January 5, 2016
Movie Review: Family Secrets (Vivid - 2015)
Steven St. Croix
When the body of a young girl is discovered on a popular San Francisco beach, a chilling web of lies, sexual depravity and dark Family Secrets unfold and everyone is a suspect. The clock is ticking to solve the mystery and the question on everyone's mind is...
Who Killed Vicky Valentine?
(Runtime - 1 hr. 34 mins.)
It's murder and mystery in FAMILY SECRETS, one of the latest releases from VIVID and co-writer/Director Kimberly Kane. When the body of a young woman named "Vicky Valentine"(Penny Pax) is found washed up on a San Francisco beach, the procedure is not unlike others that Detective "Jean Carver(Kimberly Kane), Detective "Jim Valentine"(Steven St. Croix), and their team seem to face regularly. However, things are different this time around, seeing as Vicky Valentine just so happen to be Jim's stepdaughter. So, it is because of this, that the Detectives proceed into the case with extra caution. The film goes on to display several interrogations, which begin to slowly reveal details regarding the night that Vicky was last seen alive. Detective Carver begins the case by interviewing the last 3 people known to have been seen with her the night that she was killed. First, it is her best friend, "Donna"(Claire Robbins), and then "Rick"(Richie Calhoun), a friend of Vicky's, whom we learn is a painter, and the lastly, her stepbrother, "Jesse"(Danny Wylde), all of whom offer varying accounts. But there is one thing for certain, that all 4 of them did meet up at a night club called Dante's on the night in question. It's what happens afterward, that things become a little sketchy, as each give stories that differ. Donna says that the last time that she saw Vicky, was when she found herself distracted by a striking female at the club. She last saw Vicky dancing with Rick and Jesse. While Rick on the other hand, although in possession of Vicky's locket necklace, swears to have seen her go off to the beach with a strange man, shortly before later leaving for the man's hotel room. However, it is Jesse's confession of the events that night later, that truly blow the pending investigation wide open. It is when Jesse reveals that both he and Rick had sexual relations with Vicky on the night she died, that family secrets, much more deeper than sex between step-siblings, begin to a emerge. They are the kind of secrets that will tear everyone involved in the investigation apart at the seams.
As it has been said, there are many Adult films out there that dare to offer us much more than just the sex that we see on screen, and the Kimberly Kane directed FAMILY SECRETS is one. The film sets us up fairly straight forwardly, as the film begins with the character of Vicky Valentine, played Penny Pax, is viciously murdered on a San Francisco beach. It is from there, that the film initially goes through the Police procedure motions as it sets up the case which is at the film's core. After a nice setup - the avid film watcher in me pondered how FAMILY SECRETS was going to pull this off. I mean, with sex scenes in the midst of the story, would the story have enough depth to follow through? Well, as I would continue to watch on, I would find, that it would do more than "pull it off" in the end, it would also sort of emotionally move the viewer, as the end result is kind of a strangely poetic cautionary tale. Yes, who would have thought that the words("moving" and "poetic") could and would ever be used to describe an Adult film, right? Well, I am using them here, because they are quite fitting. It is via nice progressive storytelling that we arrive to the conclusion eventually, but it is through said storytelling, which things remain interesting. I am in fact one of those people who get into the story in Porn films if it is good, and I have to admit, that this film kept my interest. FAMILY SECRETS works, because it begins by showing us, part of the end, while leaving the mystery tied down by the details of just how things came to be. From the beginning, we are aware of what happened to Vicky Valentine, but the real interest and intrigue lies in discovering just HOW it happened. As the film continues to reel us along, the mystery behind the "whodunit" remains intact. Most viewers will surely be sticking around to find out "who killed Vicky Valentine and why?".
To describes the nature of the film, in terms of what kind of film, FAMILY SECRETS is, i'd describe it as being both daring and raw. It has a low budget and gritty approach throughout, yes even when it comes to its 4 sex scenes. One can definitely tell that the sex scenes are being directed by someone who prefers the rougher side of sex. There's choking, sloppy blowjobs, and rough sexual encounters all around, yes, sometimes. even including anal and double penetration. The sex within feels edgy and spontaneous, and in my opinion, this is something that made the individual scenes all the more hot. And then it comes to the film's daring nature in which it dares to push the boundaries of taboo. It's the type of family "relations" that porn is no stranger to, as there was a whole line of popular TABOO films in the 80s, that presented some very risqué storylines. Here we have similar, as it is eventually is revealed to us that 2 of the film's characters, who are step brother and sister had slept with one another as part of a three-way. But oh, there's more. More that pushes the envelope even further, but I am afraid that I will not reveal the rest of the details here, as it is something that the film's overall effectiveness relies on. The film definitely works best knowing little about the outcome as you go into it.
As for the acting in FAMILY SECRETS, I have to say that it is top notch stuff by all. Kimberly Kane and Steven St. Croix, seem to keep everything anchored down with their key lead performances as the Detectives Jean Carver, and Jim Valentine, two people whom are having an affair. It's a relationship that is only further complicated by not only Vicky's murder, but what is revealed after. Kane and St. Croix do awesomely in creating interesting characters that are also somewhat sympathetic to us. As for the support, much of the film's emotional ties lie on the portrayal of "Vicky Valentine" by Penny Pax. I mean, she is after all, at the heart of what the film is all about, so the hope is that we care about her. And we do. In reality, Penny is already likable as is, but throw in some character, and some tragic elements, and she's even more so. I liked the character, and more important, I was even more interest to know what happened to her, which is the film's main goal. I also liked seeing all of the other supporters in the film, like Danny Wylde, Richie Calhoun and Claire Robbins, as well as Tommy Pistol as the mysterious man that Vicky meets at the club. When Tommy is around, you know that there is at least some worth to a film to anticipate. But personally, I felt that the unsung hero(for me anyway), was the non-sex appearance of Porn legend Kylie Ireland. I just liked seeing her, because little known fact - she was one of the first pornstars I ever became a fan of. I first saw her in a Jim Holiday film about Stewardess, or Nurses or something(maybe I saw 2 different films?). Anyway, it is just really great to see her. She is a legend! I say. Here, Ireland portrays the mother of the family, "Lynn Valentine", and perhaps, it is she that is the most sad of all the film's characters. With that said, everyone does a great job in building this one into a formidable story.
As stated above the film features 4 sex scenes throughout, all of which are pretty hot, as not one of them really lacks energy. As I said, they could be seen as a little more edgy than the common variety, so I have to say that they were nicely directed by Kane, If I had to chose, i'd say that my 2 favorite sex scenes were the pairing of Tommy Pistol and Penny Pax in the film's third sex scene, and the girl/girl romp between Claire Robbins and Princess Donna that is seen second in the film.
So, to sum things up, I really enjoyed FAMILY SECRETS, it has an intriguing progression that keeps you interested throughout, as it uses several plot angles and possibilities to keep the mystery going until the end, as the film comes to a conclusion that is really well conceived and executed. As a whole the film kind of reminded me of Shaun Costello's CRY FOR CINDY especially in the way it ended with a compilation of mixed media, and candid video and stills of the Vicky Valentine character. It was a nice classy, and somber way to end the story
Regarding my rating. I really liked this film a great deal, however, I feel it is not quite an 8. However, with that said, it is a lot closer to, than not(if that makes sense).
My score : 7.5/10
Sex scene breakdown
Scene 1 : Kimberly Kane and Steven St. Croix
The film starts it off with a sexual romp between Detective "Jean Carver"(Kimberly Kane) and "Jim Valentine"(Steven St. Croix). Steven wets Kimberly's pussy with spit, before putting it in in missionary. From here, St, Croix slowly moves in and out, while Kane's legs spread wide. During this, he chokes her a little, as well. After a brief moment here, he goes on to eat both her pussy and ass, before returning to missionary, where he keeps the pace up. Steven continues to go into her deep, as her eyes roll back into her head. After this, Kimberly proceeds to suck him nice and deep - she takes him balls deep into her throat, as she adds a good amount of spit onto the shaft. The blowjob, then graduates to Kane straddling St. Croix's cock in reverse cowgirl. From here, Kimberly's pussy is nice and spread as we get a good look at the penetration. Kimberly leans back, allowing Steven to penetrate deep at a nice and steady pace before the position ends, he spreads her pussy nice and wide with his fingers, as he rubs her clit. From reverse cowgirl, comes doggy, which sees St. Croix busy Kane's face into a pillow, as he continues to pound away. He holds her down, as he hits it nice, hard and deep. The position picks up the pace, as Steven proceeds to do things, such as pull her hair as he slams it in from behind. From there, it's back to missionary, where St. Croix continues the pace, before unleashing a huge load onto Kane. A load that nearly hits her in the face. - A very nice scene to kick things off with. The sex is kind of rough, as the performers bring a lot of raw energy to the scene.
Scene 2 : Claire Robbins and Princess Donna
The next scene begins, after Vicky Valentine's best friend, "Donna"(Claire Robbins) is seen being interviewed by "Jean Carver" (Kimberly Kane), we are then treated to a flashback of the night Vicky disappeared - in particular at the club called "Dante's". After dancing, Claire is seduced, and then whisked away into a nearby bathroom, by a mysterious woman, played by Princess Donna. It doesn't take long for business between the two to pick up. Princess Donna takes control, as she bends Clair over the bathroom sink, and proceeds to tongue and finger her from behind. This is before she goes for the clit from the front briefly, before fingering her from behind, again. After jamming her fingers in for a time, she spreads apart Claire's pussy and ass. From there, Claire follows it up by going down on Donna's bald snatch with her tongue and mouth. Donna follows that up by fingering and eating Claire in missionary, as Claire holds her legs high. Donna fucks her hard. Then from a standing position Claire leans against a stall, as Donna continues to go to work on her pussy. Claire then does the same for Donna from the front, and the back - with Donna, even at one point wrapping her legs around Claire's neck(hot!). Then from there, Claire's big juicy ass is center stage, as she is then on all fours as Princess Donna continues to jam fingers into Claire's pussy from behind. After Donna toys with Claire a little more from a seated position, the scene ends. - What a great scene from 2 lovely ladies! The action again is sort of rough, but it's hot, and it features a beautiful pair of asses and pussies. Seeing sexy stuff like this makes my job fun!
Scene 3 : Penny Pax and Tommy Pistol
While Rick"(Richie Calhoun) is being interrogated, it is clear that the Police have their sights set on him, as the main suspect, after both Donna, and Vicky's stepbrother, Jesse has both pointed the finger at him. However, it is Rick who offers up a different scenario, as he presents new information about the night that Vicky disappeared. He says that when he and Vicky went outside of the club for a smoke, she was approached by a mysterious gentleman(Tommy Pistol). Vicky eventually goes to the beach with said man, and Rick says that he saw them again, before the two of them went to an hotel for sex. This is where Pax and Pistol take to the hotel bed. It begins with some passionate kissing, as Tommy suck on her tits. Penny then moves on to suck Tommy nice and deep, before he begins to fuck her mouth briefly. Things then go to Penny briefly stroking Tommy's cock with her feet, before Tommy goes down on her for a brief spell. Then from there, it's on to spoon, where Tommy slides it in. It is here that Tommy pounds the pussy nice and hard in a fas pace. The pace carries over into the next position, which is reverse cowgirl. Tommy, from here, continues to nail the pussy. After, Penny sucks him off some more before things go into doggy, where Tommy rides her hard from behind. After, Penny goes back to sucking, before Tommy, viciously fingers Penny's beautiful hole. Now nice and wet, Penny hops on the cock in cowgirl and proceeds to ride. It's a combination of Penny riding, and Tommy plowing into her from there. And speaking of plowing, that is what Tommy does next, as things move to the edge of the bed, and things go into piledriver. From here, with Penny's legs bent over her head, he continues to drill it in, before eventually cumming onto her face to end scene. - Wow, another great scene with some nice hard action. Tommy always brings it, and Penny looks as adorable as ever, as her beautiful pussy is pounded. As I said before, we(or should I say, "I") love Penny Pax!
Scene 4 : Penny Pax and Danny Wylde and Richie Calhoun
As the final sex scene approaches, Danny is being interrogated, where he too offers up a different story, a story which sees him in a boy/boy/girl threesome with "Vicky"(Penny Pax) and "Rick"(Penny Pax) on the night that Vicky disappeared. Things pick up pretty quickly, as the guys feel up, Pax, who is doing the same to them. First Penny strokes off Danny, while Richie eats her out, before things go naturally into doggy, as Danny hits it from behind, while Penny sucks Richie. As Danny side fucks her, Penny's natural tits jiggle about. From there, Penny sucks Danny some more, before he takes her into reverse cowgirl on the floor, where he pounds at her first, vaginally, and then anally. But this is when Richie joins in as the guys double penetrate her, with Calhoun in the pussy, and Wylde in the ass. This lasts briefly before things continue anally, while still in reverse cowgirl - However, things soon switch to spoon, where Danny continues to hammer his cock, deep into Penny's ass, as thing alternate between her ass and pussy. The view from here is fantastic. The scene eventually comes to an end when they guys both stroke off onto Penny's face. First it's Wylde, and that Calhoun follows. - Another great scene, with both vag and anal action and even a DP. Good job Kimberly Kane, for capturing some hot action throughout FAMILY SECRETS.