(Movie Review by Donnie Saxton) About halfway through “Womb Raider,” an unambitious, uber erotic spoof of 2001’s “Tomb Raider,” the star character (Cara Loft) summons a great deal of conviction and curtly says to her assistant, “Dillon, find the mud pit.” Anyone sitting through the first 45 minutes will know immediately that a naked lesbian rompfest is in the cards. That fact alone marks the basic nature of this amateurish little film — behind every new scene or set piece is the making of the next naked lesbian rompfest.
The narrative arc of “Womb Raider” is not difficult to penetrate even if you, like me, missed both of the “Tomb Raider” films starring Angelina Jolie. Cara Loft (the lusty alter ego of Jolie’s Lara Croft) is a treasure-hunting archeologist babe whose father died trying to find three idols, or “wombs,” which grant the power of creation to the holder. At the outset, Loft is summoned to the den of a wealthy financier (Dr. Scrotus — seriously) by a late night messenger with an itch that needs scratching. One sex frolic later and Loft has marching orders from Scrotus to pick up where her father left off — find the “wombs” and return them for a fat payday.
Written and directed by Randolph Scott, the plot of “Womb Raider” exists only as a thin support mechanism to display Scott’s real interests, which are apparently limited to lesbian chicks with guns, lesbian chicks having sex, and naked lesbian chicks with guns having sex with each other. Loft is played by Lauren Hays, whose other credits include “Meatballs 4,” “Babewatch Girls on Girls,” and the word play event of the decade, “Sexcetera.” The only other major character is Natasha (Antoinette Abbot), a Russian spy sent by Scrotus to shadow Loft while she travels the globe in search of the wombs. Together, the two women share most of the skin burden for the latter half of the movie, eventually setting their eyes on each other.
The acting in “Womb Raider” consists of an insipid bowl of self-conscious line mumbling certain to insult daytime soap stars everywhere. Natasha’s Russian accent is only slightly less preposterous than the plot, and the locations featured — Arabia, Tibet and Africa — look suspiciously like Southern California and Arizona (and in fact this is later confirmed by the DVD extras).
Of course none of this is supposed to matter, a sentiment I agree with entirely, because we are squarely in the genera of soft-core porn. If done right, such films are meant to be sexy in a jovial way — much sex interlaced with artificially sincere lines delivered with an imperceptible smirk. The problem is that the makers of “Womb Raider” don’t have the good sense to know this. The film takes itself far too seriously and misses the chance to be genuinely entertaining as well as enjoyably raunchy. Aside from a few sharp double entendres (Natasha: “I’m glad she could coax you into coming.” Loft: “More than once, in fact.”) a fantastic comedic opportunity is missed, which, for me, has always been one of the greatest things about good porn.
In good skin flicks, the guy at the door is never just delivering pizza or there to fix the television, and everyone knows this. The great narrative-style porn films recognize their own brainlessness with a wink and a nod. “Womb Raider,” however, refuses to embrace its own cheesiness, thereby forcing us to believe that it is a genuine endeavor, the thought of which is, of course, ridiculous.
On the other hand, as a strictly carnal pleasure I suppose the film hits all notes that a soft-core sex symphony should. Abbot and Hays, who get most of the skintime … er, screentime, are both well put together, and so are the other 10 or so other dames that appear throughout the film. None of them ever miss a chance to lose their clothes and “express” themselves, and they generally look very nice doing it. That alone, however, is not enough to sustain a 90-minute yawner with family vacation style camera work and only enough narrative material to fill about 10 minutes (give or take 9). These girls may be very easy on the eyes, but this film is anything but pretty.
Randolph Scott (director) / Randolph Scott (screenplay)
CAST: Antoinette Abbott …. Natasha
Lauren Hays …. Cara Loft
Tony Lanfield …. Lord Loft