Nicholas Steele is an enigmatic pornographer whose work is simultaneously intriguing but often disappointing. His best work was producing Nick Orleans-directed classics for Adam & Eve.
SCANDALOUS, like another film he made in 2006 titled ELEGANCE, is visually superior to most mainstream movies and the lion's share of indie films, even though these are XXX features. They even are better looking than many 35mm films, even though shot with video hi-def technology which often ruins the color and "warmth" of the visuals.
But Steele's dramaturgy is fairly amateurish. He's not shooting gonzo Andrew Blake type fetish material but attempting to tell a story, and it doesn't play. In SCANDALOUS, its title promising way more dramatics than appear, deals with infidelity and a scheming woman, but is way too simplistic. Nick East plays the weasel who helps the bad girl get our hero's wife suspicious of him, but the baddies are caught in a less than thrilling twist at the end.
Along the way there's some hot sex, the principal reason for this exercise, with the guest femmes outshining the leading players, as in a very sexy Katie Morgan getting one big spotlight hump, as does the eternal redhead Annie Body in a cleverly staged outdoor sex scene. That footage exemplifies Steele's ability to deliver striking visuals, but to what end?
Except for his eventual slide into parody (with big bucks and critical acclaim for that slop), I'm going to give Nick a few more tries before giving up on him, given the extremely high technical level of his HD-shot movies.
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