April 12, 1998

The Secret Garden (1988)
David Entertainment

Various · XXX
Fullframe

Format
DVD

Audio
E

Subtitles
None

Extras



Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(1988)

"Secret Garden" is a fine addition to DaVid Entertainment’s library of high quality adult movies. Structurally, it is a rather conventional X-rated movie, in that its small plot hardly matters. It is the skillful photography and tasteful production design that set it apart from the many of cheaply shot, repulsive "films" that seem to characterize most adult movies these day. These features make it an interesting entry in the rank of quality adult DVD releases.

It is a movie about how the individual members of one family live out their sexual fantasies. While the mother pleases herself in the garden, finding sheer ecstasy in a phallic statue, her husband spends his leisure time spying on the sets of porn movies - hoping to get caught by the movie’s actresses or extras. Junior is addicted to porn movies and uses his local peepshow as an outlet for his sexual fantasies until he meets a lonely girl with a broken car, hitchhiking by the roadside.

As you can probably tell, the story is simple and straightforward, only serving the need to string several XXX-scenes together. Luckily, "Secret Garden" does not try to stress the story too much and puts more emphasis on the seductive imagery. When going through the story it does so with a wink, not taking itself too seriously, making the inept acting actually fun to watch.

The main focus of "Secret Garden" lies clearly with its erotic visuals and the openly voyeuristic use of the camera. Never too obtrusive, director of photography Jane Walters displays more taste than one would expect from an adult movie, and she creates an interesting series of differently toned scenes that allow you to fully appreciate the beautiful qualities of the movie’s models. While not quite as delicate, artsy, and intriguing as the imagery from "House Of Dreams", "Secret Garden" still manages to create an outstanding atmosphere for its genre. The sets are well lit with natural colors and deep shadows, without giving the scenes the under-the-spotlight look of other, cheaper productions. The editing is skillfully done and helps in giving the movie a fluid motion.

"Secret Garden" features a good transfer to DVD, and although the movie’s original recording seems to be done on video, the quality of the source material was high enough to allow for a DVD transfer that is without considerable flaws. Starring Ashlyn Gere and Ona Zee, "Secret Garden" is a welcome and skillfully-done enrichment to the adult genre.

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