When I selected this title to review, I was actually confusing it with another movie - "The Opening Of Misty Beethoven" from 1976. It wasn't until I actually got the disc in my hands, and saw the cover, that I realised this error on my part. Nonetheless, I sat down on Christmas Eve of all times, and decided to get one of my reviews done, whilst I had the time to do so.

From the moment the movie starts, you realise that this isn't your average adult film. In fact, I'd even go as far as saying that this is not a pornographic movie, but a piece of erotica. For me, the distinction between the two is simple: a porn film, is one made purely for sexual pleasure of the viewer, and normally contains nothing but scenes of people having sex in every way possible. Whereas a piece of erotica, can be any material that concentrates less on the sex act itself, and more on the passionate, tender side of sex.

"The Seduction Of Misty Mundae" is definitely erotica. Surprisingly, it's likely to be rejected by the vast majority of its intended audience - men - for being too dull, too artsy, and having almost no pornographic content in it. For me, this wasn't a problem, as I'm not a fan of pornographic movies, per se. However, some adult movies I do enjoy - generally the more unusual and esoteric kind like "The Good Old Naughty Days", et al.

I digress. For an adult film, the movie has been shot surprisingly well on what looks like 35mm, rather than video. However, I suspect that it was probably recorded on Digital Beta instead, for budgetary purposes. This makes a big difference in the look of the movie, and adds a sense of style and panache to it. Secondly, there is actually a plot to the film, with a proper beginning, middle and end to it. How often do you get those in adult movies?

The story is about a young girl's discovery of her own sexuality, and her initial attempts at working out who she is, whilst visiting an aunt of hers. As I mentioned earlier, this film is not likely to enthral most men, and certainly not appeal to your average adult film fan. The fact is, the movie has almost no sex action in it. It's a movie that deals with everything that porn doesn't. If anything, it's a movie that women would probably enjoy more than men, or even couples.

As adult films go, it's actually relatively interesting and enjoyable. It's a tender story, that doesn't really deserve to be pigeon-holed with all the other porn films. Misty Mundae plays the title character, and Julian Wells (a woman) plays the aunt.

At just shy of 83 minutes, the movie is just the right length to retain the audience's interest. Instead of endless scenes of thrusting, groaning, silicone-infested blondes, we get the two main actors who can actually act. There's a certain air of naivety in Misty's character, that the actress portrays well, and Well's plays Misty's aunt in a natural method too. And, even though the actress and title of the film have the same name, the movie is not based on the actress at all - at least as far as the director claims.

The only real problem I have, is with the film itself. It's a problem that's easy to explain, but difficult to quantify. The character of Misty is supposedly an 18-year old girl. (I'm guessing that this is written on the back-cover of the disc, to be legal in the relevant US territories regarding adult actresses.) Despite this, the character in the film seems to look, and be portrayed, far closer to a stereotypical 13-14 year old. And it's this issue, I have the problem with, because the film appears to depict the sexual awakening of a very young teenager, which could potentially be very, very close to child porn.

Misty dates the neighbour's boy, who cuts lawns to earn extra cash, and whom looks less than 16 years old. Her voice is also very child-like, rather than womanly, as if she is still young enough to attend school. And her character comes across very childishly at certain points, particularly in early scenes. Not to mention the DVD disc artwork that makes Misty seem to be barely in puberty! Whilst some readers may scoff at my concern, there has been occasions when actresses in adult films have been prosecuted either for the character being depicted as a "minor", or because the actress herself was under the legal age, to have taken part in such material. (Traci Lords springs immediately to mind.) And, whilst the content of the film, would probably be passed by the BBFC at an uncut 18, rather than the regular R18 certificate for adult material, the character of Misty would probably give the film an immediate ban under UK obscenity laws. The actress is probably well over the legal age, but the character is portrayed in such a manner as to be extremely controversial, that it would be seen as a potentially attractive title for paedophiles. Due to this, there would be no way that the BBFC could possibly pass this movie at any certification level, without serious legal issues coming to the fore. This issue left me with a very nasty and unsettling feeling.

Putting that solitary (if rather large) issue aside, and the film, the disc is not too bad. The print is quite grainy, which for a film made in 2004, is unacceptable in this day-and-age. Whether this was intentional styling for the film, or sloppy transferring on the part of the DVD company, I don't know. But it's still sloppy work. The Anamorphic Widescreen adds little to the way the picture's been framed, with the odd exception of the occasional location shot. The sound is bog standard stereo, and recorded relatively quietly, which means you will probably need to turn up the volume on your TV to above your usual listening level. The sound is clear, with no signs of hiss, or other distortions, and is perfectly adequate for the film. A Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS soundtrack would be completely frivolous, so I shan't mark the disc down for not having such audio options available.

The extras are reasonable, with an audio commentary, a behind-the-scenes featurette, some cast and crew interviews and a few trailers all included. None are exceptional, but nor are they as weak as some adult films get given. It is the enclosed second disc, however, that is the best extra - the very short, but complete - audio soundtrack to this movie, by a US band called "The Pink Delicates". Surprisingly, the music fits the movie, and is worth a listen to on its own. It's no award-winner, but the music is genteel enough to wonderfully compliment the film. However, at a measly 15 minutes, it's a bit suspect to really bother claiming this to be a movie soundtrack. It's more of a CD single. Nonetheless, it's good music, so a thumbs-up from me.

All-in-all, if you fancy a movie that's erotic rather than pornographic, and which is likely to appeal more to sensitive men and gay women, then I would recommend this DVD. For the majority of male adult movie fans, though, this is probably best left behind. I would expect most of the intended audience of men, to be quite annoyed by the lack of explicit sex, the lack of women copulating with men, and the overall sensual tone of the film.

Lastly, it's also one of a very few adult DVD's that you could easily leave out in the open, and not have your Nan or parents worry too much if they saw the cover, as it's all very low-key, arty photography.

Review by "Pooch".

Released by Seduction Cinema
Region 1 NTSC
Not Rated
Extras : see main review