Reviewing the career of Brad Armstrong, I am impressed with this earlier work, made before his budgets skyrocketed and his mantelpiece overflowed with industry award trophies (note how meaningless those accolades are: "Exile"'s only win is for "best packaging" - a typically dubious category).
Script postulates a dystopian future where most folk (the 99%) are exiled to toiling in a dingy world underground, sort of a Manichean distinction of the factory environment, shot in black & white (video has the highest percentage of b&w I've seen in a porn opus in memory) vs. above ground.
On the Earth's surface living it up are folks dressed in period garb and talking in a flowery fashion that suggests turn of the 20th Century, a real treat for fans of Victorian porn like myself. This odd, if arbitrary, juxtaposition adds to the show's "worlds apart" theme and indicates Brad's creativity.
Heroine Jill Kelly displays an ethereal beauty that her fans have long appreciated. She rebels and is named Juliette for a reason -her literal Romeo is played by Alec Metro, slaving away in Exile until they hook up and the story wends its tragic course.
Along the way Brad casts himself as the evil Director of Exile, who assigns himself as actor some mighty fine humping with the likes of Sydnee Steele and and Jill herself. His switching from color to black & white and back again is not always consistent, but that represents a minor flaw in an otherwise well-crafted yet hardly lavish production.
In non-sex roles erstwhile writer George Kaplan and the great Veronica Hart turn in good performances as Juliette's parents, while her brother played by Mickey G made for a nicely ambiguous sort-of bad guy (in context). Other stars like Raylene and Stephanie Swift contribute to the XXX content.
Achievement of "Exile" proves Brad didn't really need the elephantiasis of his overblown successes like "Underworld" and "Flashpoint X".
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