Review – Digital Sin’s “Tabu Tales” series

Recently, Digital Sin released two titles in their new “Tabu Tales” series. Each title features four unique vignette stories told through the eyes of one of its central characters.

According to the studio, the vignettes explore a variety of “illicit” – or taboo – relationships, things like a woman’s journey into her own sexual awakening… with her stepson, various iterations of hidden desire between stepfathers and stepdaughters, explorations between stepbrothers and stepsisters, and tension leading to an explosive attraction between a stepmother and stepson.

You know… that sort of thing.

(question: why the spelling “tabu” vs “taboo”? I must know!!)

“What drew me to this series was the psychological heat that is created within scenarios where one or both people are off-limits. Sex that’s wrong sometimes feels very right,” said director Jacky St. James. “Dialogue-driven vignettes add a level of sexual tension between the characters before they get to unleash that desire on one another. It’s incredibly sexy to watch that unfold on camera.” (here)

I’m very interested in this notion of exploring sexual taboos via “steps” – stepmother, stepbrother, etc. I wonder how often such transgressions happen in real life? You know they must…

Let’s check out the first two titles from the series: Family Business and The Family That Lays Together, bother released recently in 2013.


Family Business (2013)

Sexual intensity reaches its boiling point within four illicit relationships. After a sexually repressed stepmother begins a career selling novelty products, her insatiable, inner sex goddess seeks refuge in the arms of her doting stepson. The hidden desire between a stepfather and his stepdaughter becomes unleashed while rehearsing the father/daughter dance for her upcoming wedding. A young woman’s discovery of her stepbrother’s kinky fetish becomes the ultimate foreplay for their forbidden attraction. A step mother’s secret obsession for her spoiled stepson explodes when he catches her masturbating one hot summer afternoon. Family Business. Sometimes sex is so wrong, it’s right.


At times, this movie is wildly inappropriate – Steven St. Croix is both sympathetic and creepy in his scene, as is his “stepdaughter” Penelope Stone. Their conversation is sincere, but the whole thing just seems wrong. India Summer’s cougar-ific stalking of her entitled brat of a stepson, played by Van Wylde, is slightly less creepy though – their tryst seems all about the fucking.

The step-siblings panty sniffing scene between Jessa Rhodes and Tyler Nixon is all fantasy and righteous (play) indignation – super hott. And Brenda James’ and Logan Pierce’s stepmother/stepson bonding over sex toys can only be described as convincing and charming. (oh, and great product placement for NS Novelties)

Family Business hits on a range of taboos, from the uncomfortable (in my view) to the absolutely delightful – a mark of masterful erotic filmmaking.



(pictured: buy your copy and/or watch it now here)


The Family That Lays Together (2013)

Structurally similar to Family Business, we get:

Forbidden attractions become illicit affairs for The Family that Lays Together. Resistance gives way to temptation when a man is left at home with a sexually manipulative stepdaughter who is determined to seduce him. Hidden passions ignite when a young woman with a skill for deep throating takes on her well-endowed stepbrother. After his mother falls ill, a woman’s obsession with becoming her stepfather’s wife gives way to a twisted, illicit arrangement. When a young man discovers a collection of incestuous stories on his stepmother’s computer, their volatile relationship quickly turns into a steamy affair. The Family That Lays Together — Sometimes it’s best to keep things between family.

The goofy stepbrother (Xander Corvus) being “rescued” by his chagrined stepsister (Jenna J. Ross) scene is hilarious and sexy, but then things take a turn for the “too creepy for Chauntelle” a la Bailey Blue and her stepfather Alec Knight.

The dynamic then goes from creepy to sad in another stepdaughter-stepfather scene. All sorts of emotional confusion builds around Mark Wood and his errand-girl-in-place-of-a-sick-wife, Maddy O’Reilly. It was sad… too sad.

The tone then changes one final time with the most petulant of douchey stepsons, Brad Tyler, and his bomb-tastic, subtly unapologetic stepmother, Vanilla Deville. This scene could have been golden but for its wholly unappealing “boy” lead. Ugh.

(something about the idea of a pissy pouty “boy” character really doesn’t work for me, so whereas Logan Pierce was convincing and appealing in Family Business, both Van Wylde and Brad Tyler were huge turn-offs in these films… which I suppose is all about personal tastes and is ultimately a testament to their respective acting skills… maybe?)


(pictured: buy your copy and/or watch it now here)

In sum, though I definitely preferred Family Business to The Family That Lays Together, both titles included a good range of step-taboos. The diversity within each collection balanced out moments of “that’s too much for me” with fun naughty tickles – interesting titles for an interesting series.

None of the sex in either of these films was too over-the-top or hardcore – the chemistry is what built the heat – and each scene looked amazing (compliments of Eddie Powell, director of photography on both projects).


Family Business

With performances from Brenda James, India Summer, Jessa Rhodes, Penelope Stone, Logan Pierce, Steven St. Croix, Tyler Nixon, and Van Wylde.

Written and directed by Jacky St. James for Digital Sin. Released in September, 2013.

Buy your copy and/or watch it now here. 

DVD Extras: standard fare and BTS interviews (always the best part, in my opinion). Surprisingly, no bonus scenes.


 (pictured: Steven St. Croix and Penelope Stone in Family Business)


The Family That Lays Together

With performances from Bailey Blue, Jenna J. Ross, Maddy O’Reilly, Vanilla DeVille, Brad Tyler, Alec Knight, Mark Wood, and Xander Corvus.

Written and directed by Jacky St. James for Digital Sin. Released in October, 2013.

Buy your copy and/or watch it now here. 

DVD Extras: also, standard fare and BTS interviews. Also, surprisingly, no bonus scenes.


(pictured: Mark Wood and Maddy O’Reilly in The Family That Lays Together)


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