Years ago, stag films were shot on the cheap using 8 or 16mm film. The locations were usually hotel rooms or wooded areas.The actors-anyone available. These films were sold through the mail in a plain white box to men seeking sexual titillation.
In the 1950s, filmmakers such as adult film pioneer Russ Myers shot their films on actual sound stages using real actors. The films were even scripted instead of being shot off the cuff and the films now contained production values. Instead of being mailed to audiences, the movies were now shown in Art Houses(a fancy name for Adult Theatres.).
Then in the 1990s the adult film industry changed drastically with the home video boom and the X rated theatres began to dwindle as people preferred renting adult movies as opposed to going to a theatre where one might run the risk of sitting next to a rather seedy looking patron wearing a raincoat. Budgets were cut to the bone and adult films came around full circle to where people were once again merely having sex for most of the films running time. Some X rated film veterans were so appalled by the downward change that they left the industry in disgust.
But the adult entertainment industry seems to be listening to their audience who are now demanding more from adult films than scenes depicting wall to wall carnal activity. Flush with the success of 2006's X rated PIRATES, Digital Playground has decided to cross over to the more mainstream audience with an R rated version of Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge. For those of us(and I include myself in this category) who aren't aficionado's of X-rated films, this is definitely a step in the right direction. Think of this film as a Pirates of the Caribbean for adults.
It has dashing swashbuckler Captain Edward Reynolds(Evan Stone) who is more than a little vain about himself as he dictates his memoirs about his heroic deeds to his man servant, but swings into action when called to duty. You have the evil pirate Victor Stagnetti (Tommy Gunn) who has returned from the dead to wreak vengeance on those who caused his demise in the first film.Then there are the babes like Jesse Jane, Katsuni and Gabriella Fox,among the other equally fetching females in the cast who in contrast make Pirates of the Caribbean's Keira Knightely look almost boyish by comparison.
Ambitious in scope, Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge however is not without it's flaws. Shot in Hi-Def ,the lighting at times is too bright making some scenes appear to be harshly lit. And is it asking too much that everybody in the cast have a British accent and not just some of the actors? The mix of British and native Los Angeles accents make the film lose some of it's period flavor. Plus, the action scenes are much too short (especially the fight between Renolds and the skeletons) while scenes of people talking go on for far too long. The reason for this is obvious: those scenes more than likely lead up to the X rated action in the original version.
Otherwise, Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge is fine entertainment combining swashbuckling action, humor, mythical monsters voluptuous women,sexual situations and nudity. It's not for the kids, that's for sure. And the movie crams all of this into a tightly constructed 95 minute running time.Oh, just in case you're wondering, at the end Captain Reynolds and his crew sail off to rescue a character named Sarina, (damn I wished I'd seen the first Pirate movie) setting the audience up for a third installment. Hopefully, the producers will put that one out in an R-rated version as well.