29 June 2017 | lor_
Excellent direction by Steven St. Croix in forgotten Vivid winner
Far afield from the usual Vivid Video release that usually spotlighted some one or more Vivid Contract Girls, "Mindset" is a fine thriller anticipating the later TV series "Criminal Minds" but without that series' winning cast of experts. Instead writer-director-star Steven St. Croix has to do nearly all the sleuthing on his own, successfully hunting down a serial killer (who humps his femme victims before strangling them, this being an Adult Movie).
He's married to Melissa Hill, the redhead who is a solid Vivid regular but generally in supporting roles. Fellow cop Anthony Crane calls him in on a case after we see beautiful Rebecca Lord as the first victim of the episode, well-serviced and then killed by a villain whose face is not shown (for suspense).
St. Croix enlists an expert played by Stephanie Swift to help find the killer, ending up picking his photo out of a High School yearbook, and then instantly seduced by Stephanie (she's not named Swift for nothing) for sex on her desk next to her computer screen. He wears a condom, but half of the movie's XXX scenes are performed bareback.
Another beauty, with a French name but unlike import Lord an all- American actress, is little-known Celine DeVoux, also victimized by the killer after she serves him as a bartender after hours. Felecia is Hill's BFF and the two predictably have an orgasmic lesbian scene together.
Lucas Cool's moody lighting does a great job of sustaining the mood of this neo-noir, in which St. Croix visits a criminal who messed up his mind on an earlier case, seeking assistance, to get the right "mindset" to solve the mystery. E.Z. Ryder does a fine, sinister job in underplaying this Hannibal Lecter type of character, and another St. Croix crony, director Jim Enright, pops up as a fellow cop. Yet another cop is played by an uncredited Black actor, who looked to me like Dic Tracy, a frequent Vivid crew member.
Finale in which Steven saves the damsel in distress in a cave (his wife) and dispatches the killer is not smoothly set up by the preceding scenes but doesn't detract too much from a winning feature. Sadly, in the two decades since making this video St. Croix has not directed any more features, just a few gonzo, all-sex junkers.
STYLISTIC NOTE: St. Croix and Hill sleep in a large bed shaped like a land-line telephone, quite striking as viewed in a top-shot.