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:: Demon Lover

From the beginning Demon Lover appears to be an unlikely take on the subject it portrays - illegal animated porn. Shot in luminescent light, the first third contains genuine character interaction and appears to be more than just a superficial take on skin flicks.

Diane (Connie Neilson) is part of the legal team assigned to stitch up a major 3-D animation pornography deal. A business trip to Tokyo to visit industry leader, Mangatronics, culminates in a visit from the newest contender making a crack at controlling the 3-D porn market. As the newcomer vies for ascendancy, who’s working for whom, and to what end, becomes increasingly unclear. Mere power playing switches to high-level espionage when a fatefully wrong move exposes Diane to the full force of illegal porn payback. But as the dynamics morph and Diane ceases to be in control of the world she’s immersed in we realise her grip loosened a long time before; when the porn started to appeal.

Demon Lover is slick and cool with covetable clothes and super-smooth performances. A genuine effort has been made to establish believable characters rather than the usual hyper-real, larger-than-life caricatures that go hand-in-hand with most recent depictions of the porn industry. To its credit, most featured violence between the flesh and blood characters is realistically depicted (particularly a girl-on-girl fight) without attributing super assassin abilities to characters who simply wouldn’t possess them.

However, towards the end of the film, when Diane strays away from animation and accesses one of the most sinister parts of cyberspace, some questionable concepts - namely real-time, interactive torture using an all female cast - surface without adequate dissection.

Sonic Youth’s sound track achieves exactly what a good sound track is designed to do - express the inner lives of characters - but with the added benefit of introducing contemporary musical groove into the mix.

This is an interesting depiction of the mechanics of illegal website activities, particularly the kind of creative hubs that might produce similar material and the kind of legal scrutiny required to safeguard the major players. However, be aware that if you have strong opinions about the morality of sex, violence, and illegal pornography Demon Lover won’t add grist to the debate. This is character-driven fiction that borders on the glorification of porn rather than seeking to posit a balanced, informative argument.

DVD Extras

Making of Demon Lover
Interviews with Cast and Crew
Making of the Sound Track with Sonic Youth
Stills Gallery
Theatrical Trailer