Anna (Lily Carter) and Jacky (Lily LaBeau) have been friends since high school, when they were lovers, but they have drifted apart since Jacky moved to Los Angeles. Now, five years later, Anna has gone to visit Jacky for a day because, we will eventually learn, the grandmother who raised her after her parents died is herself dying, and she has no-one else. Sadly, she finds that the woman she knew has been corrupted by LA, has given up on her dreams, and has seemingly lost the capacity for love. We won't describe the plot beyond that, as that would spoil the story.
It is an incredible movie, beautifully and sensitively shot. The music is amazing, too, varying from ambient to folksy. One featured song is "Pictures of Nothing", by Jeff Woodell, who sounds a lot like Elliott Smith. Our only criticism is that the men can be a bit absent, and there are very pornish elements to some of the sex scenes.
But the men are merely accessories here. The movie is about the relationship between Jacky and Anna, why it fell apart, and why it is not going to be put back together. Anna is clearly a mess, but it is Jacky who in some ways is the more tragic figure. At least Anna knows she is a mess. Jacky, by contrast, has no idea how broken she is. It is true, to be sure, that she is cruel, manipulative, and even abusive towards Anna, as Chauntelle Tibbals emphasizes in her review. But we learn during the heart to heart they have on the roof, when Anna asks Jacky about her parents, that Jacky's lost them almost as surely as Anna has lost hers. And Jacky is lost in LA, too, having abandoned whatever dreams she brought with her.
The sex Jacky has with random men is meaningless and completely lacking in any emotional connection. It's clear, in fact, that Jacky is addicted to it. You could trade out all the sex-with-random-people scenes for coke in the bathroom and heroin at the club, and not much else would have to change.
Some have described the final scene, in which Anna joins Jacky in being ravished by several men at a sex club, as being some kind of "letting go" or "liberation" for Anna. That, though, is nothing but a sad indication of how superficially most reviewers read porn. Anna joins Jacky in large part because Jacky has been trying to "help" her all along by offering her the same drugs she uses, indeed, insisting she take them. Ultimately, though, Anna clearly decides that she wants no part of that.
Wasteland won several major awards: Movie of the Year at the 2013 AVN Awards, Best Release at the 2013 XRCO Awards, and Best Feature at the 2013 XBiz Awards; Lily Carter won Best Actress at all three, and Lily LaBeau tied with her at the XBiz awards (she was also nominated at the other two). And rightly so.
The sex scenes in the movie itself tend to be fairly short. Extended versions of the scenes are available on the DVD and also from the Elegant Angel website.
Scene 1: Lily LaBeau and Manuel Ferrara
Anna (Lily Carter) and Jacky (Lily LaBeau) have gone out clubbing, and Jacky decides to have sex with some random guy (Manuel Ferrara) in the bathroom, which Anna watches over the wall of the bathroom stall. Anna seems to struggle not to masturbate as she listens to her friend and lover fuck. Anna eventually masturbates her partner into her mouth.
This hardly feels like a sex scene from a porno.
That is not a bad thing.
Scene 2: Lily LaBeau, Lily Carter, and Karlo Karrera
Jacky picks up another guy who's just driving by, and she and Anna get into the car with him. She has sex with him by the side of the road, more or less, then entices Anna to join them. Anna blows and jerks him on her knees while Jacky holds her from behind and rubs her pussy. He cums in her mouth.
Scene 3: Lily Carter and Lily LaBeau
Anna was not at all into what just happened.
When she and Jacky get back to Jacky's apartment, they make out in the hallway, then have sex on the couch. Jacky eats Anna to an orgasm and fingers her to another one.
Scene 4: Lily Carter and Lily LaBeau
Jacky and Anna play "Go Fish", drink, generally fool around in Jacky's apartment, then have a heart-to-heart, during which Anna confesses how much Jacky's leaving hurt her, and Jacky confesses, despite herself, how alienated she is from her life. Then they have sex again, at Jacky's insistence—as if that is the thing that makes everything else better.
The sex here is extremely convincing, and loving. Anna masturbates Jacky to orgasm as she lies over her, and they kiss gently afterwards.
Scene 5: Lily LaBeau and Xander Corvus
This scene is a memory of when Jacky and Anna were younger, at a summer camp, and Jacky has sex with a boy there—a boy that Anna clearly liked—largely because Anna wasn't interested in fooling around with him. And Jacky was. And Anna ends up finding them together, fucking.
It's a tragic scene, but one that amply illustrates where Jacky's values are, or aren't.
Scene 6: Lily Carter and Lily LaBeau
Anna and Jacky have sex again, after an intensely emotional conversation. Jacky eats Anna to an orgasm that has her quivering.
Scene 7: Lily Carter, Liza Del Sierra, Sarah Shevon, Tiffany Doll, Brian Street Team, and Eric John
The girls go to a sex club where Jacky works, both wearing latex dresses. Jacky enters first, telling Anna to come find her in a few minutes. She makes her way through the club, seeing various combinations of people having sex, and getting masturbated herself as she watches a woman blow a guy onto her face, then another one do the same. Her guide then sets her on a low bench and fingers her to an intense orgasm, then slaps and chokes her as she masturbates to another.
Anna eventually finds Jacky, who is in the midst of a gangbang, with a whole bunch of men watching, in masks, which she joins. It's a dream-like sequence, part of which we had seen at the beginning, so it is hard to know what to make of it. It's actually quite disturbing, enough so that it isn't terribly sexy, but it makes perfect sense in the context of the movie.
The sex here is extremely rough and nasty, with anal, double penetration, choking, forced deepthroating, and facials from multiple men.
We know now where Jacky takes her pain.