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Erik Rhodes meets Francois Sagat ringside in Prague.

Reviewed by on - 4.0 Out of 5 Stars

Wine connoisseurs have a saying, "Never drink wine from a vineyard who never bothers to taste their own products". In many ways, this applies to gay-owned film companies in the porn market. As opposed to straight porn producers, the gay ones have actual familiarity with tastes and behaviors, while many straight producer jump blingly into the gay porn business to make a quick buck. The major California movie studios such as Hot House, Raging Stallion, Rascal Video and Falcon excel for one reason - the producers can easily guage the action and thus film hot gay sex.

Falcon Studios may remain technically gay-owned, it is difficult to imagine how anyone there could stomach watching their latest major product, Ringside, much less ask someone to pay money to watch it. It has become apparent that no one in the company even bothers watching their own movies.

What the Hell happened?

Erik Rhodes stands RingsideWatch on or Watch VOD
Erik Rhodes stands Ringside
Out of twelve hundred movie reviews, only a tiny handful are panned. If we dislike a movie, we almost always skip over it. After all, this is porn. We make money when these movies make money. Tastes vary significantly from person to person. Standards are clearly not very high, and the main point titillate the viewer to the point of getting off. That's entertainment!

The difference with Ringside is that Falcon Studios, a company with decades of branding and solid reputation, works to mislead its own customers in the marketing of this movie.

The boxcover and promotional materials contain pleasing photographs of two major models who are known the world over - Erik Rhodes and Francois Sagat. Buyer beware - there is nothing salvageable here. Fans of these charismatic superstars should expect nothing here but amazed disappointment.

The root of the problem is that Falcon has made the astonishingly terrible decision to hire the arguably worst porn director in the world - Rolf Hammerschmidt. Now, this website is not the first one to throw stones at this individual, who has decades' worth of film resume for all to see. It is not uncommon to hear people colloquially refer to him as "Rolf Hammershit". Our favorite quip from someone familiar with his movies called him the Herschell Gordon Lewis of porn. (Very apt!)

Most importantly - Mr. Hammerschmidt's name is conspicuously left off of all the packaging, making it easy for anyone to simply assume that this is another John Bruno directed film. (We found several websites mistakenly refer to the director as Bruno, not Hammerschmidt)

For the past year, Falcon has been paying Hammerschmidt to produce movies for their Falcon International line, which we've politely ignored. It is also interesting to note that just two years ago, Falcon hired Tom Bradford to film a boxing themed movie for this same film line, Knock Out, to fantastic results. Even a stopped clock just happens to show the correct time twice a day. Is Falcon Studios now a glorified cuckoo clock? Why fly Erik Rhodes over to Prague along with Francois Sagat and collossally waste them in a Hammerschmidt movie? Does anyone at Falcon bother tasting any of their wine? What were they thinking?

As an early warning, and before watching the film, viewers can take in the Behind The Scenes vignette on the DVD Extras, which curiously is co-branded with Naked Sword. (Does NakedSword know about this, by the way?)

The clip starts with a statement exclaiming that after Rhodes visited Prague in 2009 for filming: "He hasn't been the same since". Really? Apparently, this "amazing trip" was more like a Kafkaesque experience. Watching the feature, we see Rhodes complaining from beginning to end. Nothing more. Did anyone in production even care to watch this part?

Four of the five episodes are filmed in the same wrestling ring of some drab gym. There is absolutely no setup.

Hammerschmidt's signature sleep inducing direction rings throughout. Much of the time the camera is grounded below with the models screwing up on the platform of the boxing ring, rather far away. It all looks very uncomfortable and completely unnatural. Just to mix things up, there is one episode filmed in a side room with some scattered boxing equipment littering the floor.

Viewers will recognize several Czech models who we have reviewed extensively on our website, such as Lucky Taylor.

Sleepy Five-Way

The final episode is a silly five-way in front of the boxing ring. Rhodes tops Taylor here, a completely new position for the Czech model on-screen. If this had been any other production, it probably would have been exciting. But here the guys simply move through several mechanical rounds of sex, finally ending this production.

Judging by his attitude in the filmed extras, Rhodes was just as glad for it to be over as the audience.

It should be noted that in 2005, Jet Set Productions sent their star American model at that time Tag Eriksson over to Prague, where they pulled off a much better show about sports and wrestling called, Training Camp.

Fans of wrestling or boxing movies can also look to other titles, such as Titan's golden Tag Team, J.C. Adams' TKO, or Roland Dane's The Boy Has Balls.

Ringside is pretty much as low as it goes. The fact that it contains the Falcon name, as well as their exclusive talent, only multiplies the embarrassment. Much press is being made about how the depressed economic market is financially hurting the porn business. Looking at this movie, we suggest that instead of blaming the economy, some of the harm experienced by some established studios are from falling on their own swords. Falcon still owns an incredible catalog, which plays significant role in the genre. It can only hope things get better from here.

  • Watch Ringside stream or download online on FriskyFilms VOD.
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Ringside Photos:

Ringside snapshotWatch on or Watch VOD
Don't get too close to the action there, Mr. Director.
Ringside snapshotWatch on or Watch VOD

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