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Fashionistas Safado: Berlin
Fashionistas Safado: Berlin
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Studio: Evil Angel » Review by
Don Houston »
Review Date: 12/17/07
Scene One: dark and in slow motion (click for trailer).
Fashionistas Safado: Berlin (Fashionistas 3)
Scene two showed plenty of lighting effects too.
Genre: Feature, Fetish
Director: John Stagliano
Melissa Lauren and Annette Schwarz looked good together.
Cast: Sarah Sun, Melissa Lauren, Steve Holmes, Joachim Kessef, Jazz Duro, Katsumi, Nacho Vidal, Annette Schwarz, Judith Fox, Sinita Stone, Vanessa Hill, Rocco Siffredi, Zlata the Contortionist, Peg the Fetishist, Fraulein Schmitt, Steffie, Sarah Sun, Tricia Devereaux, Jazz Duro, Chrissi, Katja Louis, Simon Thaur, Dunia Montenegro, Dominique, Nacho Vidal, Steve Holmes, Ronja, Lulu, Maximae, Dutch Diesel, Frank E., Succuba, Bam Bam, Tom, Pit, Fashner, Venus, Dan C., Andrew, Rubbertik, Suren St. Lousi, Doublestone, Latex Ronni, Stephen Anz, Belladonna
Non sex role/cameo: Manuel Ferrara, Angie, Kiara, Jessy, Dea, Lizzie, Sasha, Xarah, Noranymph, Liebedom, Claudine, Karin Faust, Signe, Justin, Mike, Harreg, Alex, Daxhan, Alice, Elliot Spencer, Gutmann, Dino Dinelli, Dr. Nibor, Frank Heinz, Pablo Rodrigues, Bianca, Miss Ruby, Nick
Zlata the Contortionist was most flexible.
Length: 270:09 minutes
Date of Production: 9/18/2007
The ladies lined up to get some loving from Rocco.
Extras: With such an incredibly lengthy running time, the movie itself incorporated most of the expected extras in the form of additional fetish footage thrown about the release rather than mechanically severed and placed in the extras section. Whether or not this suits your needs is up to you since some people would rather have a more “tightly” edited feature but John is known for breaking the rules to create a different sort of atmosphere in his high end movies and this was what happened here. The first disc began with the option of watching a promotional clip lasting 10:57 minutes from Fasionistas Safado; the first half of this particular movie and the second in the series franchise. I would have liked it a lot better if it had left the AVN accolades out (I have nothing against AVN but especially with so many awards and nominations, the text got in the way of catching up on the story for those not wanting to start from scratch). The only other extra here was a comprehensive cast list that gave some insights as to who was present in the movie’s varied scenes. The second disc had three filmographies, a set of seven text filmographies for some of the ladies, websites, and repeated the ever important cast list that proved so invaluable to me in writing this review. The principles of the sex scenes are all established and well known but the bit players were likely real life enthusiasts recruited to enjoy themselves; making it a special kind of project. The DVD set came in a slip case version of the cover too; marking it as another in the Prime Evil line of special projects.
Fraulein Schmitt, Steffie, and Sarah Sun engaged in some clothespin fetish.
Audio/Video Quality: Fashionistas 3 was presented in a very visually appealing anamorphic widescreen with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 as shot by director John Stagliano for Evil Angel using the standard MPEG-2 codec (a lot of people consider the trilogy to be first up when Evil Angel starts releasing titles in Blu-Ray though). The movie having been shot in conjunction with Fasionistas Safado over a year ago, there was a lot more time for editing and polishing up the many hours of raw footage shot by the crew; also enough time to properly master it in the best way possible without the rush of an awards deadline the previous volume in the series faced. The movie was originally going to come out much earlier this year but the wisdom of scheduling it later on not only kept it fresh in the minds of the public (and critics) but added to the ability to get it right this time; the rough edges of volume two weighing in heavily for those few critics that invested the substantial amounts of time needed to properly detail the title when it came out. The Director of Photography in Berlin was Don Crane while Alex Gray was Director of Photography in the USA; each seemingly providing the kind of visual style John commissioned for them with all the nuances expected of their individuality. The movie is dark, like its predecessors, so there was grain and other related visual aspects that added texture to the experience but the anamorphic process seemed to assist in making it look better, albeit with heavy tints leaning towards a reddish look much of the time (which could artistically be explained in numerous ways but I’ll let you come to individual conclusions since I subscribe to the theory that “art” is as subjective as tastes in porn). The visuals highlighted the multifarious sex acts and fetishes explored in the movie far better than Wal-Mart lighting ever could; adding a mystique to the sex that may well influence people to check out some of the tricks on the small screen. To me though, the entire project seemed designed for a large screen and that’s a shame because even my big screen TV was not enough to fully expand all that was going on at a given time in several scenes. This impacts replay value as you can get something new every time you watch the movie but it caters to the wrong type of dynamic at times as well. If you’ve ever watched an epic mainstream movie shot in 70mm on a 15” television, you’ll know what I mean. Still, aliasing, grain, and tint aside, the movie had many points of interest for fans to enjoy but it’s a particular kind of look so watch the trailer to get a better idea of whether it might appeal to you.
Tricia's ass was reddened but I was glad to see it back in porn.
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The audio was presented with a choice of either a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround English (in 384 Kbps; twice the usual rate) or a remastered 2.0 version at the usual 192 Kbps bitrate. The surround tracks took far better advantage of the music by Douglas Mariah and score by John Stagliano for separation between the channels and dynamic range on my home theater but the vocals did not really improve that much as expected (and some vocals were split off onto the side channels). The surround speakers engaged at times but there was little of the headspace associated with a large scale project; this being indicative of almost all porn these days. In short, it was better sounding (despite some wooden performances) than most porn in the less immediately noticeable ways that added some value but I hope future projects of this scope employ a 5.1 specialist for a better experience. The sum of the audio and visual aspects of the movie is that it provided an experience different than most porn but one that was not dumbed down as most porn tends to be these days; making it a mixed bag of tricks for many.
Candlewax is a fetish only a limited number seem to care for.
Body of Review: John Stagliano really needs no introduction to fans of porn thanks in part to his works at Evil Angel but even before the company existed, he was setting trends and elevating the bar beyond what many in the industry were capable of offering. His best asset has long been his absolute love of ass and women, a dynamic not shared by many in the industry known for misogynistic efforts to degrade the ladies. John is one of the few directors that can allow both genders to explore their darker passions without judgment; allowing them to engage in nasty, kinky, and depraved sexual antics that some find too much for their sensitive nature yet retain their spirit (liking how a sex act feels should not label you according to his way of expression). Well, it being that time of year again, his blockbuster offering for awards consideration is out, a movie called Fashionistas Safado: Berlin (Fashionistas 3), the sequel to Fashionistas Safado that was so well received at the AVN awards show earlier this year. This is the volume so many have been waiting for, concluding the trilogy with more fetish than any other movie of the year, tying up the cliff hanger ending that drove people crazy as Rocco set out to learn what was going on. I’m not going to spoil the feature aspects of the movie for you since you really need to experience it for yourselves without prejudging the plot but I’ll give a short look at the many scenes making up this 4.5 hour epic to let you know it was what most people expected in terms of mirroring the same kind of hardcore action its two predecessors provided. The back cover said it like this: “The final episode of John Stagliano's blockbuster award-winning Fashionistas trilogy opens with Antonio (Rocco Siffredi) traveling to Berlin to discover more about the S/M world of sinister Safado (Nacho Vidal). He follows the intriguing Violet (Katsumi), trying to learn more about her, while learning a lot about himself and his sexuality in the process. Jesse (Belladonna) watches Antonio's progression from afar. Lauren (Melissa Lauren) and Safado push each other's boundaries in what will surely be one of the most memorable sex scenes of the decade, while Antonio pushes himself in a scene with four dominating, strong sexy females. Nacho's persona of the Safado character is chilling and compelling. Who will win the devotion of Violet? What will Antonio discover in the underbelly of Berlin's S/M world, and will he return to Jesse? Find out in the conclusion of Fashionistas.” If you’re still interested, here’s a quick look at the credited scenes by cast and action, noting that no condoms were worn and some of the best stroke material did not technically involve sex at all:
Melissa Lauren was the thematic lead of the movie.
Kit Kat Club: Sarah Sun, Melissa Lauren, Steve Holmes, Joachim Kessef, and Jazz Duro, were up first in the sex club where the ladies serviced the men in slow motion with a fair amount of tease footage being the main draw. I’m sure this is how the action would appear to those of you hitting the “X” tabs really hard at a rave but I’m not going to lie to you and say it was my thing. Any real sexual tension drained out quickly as a result of the choices made to explore the sexuality this way, Rocco gazing on during the droning disco beat with a nod to Katsumi left uncredited in the cast credits. It was also short so those of you expecting a lot of hot action will have to wait.
Latex nuns played by Katsumi and Melissa Lauren with transvestite Nacho.
Lauren’s Reward: Melissa Lauren, wearing her sweat inducing latex outfit, was up next at the factory as Nacho Vidal brutalized her in front of Rocco and Katsumi. Nacho proved he could take the nipple clamps as well as dish them out but the anti-erotic nature of the slapping, choking, and beating of Melissa was such that it bypassed “edgy” and went straight to “mean”. Katsumi helped spread Melissa’s ass cheeks and Nacho proved able to get his submissive off using his hand, but all the salad tossing and throatfucking in the world as shown here will not change my opinion that the scene is best left to hardcore BDSM fans. Katsumi got more involved as the scene progressed too, from fingering Melissa to sitting on her face as Nacho pounded his cock inside of her ass; the starkness of the setting assisting to make it something nastier than usual. I liked that she was so turned on by the end that she jerked him off to her face, sucking up all his population pudding as though it were nectar but keeping Katsumi on the fringe for the most part.
Nacho and Annette Schwarz; the female sexual lead of the movie.
The Red Room: Annette Schwarz, the German anal queen escalating up the ranks of the gonzo crowd this year, was up next as she was tormented by Melissa Lauren in a latex covered lesbian scene that was more about pushing limits than offering mutually appealing sex. The spanking, slapping, breast pump, and other toys were used to explore Annette’s limits as Melissa seemed to need to prove she could dish it out in charge as well as take it (such as she did in scene one).
This butt's for you!
”Is this what Safado wants to teach me?”: Annette Schwarz, Judith Fox, Sinita Stone, Vanessa Hill, and Rocco Siffredi, were up next at the club that included some background kink thanks to Zlata the Contortionist and Peg the Fetishist (the credits listing the latter two ladies as “Performance Artists”). The music was weird, using a simulated clock ticking initially and moving on to a dramatic score. After the floor show broke up, Rocco became the center of attention with Annette proving she was far from a gal to be trifled with; spitting on him, joining in on the face sitting, and beating him around before the gals used some traditional methods of pleasure to embrace a duality of pleasure & pain the series is known for. Sinita was particularly strong here as she forced him to go as far as possible, the defiant Rocco learning how to “suck ass’ as the ladies did each other as much as him with a lot of oral complimenting the generic screwing they all did as part of the action. The scene was a lot slower in terms of gonzo sex play than usual but fans of fetish sex and BDSM will be able to overlook the loose editing style and other transgressions here for the amount of raw energy alone. If you like salad tossing, role playing with women in charge, and all the excesses the series is known for, you will probably find this scene more balanced than any of the others on the first disc but it appeared to be more of an attempt to provide an over the top sense of style than genuine heat.
Belladonna's cameo role was far too limited.
Bomb Shelter: Fraulein Schmitt, Steffie, and Sarah Sun, started off the second disc with some lesbian clothespin torture action. If you like this kind of thing, you probably won’t see this much of it in a large scale movie though the setting of a bomb shelter was too cramped up and the action too restricted for my tastes.
Breast Bondage: Tricia Devereaux, in the first scene I’ve seen her do in years, was up next as studly Jazz Duro, worked over her ample breasts. There was no exchange of bodily fluids here (important due to her medical status) but it still added something to the mix of heavy fetish action even without the more traditional sucking and fucking taking place. Fans may also appreciate that her reddened ass cheeks showed she has not let herself go to pot; even if I think she could do a full scene with the director in a future epic as a nod to her ability to show life isn’t over when you catch something.
Candle Wax: Chrissi and Katja Louis were then up in a nod to dripping hot candle wax for a moment; Katsumi catching the action on her camera as the two ladies progressively got more into it.
The Wet Room: Melissa Lauren was then submissive to Simon Thaur as Katsumi watched in great disapproval in the red room with the glass blocks forming a wall. He used a riding crop on her, dug his hand deep inside of her (leaving out the thumb; pussy!) and abused her before the big orgy took place.
Orgy/Group Scene: Annette Schwarz, Melissa Lauren,, Judith Fox, Sinita Stone, Vanessa Hill, Dunia Montenegro, Sarah Sun, Chrissi, Steffie, Katja Louis, Fraulein Schmitt, Dominique, Nacho Vidal, Steve Holmes, Jazz Duro, Joachim Kessef, Ronja, Lulu, Maximae, Dutch Diesel, Frank E., Succuba, Bam Bam, Tom, Pit, Fashner, Venus, Dan C., Andrew, Rubbertik, Suren St. Lousi, Doublestone, Latex Ronni, and Stephen Anz, were up in what will surely be remembered as the largest, most disjointed orgy of the year; the action all over the place in terms of quality but just as I could spend pages documenting all I saw (needing to rewatch it several times at least), suffice it to say that there was anal, oral, vaginal, fetish sex, and all sorts of twisted kink going on but I couldn’t find a spot to snap a screen capture on since there was always someone penetrating another or otherwise having sexual relations. I was interested in how short the scene was compared to many other orgies of the year, the editing seeming to happen in real time rather than make sure the home viewer got to see all the couples and groups of people as is typically the case in a porno orgy. There were definitely people getting the lion’s share of the spotlight here too but it rotated among them so if you’re not happy with something onscreen, just wait a moment to see something else.
Latex Nuns: Katsumi, Melissa Lauren, and Nacho Vidal, were up next as the ladies dressed up like latex nuns (as on the front cover) and he wore women’s garter & stockings with some make up to enhance his effeminate effect. The ladies jerked him off but little came of it (pun intended) as Rocco interrupted and the related church scene described below began.
Safado’s Church: Annette Schwarz, Melissa Lauren, Judith Fox, Sinita Stone, Vanessa Hill, and Nacho Vidal, then showed that religion and porn do mix for some people. His transvestite priest dominating a group of green latex attired hotties was weird to say the least, Annette once again shining as the sexual star of the movie (far and away, she was the movie’s best sexual focal point and most versatile performer) as she so actively engaged Nacho and her female friends. The emphasis was on oral and anal screwing but there was copious amounts of fetish action too that went far beyond the standard gonzo flick even if the pacing was again substantially “off” to me. Melissa did a decent job but Annette was the only lady consistently into the action in an aggressive manner; even taking his load to her face before spitting it out onto the crotch of an anonymous twat. Fans of milk enemas might appreciate that nacho took the resulting expulsion on his face with a smile but it was a mixed bag of tricks as far as I was concerned.
Safado’s Back Room: Katsumi, Melissa Lauren, and Rocco Siffredi, then gave a heated performance as the ladies, looking like something out of a remake of Monster Zero, were made to service his needs orally. He smacked them around and used a belt to tie them together, using his cock to beat their faces as they took turns giving him head. The expression on Katsumi’s face told me all I needed to know about how much she did not seem to want to be there, at least initially, but as the scene wore on, she seemed to accept the action more readily. He first used up Melissa before turning his attention on Katsumi though, making it seem as though he was taking her by force and killing the scene for me altogether. Her cries and almost resigned look that she wanted it to be over with no matter what it took were the biggest drawbacks for me; Katsumi actively bouncing on cock to hasten the process from the looks of it but it just kept going on and on instead. There was foot fetish material here too and maybe this was the best version in porn of what I would call the Helsinki Syndrome but if you want to see Katsumi beat up like Melissa was in scene two; this is probably the best example in the whole movie.
Jesse & Antonio’s Work Room: Belladonna, having been reduced to a cameo role for most of the movie where she watched Rocco’s exploits via the internet, was up last with Rocco Siffredi, and Katsumi in her office. This was strictly a blowjob scene with Katsumi not actively participating in the sexual activities all that much; confined to adding clothespins and brandishing a riding crop on Bella’s body at times. Bella gave good head but she has done far better in the past than here so it was anticlimactic as far as I was concerned.
Summary: Fashionistas 3by director John Stagliano for Evil Angel might be best described as an “Event” movie more than anything else. The sexual action was good at times but the best material was spread out far too widely for a serious contender for awards and it seemed as though John threw in everything but the kitchen sink regardless of how well (or poorly) it fit in to the larger whole. The artistic nature of the shoot was admittedly different than most titles on the market but I completely disagree with those who hold this one up as being superior based solely on the performers, the amount of sex, or the heavy nod to fetish. There are times when the movie as a whole does not equal the sum of its parts and I think this is one such time, Fashionistas Safado: Berlin (Fashionistas 3) even weaker than Fasionistas Safado that was considered a pale imitator of the original volume in the series. The raw energy displayed had some merit and I have no doubt that the movie should be held up as one of the top fetish titles of the year but it was so narrowly targeted to a niche audience that I felt a rating for the general porn buying public above Rent It would be doing a disservice to the community. If you are into “dress up sex” that uses latex clothing and a lot of kink to hide the editing and visual weaknesses of a bloated production though, you will probably consider this one to be a must have hit of the year. It just looked like too many people went off in too many directions this time, the emphasis on abuse porn over real heat limiting it for those who actually watch the movie instead of rely on word of mouth by vested interests for my tastes. Give it a look and feel free to email me as to how wrong you may think I am about the movie but ultimately this was a fuck flick designed for a very specific audience and the splitting up of the parts (volume 2 and 3) hurt it more than a little bit.
You can email me with questions at Houstondon hotmail.com if you have any constructive criticism of the review too. :) Also you can follow me on twitter