Retro Seduction follow up the decadent delights of their 'Inga' release with perhaps their most impressive release to date...'Roxanna', which contains not one but two very differing versions of the film itself, the original 1970 version by cult porn director Nick Phillips and an all new 'reimagining' by Ted W Crestview.

Let's first look at Nick Phillips impressive original production. The scenario here is virtually plotless as we are shown various scenes of sexual depravation involving a young woman called Roxanna (played by the natural beauty that is Uschi Digart) who is caught up in a myriad of intense sexually charged encounters but rather than a simple porn scenario there's for more than meets the eye here. You see poor Roxanna isn't that mentally stable and is using her lusty abandon as an escape from the cold reality of the real world. The problem here is that rather bringing her some sort of mental stability this form of escape just plummets her psyche deeper into a more worrying despair with her deepening addiction to everything sexual and all the drug abuse that follows with it. Phillip's 'Roxanna' is perhaps one of the most startling and unsettling art-porn movies that I've seen in some time and cleverly plays with the viewers reactions throughout. One moment you are consumed by the highly erotic porno scenarios and just when you feel a stirring in your groin Phillips slams you in the face with some very harrowing imagery of Roxanna's naked juddering body twitching on the floor as she curls up in despair. His direction during these scenes is stunning and sucks you right into Roxanna's harrowing despair. The fact also that there is no dialogue provided by the cast throughout adds to the atmosphere - the audio to the film contains only an excellent atmospheric psychedelic soundtrack with some minimal narration from a disembodied voice who pops up occasionally to comment on Roxanna's psyche. Phillip's 'Roxanna' is a stunning film that will play with your head as well as your libido and will stay in your mind long after viewing. Classic.

Now how about Ted Crestview's new 'reimagining' of the film for 2002? Well I'm sure many of you will sweat at the mere mention of the word 'reimagining' following the mainly critical drubbing that Tim Burton got for his 'reimagining' on 'Planet of the Apes' but thankfully Crestview doesn't fair as badly as Burton did here. While this new version (of sorts) does retain some of the key elements of the original it does take a whole variant slant on the concept. Here the non-plot of the original is dropped in favour of a story that involves Misty Mundae (no surprise with the casting here eh?) as Roxanna, a drug addict that is co-erced by her junkie boyfriend into experimenting sexually with other women for his entertainment. The first occasion we get to see this is in a very stimulating lesbian scene involving Misty and the gorgeous Katie Jordan (get those hankies out kids!) The problem for her domineering boyfriend here is that Roxanna quickly gets a taste for her newly expanded sexuality and wants more and not necessarily with her bloke involved. Among the other encounters she has is a groin glowing moment with the lovely Barbara Joyce (sans black stockings) that will raise the temperature for most folk! Like her 70's predecessor though, things are inevitably going to go well for Roxanna - or will they, as this new version takes a differing twist in the finale from it's 70's counterpart. Crestview's new 'reimagining' is a solid enough and enjoyable short film but is perhaps onto a struggling battle up against the stunning 1970 original. That said it has a fair bit to offer with some great moments of 'tip of the hat' direction (which Misty carries off very well) and some red hot erotic moments (with the Misty/Katie scene being without doubt the best).

Both versions look and sound great, of course you would expect a new 2002 production to be spotless and it is, the old 1970 original looks very impressive more so when you consider the age and obscurity of a pre-video theatrical treat like this. The new 2002 variation also contains a great audio commentary with director Crestview, Darian Caine and Misty Mundae which is a lot of fun as they all are so obviously relaxed just 'shooting the breeze'.

Also included on the disc is a great (but all too short) interview segment with porn auteur '42nd Street Pete' which is extremely fascinating and informative as he discusses 'Roxanna', it's director Nick Phillips and many of the cast involved. The only downside here was that I wished that there had been more to it as I could easily have listened to Pete discuss the production and the genre some more (perhaps on a future release eh?) There's also a nice wee teaser trailer for both versions of the film as well as the usual array of Seduction Cinema trailers.

Finally, but by no means least is the addition of yet another short film in the form of Mark Baranowski's 'Despair'. This depressing little drama is what it says on the label with its depiction of the spiralling despair of a young couple in love as they head towards a doomed finale. Baranowski's 'Despair' is an unsettling viewing experience that is best not watched by anyone suicidal or mentally unstable and is very much in theme with Phillips original 'Roxanna'. A very nice low budget short that shows great promise for Baranowski's future work.

So as an all round package Retro Seduction have surpassed them selves once again. Phillip's 'Roxanna' is a stunning film and Crestview's 'reimagining' is a welcome variation that will be of great interest to Misty Mundae's ever-growing fan base. The presentation and packaging of this release is Retro Seduction's best to date which bodes very well for the future of obscure genre films. Spark up a joint and prepare to be erotically psyched out! Recommended - buy it now!

Review by Alan Simpson

'Roxanna' can be ordered direct from Alternative Cinema by clicking here.

Directed by Nick Phillips/Ted W Crestview
Released by Retro Seduction Cinema
Extras :
Audio commentary, Interview, Trailers, Bonus short film 'Despair' & more!