I enjoyed Digital Playground's initial "Flesh" series, in which lovely Eva Lovia learned how to be submissive at the hands of Master Keiran Lee, on loan from Brazzers. For this followup, Lovia switches to the role of a dominant and pretty much gets lost in the shuffle as part of routine, spoon-fed propaganda promoting the "I wanna be a sub!" lifestyle.
Coincidentally, I had just watched a hyped but awful '80s porn reissue "Unveiled" produced and directed by Suze Randall and her no-name husband, so here comes their daughter Holly Randall assigned to write and direct "House of Hedonism". She did a terrible job.
Her script consists of baby-talk dialog, in which the protagonists go through BDSM lite rituals, even chanting in Latin in a vain attempt to add substance to the general nonsense, often lapsing into camp. Ernest Greene working over at Adam & Eve had done the definitive similar bondage epic a decade earlier, so this tame imitation plays like warm beer.
Principal slave wannabe is a pretty newcomer Aria Alexander, arbitrarily assigned by her Master Julian (an untalented non-sex actor named "Axel Aces") to go to the title mansion run by Cherie DeVille, playing Mistress Vivian. She's an equal- opportunity humiliation employer with much of the running time addressed to the ups and downs of the pecking order of mainly female slaves in her abode. One male slave stands out (literally), big-dicked young Jessy Jones, also on loan from Brazzers.
Most telling scene is a non-sex scene, in which Randall not only directs poorly but acts poorly. Cherie has brought her nude slaves to a local cafe where they sit by her table much like pet dogs, causing consternation among the straight-life uptight fellow customers. Randall the "actress" keeps pulling faces and making overheard objections to this behavior in public by the no longer underground BDSM set, with Cherie frequently reprimanding her. Cherie's high-camp performance is clearly the saving grace in this tedious feature, padded heavily by ten minutes or more of recaps/intros/coming attractions of individual episodes: it takes a full 8 minutes before the show actually begins.
At the cafe, the waitress turns out to be the oft-mentioned former slave Debra, who Cherie had kicked out of the mansion. Well-played by Audrey Noir, she pleads to be let back into sexual servitude, but Cherie is having none of that. I enjoyed this brief plot development because it manages to cut through the non-stop b.s. and contradictions built into these bondage propaganda pieces. Yes, in this fictionalized world misbehaving results in punishment YET the misbehaving sub wants to be punished, and so it goes in an endless circle of bull (most notably the constantly emphasized theme that submitting to another's will is the only way to be truly "free"). Here at the cafe at least, we saw real punishment in the form of banishment.
The women are beautiful, the sex scenes tediously mechanical, and the men as masters 1 (or zero) dimensional cads. Even Scotsman Ryan Ryder, visiting Chatsworth for a change of career, is wooden as one of the masters, but worst performance is by Lucas Frost as Master Xander, a pompous young guy proud of his inherited billions, whose humping Aria was a miserable scene to watch.
The whole thing is asinine and poorly written, ending in Aria initiated into the unholy and dull order. Randall, a veteran of directing gonzo crap, has no feel for characterizations whatsoever, as in her writing out an attractive fellow aspirant Naomi (Alice Lighthouse) who is not initiated, merely dismissed as "not making the cut".
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