Share |

DVD reviews

Book reviews
Music reviews

Culture reviews

Features & Interviews

Cult Films & TV
Books & Comics

Ephemera & Toys


Hate Mail

The Strange Things Boutique




DVD region 0. Digital Playground.

Pirates - Stagnetti's RevengeIf you’re going to make a follow-up to what was proclaimed to be the biggest adult movie production of all time, then you really have to go one better. And so Digital Playground and director Joone deserve praise for this sprawling epic that manages to outstrip its predecessor on pretty much every level.

Picking up from the end of Pirates, this sequel sees Pirate Hunters Edward Reynolds (Evan Stone) and Jules (Jesse Jane) setting sail to track down another nefarious pirate in exchange for a pardon being granted to ex-pirate Serena, who has been arrested and is facing execution (a good way of writing Janine, who was.. erm… ‘indisposed’… out of the story). They are joined by Serena’s cousin Olivia (Belladonna) and set out in search of the fiendish Xiefeng (Katsuni), who we first see killing the Archbishop of Canterbury (!) with a weirdly icky sea slug in order to retrieve a magical blue pearl that she intends to use to resurrect the late Captain Stagnetti (Tommy Gunn). Along the way, the pirate hunters are joined by Maria (Sasha Grey) and her crew, as well as the returning Marco (Steven St Croix, as they battle pirates, snake monsters, squid creatures and a horde of living skeletons.

While Pirates was no slouch of a film, this sequel improves on it in all the most important areas – the acting weak links have generally been replaced, the action is more impressive, the scale of the thing remarkable and the sex scenes are harder and raunchier. The CGI has generally improved too – though the scenes of a computer-generated Belladonna leaping into action against the giant snake monster are cringingly awful. However, the skeletons are well rendered – and, unlike in the first film, get a decent amount of screen time in the climactic battle – and the less obvious CG stuff – like all the backdrops and sets – can’t be knocked. I’ve certainly seen worse on SyFy.

Pirates - Stagnetti's RevengeThe new additions to the cast are welcome too. Shay Jordan is cute and amusing as the romantic nymphomaniac Ai Chow, Sasha Grey impresses in a role that is probably not all that necessary to the story (but essential for the sex scenes), and both Belladonna, always impressive on screen but here swashbuckling like she was born to it, and Katsuni, the most impressive dragon queen I’ve seen in many a year, deserve roles in mainstream action adventures after this. And on a personal note, it was nice to see much-missed old buddy David Aaron Clark hamming it up in a cameo as a particularly grubby looking pirate.

As for the sex scenes – well, they come thick and fast, and don’t compromise in any way. The scene between Belladonna, Grey and Stone in particular is jaw-droppingly ferocious and raunchy – as potent and hard as you’ll ever see.

Pirates – Stagnetti’s Revenge steps up to the challenge laid down by the first film, and easily outstrips it. And the improvements extend to the DVD package, which comes on no less than four discs. Alongside the 138 minutes movie, there are 162 minutes of extended sex scenes for those who find the story a distraction, and extensive special features – a 90 minute behind-the-scenes documentary and around the same length in specialised featurettes, plus cast interviews, outtakes and deleted scenes and more… over 4 hours of supplementary content. It’s hard to imagine what else, apart from the R-rated cut and the soundtrack (oh, and a comic book… a comic book would be cool) could’ve been added to this package.

If you’re looking for solid, story-led hardcore that can sit alongside any low budget mainstream movie, this is the film for you. If you prefer gonzo style tube clips, it probably isn’t – but in that case, why the hell are you looking at this review in the first place? Ambitious and mostly excellent, this is a superior sequel. Let’s hope there’s a Pirates 3 ready to sail into view sometime..





Share |