Koch Vision // 1998 // 85 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Chief Counsel Rob Lineberger (Retired) // May 14th, 2004
Check in to Paradise.
I spent many a night in college whiling away the hours with beer and friends. "Skinemax" was our channel of choice, with its laughable but sometimes successful attempts at eroticism. As a Cinemax veteran, I'll tell it to you straight. There is only one thing you need to know about this DVD, and you'll probably stop reading when you hear it: this is a seriously edited version of the steamy Hotel Exotica of Cinemax infamy. The real version featured long stretches of discussion about marital discord, lots of girl-to-girl venting about obtuse men, and other filler. But it also had the hottest ever softcore scene between two women. The ladies are Taylor St. Clair, a beautiful porn star, and Ahmo Hight, a beautiful fitness guru. Both ladies used their expertise to give red-blooded males everywhere a spectacle that would burn in our brains forever.
Unfortunately, though this DVD claims to be the uncut version, it is not. The advertised 88-minute run time is actually about 72 minutes, and the twelve missing minutes are the most critical. With Taylor St. Clair and Ahmo Hight's scenes clipped (along with various other down-and-dirty, softcore-envelope-pushing stuff), all we are left with is long stretches of discussion about marital discord, lots of girl-to-girl venting about obtuse men, and other filler. I don't need to tell you that this neutering makes the Hotel Exotica experience unpalatable.
What else is left to say? The transfer looks like it was culled from VHS, with a strong grain and fuzzy detail. The sound is audible but not particularly clear, and there are no extras.
Hotel Exotica makes a good attempt to transcend the usual stupid softcore plots. Landon Hall does a credible job of acting distressed, but doesn't let much in the way of emotion flash across her face. I think this was an attempt to keep Hotel Exotica non-campy. Ahmo Hight is very watchable, with perky charisma and sex appeal to spare. The guys are uniformly dull. Neither acting nor plot are the forte of Hotel Exotica.
What we are left with are multiple scenes of teasing innuendo that culminate in 15 seconds of people writhing around beneath bedsheets or licking ice cubes. The highlight is a scene where Ahmo Hight's boyfriend gives her a henna tattoo in all the right places, but even that is tame. I'm sorry to say that this is one instance where DVD fails. Koch Vision is reprimanded for false advertising, and Hotel Exotica is guilty of boredom.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Koch Vision
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Rated R