SHADES OF HADES
OVERALL RATING: 8
DIRECTOR: Thomas Zupko
THEMES: Outdoor Sex, Incest
STARS: Veronica Caine, Mickey G, Allison Embers, Milena, Kristy Love, Brian Surewood, Jack Hammer, Mr. Pete and Chuy
Any time I sit down to watch a Tom Zupko movie I cringe at the thought of what I might be putting myself through. From the dismal “Anal Ball” to the though provoking and occasionally brilliant “Days of Whore” Zupko has made a habit of shocking his audience into submission. He pummels us with vivid, religious angst ridden imagery, walks the thin tightrope between violent sexual fantasy and pure sexual violence then for good measure challenges us to take more away from his movies than just a chaffed cock and sticky jizz rag. His latest attempt to arouse, enflame and possible enrage us is “Shades of Hades” starring Mickey G as a man doing battles with his inner demons.
When he was a boy, Mickey fell out of a tree and shattered his leg. This leads to a life of being teased and rejected by the girl he adores. In a nicely edited montage of confusing images, Mickey drives himself into the desert where he comes face to face with a tree woman played by Shay Sights. Maybe I know too much about Zupko movies, but the cleverly crafted dialog and gentle piano music in the background is creeping me out. I keep expecting Mickey to take a hatchet to the chick, but instead he plants a big kiss on her waiting lips. Though it’s not specified, I would say this chick must be a grapefruit tree based on the size of her cans. She bends and starts sucking his cock with lips that have to be softer than the average knothole. This scene is strange, sort of like a Jim Powers Perverted Stories scene only more serious and shot better. Very nice make up here as well, especially the tree trunk that has her stuck in the ground as Mickey fucks her from behind. This isn’t the usual balls to the wall fucking we see in most Extreme movies, but I don’t think you can really classify this scene as couples fucking either. It’s somewhere in between, with Mickey fucking her ass and shooting his load right in her open mouth.
Later in life, Mickey did marry, but apparently his taste in women is not as good as his taste in shrubbery. (And those of you who are pulling your hair out trying to figure out why the whistling piano ballad sounds familiar, it’s Billy Joel’s “The Stranger.”) His marriage ends in divorce, leaving us with another scene in the baron regions of his tattered soul. This time, his bride, Kristi Love, made up in full white body make up, causing her to appear as dead in body as in spirit, is fucked over her ironing board by Brian Surewood. Perhaps I’m reading too much into this, but perhaps marriage left her feeling dead and all it took was a good poke from the ratty stranger to revive her. Like the last scene, the sex here is solid, not violent, with well shot anal and a big shot of goo on her tongue.
Up until now, things have been fairly tame for a Zupko pic, but as the dialog volleys back and forth between Mickey’s therapist and his doting grandmother, things get a little, well disturbing to the say the least. A blonde woman is strapped into the stirrups and given an abortion right before our very eyes. Fake or not, this is pretty harsh. I still think porn should make me want to jack off not puke. Top that off with some nice incestuous issues on the table and I’d say we’re back into TZ territory.
How do I describe the next scene. Let’s see, we’ve got a woman nailed to the cross, her umbilical cord still attached to three naked girls who are being pawed by three guys. The women, still covered in blood take turns chewing through the cord and sucking cock. Aside from the obviously freaky set up, this should probably be the hottest scene of the movie as Shay Sights, Milena and Allison Embers take on Mickey and three other dudes. There is some good action here, but the whole thing is shot with a sepia tone look that I have never found very sexually appealing. Still, there is some very intense anal action going on here and all three women to get doused in dick dressing at the close of the crucifixion/aborted fetus orgy.
It’s finally time for Mickey to confront the ultimate disturbing demon, his dear old granny. His long drive through the desert finally ends at granny’s grave. Mickey drops to his knees to cry and is visited by Veronica Caine. She’s his grandma, but for this scene, she is without her hag makeup and is quite pretty. (And I though the granny was played by Houston, without makeup.) Since I am fundamentally opposed to shooting any sex that isn’t in brilliant living color, I was very pleased to see things switch early and watch Veronica suck sick in full color. If this scene looks familiar, it’s because it’s shot the same way the first two were. A little more slow motion than I like, but with the same gentle intensity that is far from the usual cable friendly shit, but not exactly the sphincter splitting abuse we’re used to. After hearing this woman carry most of the dialog (and sound a lot like “Daria” by the way), it’s nice to see Veronica finally get down and dirty in the sand. She could have a few less tats on her body, but this girl knows how to take a cock up her ass. With a final load fired on her face, Mickey has come full circle. To where, only Zupko knows for sure.
It’s never boring with Zupko, that’s for sure. “Shades of Hades” is a very impressive movie to say the least. Sexually, it’s his most mainstream piece to date. (The crucifixion and incest stuff can’t hold a candle to depravity of nun raping and severed body parts.) As such, it’s the first time the sex isn’t the most disturbing aspect of a Zupko feature. Beyond the sex, Hades really shines. The dialog, carried mostly by Veronica Caine (Playing the therapist/grandmother/narrator role) is tight, deep and at times, enlightening. (Though I haven’t been this sick of the word “Mickey” since Tony Basil be bopped her way into our hearts.) Visually, this movie is stunning. Well edited, perfectly shot and with plenty of freaky imagery, it’s almost as if Michael Ninn were possessed by Michael Raven and he made a Rob Black movie while wearing a Greg Dark mask, with a tip of the cap to the devilish side of Zupko himself. Sexually, I would have liked to see some scenes like we got in “The Abyss”, but clearly this movie is Zupko taking things to a new level. As a pure stroke flick, it’s far from perfect, but this is hardly a pure stroke flick. Sodomzied tree people, cum sucking zombie housewives, a crucified woman aborting three slutty fetuses and a graveyard romp with a doting granny, that’s enough freaky shit for even Zupko. What can I say, “Days of Hades” is well crafted, twisted, nicely shot, disturbing and occasionally brilliant. Now, someone pass me an Extreme Teen movie, I need to spank it to a movie without an abortion or crucifixion.
Shades Of Hades
SHADES OF HADES