Raw (2000)
VCA Interactive

The story of a young man who enters the adult industry to become a porn star was material for one of the most inventive movies of recent memories, New Line’s "Boogie Nights." Down the same lines, VCA Pictures, one of the leading suppliers of adult entertainment on DVD, is now throwing another entry with this premise in the ring – it is called "Raw."

It is basically the story of a young man who wants to become an actor but after some unsuccessful stints in advertising and no opportunities in the motion pictures, he decides to try his luck in the porn industry – a dream many adolescents certainly share with him. He needs the money to pay for his upcoming wedding, but he never tells his fianceé about his new career. First cast as an extra on a production, a change in plan by the director, quickly makes him one of the main actors and from there, many doors – and women – open up for him. As Buddy Brando he makes a career in the industry, but eventually his personality changes as a result, and eventually he falls from grace.

This synopsis of the story of "Raw" may be more intriguing upon reading it than it actually is in terms of a narrative in the film. The focus of the film lies clearly in the sex scenes – after all, it is an adult movie – and this story is simply sprinkled in to find a decent way to connect the numerous sexual encounters. With a humorous note, the film actually succeeds at that and creates an entertaining basement for the orgiastic scenes to follow.

Once again, Kylie Ireland is the star of this VCA production, that convinces through its tasteful production design and the pleasant look of the film. Never sterile or downright sleazy, this film is very well done and erotic at all times. With Kylie in the lead, the film stars a number of sensual women and erotic situations that make "Raw" a very steamy adult experience.

VCA Interactive always convinces when it comes to the presentation quality of their releases. The film is presented in a clear full screen presentation with a balanced image that is free of blemishes. No video artifact, no distortion and hardly any color over-saturation is evident. The compression is well done giving the image a very stable and detailed look and with its faithful color reproduction, flesh tones look very natural and silky.

The audio is also well presented on the disc with good close-up miking which removes artificial ambience from the dialogues – okay their not really dialogues, but the participants still use their vocal cords. A nice mix of music has been added to the mix, giving the film a very romantic flair that vastly enhances the experience on the screen.

A number of extras can also be found on the disc, such as talent files that give you direct access to the models’ scenes in the movie. A still gallery and a short interview segment can also be found on the release. A behind-the-scenes featurette is another interesting addition to the disc. Hosted by Kylie Ireland she takes viewers to the set of the movie and shares some anecdotes about the production. The biggest surprise however comes in the form of a <$commentary,commentary track> by director Antonio Passolini and Kylie Ireland. To my surprise Passolini is actually rather technical in his comments, giving viewers a good overview over an adult production. Since VCA’s films are usually much more than just a cheap handheld camcorder with a cheap light, out for a fieldtrip in people’s own backyards, you will be surprised at the scale of these productions. While not exactly staging Hollywood productions, these adult films have a significantly higher production value than one may expect and this commentary – combined with Kylie’s anecdotes and remarks through an active participant’s eyes – is very valuable and entertaining. If only you could focus a little more on what he’s saying…

Once again, we have a great Late Night package here that certainly works best for couples. Erotic, sensual and with a romantic ambiance, "Raw" is not nearly as raw as the name may suggest!