18 May 2015 | lor_
Interesting but flawed "BDSM goes mainstream"
Nick Orleans liked the James Spader/Maggie Gyllenhaal indie hit SECRETARY enough to concoct this misogynist porn feature spinning off from its basic premise. Lip-smacking belittling of women and ridiculing of the menial tasks sec'ys sometimes are ordered to do turned me off, but obviously won over substantial numbers of fans among XXX enthusiasts.
For the sequel, backer Adam & Eve brought in a whole new team headed by husband/wife team of Ernest Greene and Nina Hartley who went for a more amusing, light-hearted approach which proved to be fun, while Nick was brought back for Part 3 and oddly jettisoned virtually the entire premise, arbitrarily substituting pantyhose/tights fetishism.
Haley Paige stars as a secretary who's been caught masturbating seven (!) times on the job and is in need of remedial training. Tommy Gunn is cast as head of the mysterious institute that develops perfect secretaries in an unsubtle script which substitutes dog-obedience style training, though for these women that includes unlimited sexual abuse (which not even dogs are subjected to). One of the trainees is in fact on a leash, given water in a bowl and literally treated like man's best friend (in a bad way).
With ham-bone acting by especially Tony Tedeschi as well as Vincent Varga as the evil dominators in this world, it's pretty hard to take, though the viewer is supposed to enjoy watching actresses humiliated and given the old bondage treatment. Whether one merely assumes the viewer/voyeur is naturally a sadist by definition (cinema according to Alfred Hitchcock), or in this case by predilection (i.e., choosing to watch this sort of entertainment), I found the entire exercise way over the top, especially when compared with Greene's more nuanced and humorous approach in Part 2.
But like Part 2, this is BDSM lite, as evidenced in a key scene where Haley chooses a cactus when being trained to break the Cock/Block Wall as Tedeschi likes to put it: we see her vagina approaching the cute little potted cactus but unlike a '70s or '80s extreme porn film this scene is all tease and strictly soft-core (thank goodness). Similarly, the "urination" signed away in the institute's consent forms is also missing from the action.
Elsewhere she does receive the requisite punishments, as well as her model to emulate at the institute, Carmen LuVana, treated to a touted (back then) first anal-scene involving Vega's cock plus a vibrator. Scene stealer turns out to be bosomy blonde Michelle B, whose crime is bad typing for which she pays dearly at the hands and other appendages of our male tormentors.
The set-design, notably a black and white tiled bathroom set where the girls are trained, is impressive and Orleans' orchestration of sexual set-pieces delivers the XXX goods. As with all these films, a special bondage master (in this case red-streak hair Sir Nick) is present to monitor all the rope tricks for safety's sake.
I suspect that the ongoing success of the 50 SHADES phenomenon will find other videos made on the PERFECT SECRETARY model, but a correction of the pervasive misogyny is in order. After all, the one true masterpiece on the subject, Barbet Schroeder's MAITRESSE starring Bulle Ogier as the ice-cold dominatrix, featured (volunteer) male masochists rather than women on the receiving end.