The Wicked – Condom-only horror

Studio: Wicked
Director: Michael Raven
Cast: Kaylani Lei, Stormy Daniels, Mikayla Mendez, Annabelle Lee, Jenny Hendrix, Roxy Deville, Scarlett Fay, Sophia Santi, Tori Black, Aaron Wilcoxxx, Barrett Blade, Barry Scott, Derrick Pierce, Evan Stone, Johnny Castle, Rocco Reed, Voodoo

Portions of this review also appeared on Fleshbot

A couple fucks in a day-for-night desert as Wicked’s vampire movie, The Wicked, opens. After putting on her clothes, she realizes she is alone. “Where are you?” she panics in the emptiness. “This isn’t funny anymore!”

Well, who said it was ever funny? She is soon dispatched with, a 28 Days Later-style burst of screams, blood, growls, and an out of control camera. Wicked vampires!

As the opening credits roll past the unfortunate woman, we meet a Volkswagen Bus full of adventurers. Among them is Kaylani Lei, off to the desert for a weekend concert after finding her boyfriend in bed with a hooker (Jenny Hendrix). I don’t know why she got so mad – doesn’t she know that Jenny Hendrix is Good Times personified and no threat to Real Love?

Then we meet Baby and Otis (Stormy Daniels and Derrick Pierce), shifty types who’ve suffered a breakdown in the desert. Luckily our heroes happen by to pick them up, though only the driver (Barrett Blade) seems to think it’s a good idea. Another passenger is Voodoo, a conspiracy buff cautious about weirdness in the desert. He is not taken seriously. In fact, the drive is so fraught with manufactured tension that we wonder why any of these people are friends.

Everyone is so nice to look at, though, that I guess it doesn’t matter if they like each other.

The porn talent pool is so small, and the contract star system so limiting, that chemistry is hard to find, even in a population that has interfucked so often. One thing going for The Wicked is Blade’s and Voodoo’s chemistry with Lei, Tori Black, Scarlett Fay, and the other females in the cast. And, when they’re allowed, Daniels and Pierce find room for “character” work.

Chemistry or no, the gang is edgy after a long drive, and strange things are happening in the middle of nowhere. Worse still, only Daniels’ and Pierce’s sex scene is filmed in natural light; everything else shows up in cold blue or red. This can only detract from excellent scenes between Voodoo and Fay and Blade and Lei.

In her motel bed, Kaylani dreams of being ravished by vampires in the desert (including Sophia Santi). Then she goes to a strip club with her pals and lets loose. Oddly enough, some of the characters from her dream show up as strippers! You wouldn’t expect to find such high quality strippers in such a remote location, either.

There’s other odd things going on in Desert City. Regardless, Kaylani and Barrett get over their friction and learn to love each other. Napping in the car, however, Kaylani again dreams of the vampires. Voodoo gets more agitated and, once the crew arrives at the concert, the stage is set for a bloodbath, as the vampires show up en masse for their solstice feast.

But it isn’t scary. Shouldn’t it be? Maybe the market suggests otherwise.

Since Wicked makes so many gauzily competent movies that seem to avoid actual inspiration, I wonder if sales figures indicate that being too good or too edgy or – in the case of a vampire movie – too scary might hurt business.

The Wicked‘s twist ending attests to the fact that a movie with great production values and a competent yet derivative script is Wicked’s way of suggesting mainstream movies without actually ripping them off, a la Pirates. But what’s the matter with an outright porn ripoff if it’s good? The Wicked is a good porn movie but the vehicle of its story – the horror! – falls flat. I think it’s the condom policy.

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Gram Ponante is America's Beloved Porn Journalist

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