality. Will Pandora get to fuck those muscle-bound, oiled-up fellows (Jerry Butler and George Payne) she fancies working-out on the rooftop across the street; or will she be alone, in the shower diddling away at her lady giblet?

The picture and audio quality of Pandora’s Mirror is good, not great. For the age and scarceness of original materials, this is what I’d expect. It’s presented full-frame and contains subtitles for several European countries. The audio, however is all English –Dolby Digital -, so it’s very friendly to non-European viewers. The DVD also plays fine as well plays on NTSC DVD players. The extra features on Pink Flamingo’s, Pandora’s Mirror are very rich with the details of Costello’s amazing journey – involving organized crime, his friendships with Gillis and Harry Reems and even his own performances in front of the camera. The DVD includes a interview with Shaun Costello and Maryse Alberti, a couple slideshows of rare Costello related features and finally ,what maybe the best extra, a thoroughly entertaining booklet containing what’s essentially a mini-biography of Shaun Costello. It’s a re-print (all in English) of a very well written article that appeared in a Brazilian magazine – complete with photos as well.

Pink Flamingo Entertainment is truly doing the Lord’s work providing an avenue for several Costello classics – Pandora’s Mirror is one release that will please fans of Costello and vintage porn alike.

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