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  • Adult Cinema history is very poorly documented (and assessed), primarily because of the Conventional Wisdom by insiders and lame critics who have bought whole-hog into the notion that only the sex matters. I believe in Entertainment as a continuum, and consider the Adult industry as part of the whole moving pictures world, if a bad sheep or shunned relative. So dismissing this key aspect of modern video diversion as all-sex is ridiculous.

    So a major figure Nicholas Steele remains an enigma. He made many classic Romantic features for Adam & Eve at the turn of the century, when dreamy, often abstract filmed erotica was briefly in fashion. "The Scandal" comes from the end phase of his A & E career, and is similar to dozens of features he made under his own aegis, most of which were only to get wide exposure some five or six years later under the "Seductions" banner at Nick's Bluebird Films, a shooting star entity in porn owned by the creepy Brit "Paul Chaplin".

    What is common to these middle-career Steele efforts, before he lapsed into big budget porn-parody crap, is their tentative, unfinished nature. "The Scandal" has a talented cast and plays okay as almost a real movie, but has no actual story arc to go with its premise, no ending and scenes lacking adequate coverage. Much of the structure is relegated to expostion literally phoned in by the cast. These failings are more apparent in Steele's action movies circa 2005, but greatly harm this promising feature as well.

    It turns out to be about paparazzi working for scandal sheets, hence the title. An interesting quirk is that both this porn feature and the recently ended hit TV series "Scandal" both feature Black talent in the central roles (latter: Kerry Washington and her evil dad played by Joe Morton).

    Steele's leads are the divine Dee and Mr. Longevity (pun intended): Sean Michaels. Sean is a football star who is subjected to a paparazzi stake-out, the shutterbug happening to take fairly innocent photos of a meet-cute scene where neighbor/jogger Dee trips outside Sean's home and he helps her back to verticality. Nothing happens, but soon the photos of Sean with "The Unidentified Woman" are splashed across the cover of a National Enquirer type tabloid paper.

    Nothing much else happens, except highly arbitrary XXX scenes, en route to the duo finally hooking up for romantic outdoor sex at fade-out. Sean's sexy girl friend Marie Luv is none too thrilled with the scandal, and his sports agent Cheyne Collins merely overacts when not humping either Marie or lovely Terry Stevens, who is trying to sign Sean to an endorsement deal. Phoning in plenty of story is hot Chanel Chavez, paired with stud Mr. Marcus, who is introduced submissively painting Chavez' toenails.

    Even in the final Dee/Sean sex scene, looped footage is used, just like in the early days of cheapo '70s porn features and '80s videos, to pad the XXX action. Overall effect is to reduce the movie to one big nothing. Sex gives equal time to black on black action and always-popular Mixed Combo pairings.