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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I greatly enjoyed "Burn", a porn fantasy I stumbled upon in backwards fashion (more about that later) but was left at the end with a mystery. Who made it?

    This reflects the tantalizing and ongoing secretive nature of porn credits, a challenge to film buffs and historians, as the principals behind the camera here use phony names. Casting of Nicole Sheridan, Voodoo, Rebecca Love, Brooke Banner and also Evan Stone plus the overall approach makes this seem to be the work of Fred Olen Ray, but there is no proof of that, and he has only been credited or identified with soft-X through G rated material, never XXX like this one. In recent years the prolific Ray switched improbably from cheap action films and Skinemax stuff to family Christmas movies for television (!).

    I watched it because it was the American debut of British porn star Poppy Morgan, whose work I have been examining as part of a study of turn of the (21st) Century Brit Porn. The film is available via British distributor Union Jaxxx and the DVD emphasizes Poppy in the bonus extras even though she is not the star of the movie (e.g., a short compilation running 12 minutes entitled accurately "Poppy Morgan's Sloppiest Blowjobs"). This sort of reverse marketing is nothing new to me: the greatest British porn actress Sarah Young controlled distribution of many films and videos in the early '90s in which she only had a minor role on screen but was in fact the raison d'etre for them getting made.

    While not a star (she has never been such in the American market) Poppy is a central character as a witch from 1658 who is transported magically to the present day to interfere with the life of star (and co-director) Evan Stone. Fictitious director, presumably F.O. Ray, is credited as "Michael Windsor".

    Stone portrays a pulp writer suffering writer's block. We first meet him as a different character, humping truly beautiful young Brooke Banner outside a castle. This might be just his imagination, but in the second scene he sits at his typewriter stumped, trying to concoct a romance novel.

    His wife played by Nicole Sheridan phones - she's working late, a model shooting a layout with photographer Voodoo (the actress's real-life husband and big-dicked porn actor). She emphasizes he's gay and not a cuckold threat, but even if Evan is fooled we in the audience know better.

    With a lightning storm raging, Poppy shows up in period dress on Evan's patio as a witch transported 350 years into the future. Evan freaks out and calls his wife, and she promises to fly home to help him in his agitated mental state, but first humps Voodoo for their fans' benefit.

    Meanwhile the witch is crazy about Evan and they have an invigorating sex scene. It's no accident that he lives in a very old mansion, an atmospheric location.

    Next morning Evan wakes up thinking his encounter with a witch was just a dream, and throws out all the liquor in the house just in case. Voodoo and Nicole arrive, and have brought with them another model, Rebecca Love, because they were unable to finish the photo shoot involving the two women and plan to finish it at the mansion. At this point library music plays on the soundtrack that I've heard in many Fred Olen Ray movies - a rather telltale sign.

    The three visitors have a terrific threesome -similar to their many scenes together (or in pairs) in Fred Olen Ray films but explicit XXX in content (including anal sex) this time. That alone should make "Burn" of interest to Ray fans as a sort of parallel world counterpart to his endless soft-core output.

    With another lightning storm, Evan becomes creative once again, typing away feverishly, while Voodoo & Love drive off in search of booze. Nicole masturbates in bed and Poppy the witch watches her. Evan's romance novel is titled "Burn" and is about the Salem Witch trials. Voodoo had mentioned a car crash earlier in a bit of small-talk foreshadowing, and sure enough his car containing Rebecca flies off a cliff and explodes -cut to Nicole's orgasm back at the mansion!

    Naked witch Poppy is in bed with Nicole when she wakes up and they have lesbian sex, including some foot fetish and four-finger action on Nicole's part. (The DVD's bonus section features a Poppy interview where the British star admits to learning a thing or two from her Yank sexual co-stars). After they finish the witch suddenly disappears (film has only modest SPFX).

    Coda to the story has Evan waking up at his typewriter: Poppy hands him a knife and orders him to do some killing. Film's tone changes markedly as Evan goes after his wife Nicole with the knife, Poppy crying out "Kill her!". I will not spoil the ending which follows, a rather sudden and unsatisfying allusion to Poe which you should be able to guess.

    Very entertaining and nothing to be ashamed of, though I can see why Ray or whoever else might have made this film would still not want the stigma of hardcore pornography attached to his name.