In “Fighters,” the real star is the “Fathers”

I’ll admit that I desperately wanted the women of Digital Playground to strap on Massachusetts accents for “Fighters,” the year’s heart-and-loadwrenching big budget ensemble outing, but this tale about coming to terms with one’s rotten father through boxing is not a parody of “The Fighter,” and no one even gets it in the Masshole.

Studio: Digital Playground
Director: Robby D.
Starring: Jesse Jane, Kayden Kross, Riley Steele, Stoya, BiBi Jones, Tommy Gunn, Manuel Ferrara, Scott Nails, Vicki Chase, Erik Everhard, D. Pachard, Kaiser Sosay

Jesse Jane and Kayden Kross, even though their alliterative names are adjacent on any list of hot blondes, come from opposite sides of the tracks but have one thing in common: their fathers have failed them.

Rich girl Kayden, even though her absentee dad gave her a car for her 19th birthday (the movie frequently points out that its characters are of legal age, as many scenes take place in a high school, at the principal’s office, in detention, etc.) is angry that he seems to prefer “work in Europe” over her.

So she takes refuge in boxing with a personal trainer (Charles Dera), canoodling with a European man we would be forgiven for thinking is a stand-in for her dad (Manuel Ferrara), setting fire to her car, and confiding in her sassy friend Stoya.

This is a nice porn movie friendship, giving credit to an audience unused to seeing blondes and brunettes talking to each other.

Sample dialogue:

Why did you barbecue your birthday present?

I was hungry?

Street urchin-with-cornrows Jesse Jane, on the other hand, keeps assaulting “skank” Bibi Jones at school. We find out it is because Bibi is fucking Jesse’s dad (Tommy Gunn), a ne’r-do-well who likely drove his late wife to suicide by not believing in her enough.

When Jesse’s principal, Mrs. Mayweather (D. Pachard, widow of the great Golden Age porn director Henri Pachard) sentences her to character-building mop duty at Scott Nails’ Outlaw Boxing gym, Jesse slowly learns to work the bag in a way that her own mesmerizing funbags are not injured.

Sample dialogue:

TOMMY GUNN (on observing Jesse drink straight from the milk carton)
I didn’t raise you like that.

You didn’t raise me.

Writer/director Robby D. does a good job finding a reason for each of the Digital Playground girls to be there. The strongest motivations belong to Jesse and Kayden, who will eventually meet in the boxing ring. Then we have Bibi Jones, the 18-year-old skank banging Jesse’s dad, thus incurring Jesse’s wrath, and Riley Steele, who plays Jesse’s sister.

Next to Kayden’s dialogue scenes with Stoya, I enjoyed Riley Steele’s sex scene with the Espanish and caddish palindrome Ramon Nomar the best.

“Riley, you really shouldn’t be so easy,” Nomar says, even though he has just dumped easily a pint of semen on her abdomen. He turns to his computer as she gets dressed and gets out.

It is around this time in the movie, when it is has become clear that not too many of the characters are actual Fighters, that I thought it would be better to have named the film “Dads.” After all, the characters of Jesse and Riley have a bad dad, Kayden has a bad dad, Stoya claims to have seen her father for five minutes in two years, and Bibi, well, you’d think she must have a bad dad if she’s so eagerly fucking someone else’s.

As the only Dad on camera, Tommy Gunn is given the most range of any character in the movie. He goes from a bastard to penitent to redeemed, and gets to fuck Bibi Jones in the bargain, which is nice.

If the MILF craze in porn proves that men are always trying to return to the womb, movies like “Fighters” suggests that all women want to jump in the sac.

Electra Complexes aside, what about the sex in “Fighters”?

Each sex scene meets the expectations audiences have rightly built for Digital Playground movies. Every taut and lush expanse of contracted flesh is lit perfectly, and we watch the seamless transition between positions with performers well-versed in the movements of their partners.

Kayden is particularly athletic and juicy, Bibi Jones is aptly cast as a homewrecking nymphette, Riley handles her moment of drama well (even though it was Nomar’s greater acting achievement to turn away from her), and Jesse plays a wayward teen better than any 30-year-old I know.

With the ensemble company that Digital Playground has become, it is realistic that they stick with known quantities. Scott Nails, Erik Everhard, Tommy Gunn, and Manuel Ferrara have shown up in dozens of Digital Playground movies and know their way around the company’s contract stars, just as those contract stars know exactly where to go for Robby D.’s camera.

It’s not exactly like watching a well-timed ballet (because I hate ballet), but you can tell this is a group that is comfortable working together.

For this reason, we really feel like we are in good hands watching “Fighters.” The fact that the girls appear together as a group or in different pairings is also a relief that the budgets of smaller productions don’t allow. How many porn movies have we seen where no more than two main characters interact? It’s because the money wasn’t there to schedule larger scenes and thus help the narrative make sense.

But all this perfection in “Fighters” leads us to wonder at a few things.

  • Where did Kayden’s cleaning lady’s niece, Vicki Chase (whom Stoya’s character describes as a “sexy little ghetto slut”) come from when Digital Playground already has the extra-spicy Selena Rose on contract? I imagine that was a scheduling conflict money couldn’t help. Even though Selena Rose’s name is listed in the Digital Playground boilerplate in the credits (“Selena Rose is a registered trademark of Digital Playground”), the sixth contract star is nowhere else in the movie, which is a shame.
  • Why does Stoya’s character, who heretofore had just been the oversexed but sweet best buddy to Kayden, suddenly become a blackmailing thug in the third act, stealing poor Vicki’s boyfriend? Furthermore, why would a woman who sniffed that she was happy she had her shots upon first entering the cruddy gym then go and be railed in the even filthier locker room?

[But I would forgive Stoya anything, I think, for moments like when Vicki discovers her topless and Stoya’s mouth drops open in lechery, like a spider regarding a fly. Stoya’s facial expressions are so enchanting throughout that her next movie should be “Make Dirty Love to My Face.” Just a thought.]

  • Why do none of the women fuck each other or engage in anything more than a twosome? Is there some market research that advised against that?
  • And my final beef: If Tommy Gunn’s daughters are Riley Steele and Jesse Jane, were any of the concerned parties at all weirded out that he chose to fuck equally blonde and busty Bibi Jones? It’s bad enough you’re fucking someone the same age (in the world of the movie) as your daughters, Tommy Gunn, but must you fuck someone who looks just like them?

The fight training scenes and the vaguely climactic just-for-fun showdown between Jesse and Kayden looked professional, even if no one’s mascara ran. I like the fact that the two characters had no longstanding feud with each other to work out, that there was no trash-talking, and that they went their own ways afterward. It required the movie to follow two equally-weighted stories, which it did well.

I will not reveal the ending, but will say it involves both their fathers.

But given that “Fighters” will (and should be) one of the most marketed and biggest-selling porn titles of the year, it will doubtless chance to resonate with many who say that porn stars are borne out of unresolved conflicts with horrible fathers.

I don’t personally believe this, as I think the problem is due to the lack of good milves.

  • Buy “Fighters” here

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: What didn’t happen; Stop—I’ve got you in my eye; Syd Blakovich in “Champion”
See also: Digital Playground

About Gram the Man 4399 Articles
Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist


  1. Thank you, Gram, for continuing, in spite of all logical reasons for the plural of MILF to be something otherwise, to write “milves.” It makes me smile every time. 🙂

  2. April Macie says she’s ready to make the AVN Awards’ colorful crowd laugh: “I’m really excited to host the awards. A lot of amazing comics have hosted in previous years, so I’ll be able to join them and put my cool pants on for a night.”

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