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  • Stuart Canterbury has made many fine porn features in his career, but this nostalgia trip into '40s film noir isn't one of them. As with most Penthouse make-work videos, it emerges half-baked.

    Van Damage play Ken August, private eye, whose cases and storyline never measure up to the hot sex that is the video's raison d'etre. These would- be femmes fatales are attractive, but they're trapped in a video universe that's strictly about the humping.

    Story is set around 1930, and premise is that August will get incriminating photographs of philandering husbands to make a case for the wife as client against straying hubby. That's about the entire plot and for me the jazz porn aspect of matching the sex with period music is the best thing about the enterprise.

    A lesbian scene in Chinatown featuring Brooke Banner and Kimberly Kane is probably the highlight, with Brooke also a fixture in a couple of OK plot twists. Casting strays from Penthouse formula of big names (or just Penthouse Pets) but Holly West and Nyomi Marcela provide attractive eye candy in the sack. Subject matter deserved a more committed and interesting treatment, evidently a victim of Penthouse's assembly-line approach that yielded hundreds of titles some 5 to 9 years ago at the video company's peak. As with Guccione's original magazine, this is a relic from a bygone era, i.e., the '70s.