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It may start with a shower scene and eerie music, but this ain't no Hitchcock flick. In fact, despite its intriguing title, The True Confessions of Tori Wells has very little to offer in the bone-chilling department.
This is not to say most people expect an intriguing or exciting story from their pornographic selections, but with the use of phrases such as "true confessions," movie-goers will likely be looking to delve into the dark, clandestine world of this Tori person. Instead, their hopes for such naughty exploration soon fall to the wayside, as the potential behind The True Confessions of Tori Wells remains dormant due to slow paced action and weak cinematography.
The story begins with Kathy Leavey and her father Mr. Leavey (played by April and Randy West respectively) chatting in Kathy's new apartment about her impending move away from home to live with her college friend Jill (Wells). Mr. Leavey feels Jill's extensive sexual résumé will be a negative influence on his young daughter. His fears certainly aren't assuaged when Jill stretches her legs out onto the kitchen table in front of him to paint her toenails, sans panties.
Director/writer Paul Thomas does a fine job of foreshadowing here, as Mr. Leavey's dialogue is cut with scenes of Jill masturbating in the shower. As the movie progresses, he begins to fantasize about Jill, as she appears to him in haunting visions similar to those that Jack Nicholson's character experienced in The Shining.
Eventually, Mr. Leavey and Jill consummate these fantasies they go into the basement, where he threatens to spank Jill for her unruly behaviour. But then, in a rousing display of tough love, he decides she "needs to be disciplined by his real man cock" instead.
Despite the slightly muted pedophilic overtones of Mr. Leavey and Jill's encounter, which may not impress some, the story did carry plenty of potential.
Unfortunately, reputed porn auteur Thomas does not come through with this one. Throughout the movie the excitement of many scenes is marred by his painstakingly slow pace and gratuitous dialogue. Also, the script seems to allude to more things than it actually presents.
These factors leave the audience waiting for more and forces them to accept disappointment after only five mediocre sex scenes (none of which Wells removes her brazier for). What does save these scenes is the veritable enthusiasm of all the actors, particularly Larry Butler and Randy West.
The cinematography by Michael Cates is also questionable. While some may enjoy Cates' perpetual use of wide angle shots, which provides the viewer with a more holistic view of the action, many might find his distanced style too lacking in detail, and even obscure.
This 1989 couples appeal film is considered by many to be a classic. While intimations of a fantastic porn can be seen, The True Confessions of Tori Wells never quite seems to deliver what it could. In the end, Thomas' script, as well as Cates's cinematography, prove the opinion that a solid porn cannot function on allusion alone.