5 July 2018 | lor_
Belated, weak followup to "Haunted Nights"
Jim Enright and several collaborators scored one of Wicked Pictures' first big hits with the porn fantasy/comedy "Haunted Nights", but this ill-conceived journey into similar territory eight years later is stillborn. Despite the big name stars and studio involved, I had to add it to IMDb 17 years after, just now.
Biggest problem is using one of porn's worst formulas, building a feature around shooting a porn feature. So we have Steven St. Croix taking his production partner Stephanie Swift to a rented mansion, the location he's got for their new movie, and of course it is haunted. The hijinks with the ghosts are not humorous but played merely for XXX content, a big mistake. And the humor that propelled "Haunted" Nights", in which St. Croix also starred for director Enright.
Most irritating for me was the who cares? attitude on the part of Enright and his usually reliable screenwriter George Kaplan to the characteristics of the ghosts. They are visible to some people only at times, in the time-honored Hollywood convention of comedies like "Topper", or to everybody or to nobody (other than their fellow ghosts), depending upon which scene we're in. As Cocteau famously pointed out so many decades ago, one has to make fantasy seem very real in its details for the audience to buy into it, and here we have a miserable failure.
Besides Steph, soon to become perhaps Wicked's finest star all-time, Nikita Denise is sexy as one of the ghosts, vying with Kylie Ireland in that department, while Kimi Lixx is an offbeat and empathetic ingenue. Hambone award goes to Anthony Crane, who I had just watched in his finest role starring in James Avalon's "White Angel" but here overplays a doddering old butler as if he were doing an amateur spoof skit of a feature film rather than acting in the film itself.