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Currently showing posts tagged Pornography

  • Hardcore (1979) Blu-ray Review

    Hardcore (1979)

    Director: Paul Schrader

    Starring: George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley, Dick Sargent & Ilah Davis

    Released by: Twilight Time

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    From Writer/Director Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, American Gigolo), Hardcore explores the seedy underbelly of pornography when religiously devout Midwesterner Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott, The Hustler) scours Los Angeles to find his missing daughter subjected to the sex-driven trade.  Peter Boyle (Young Frankenstein), Season Hubley (Elvis), Dick Sargent (Bewitched) and Ilah Davis in her only feature film co-star.

    Haunting and uncomfortably captivating, Paul Schrader’s descent into the sleazy subculture of peep shows and underage pornography stabs like a knife that equally shocks and emotionally runs it toll on audiences and its traumatized characters alike.  Leading a simple life in the chilly, religiously-minded Grand Rapids, businessman and single father Jake Van Dorn sees his young daughter Kristen (Davis) off on a church sanctioned getaway to sunny California when every parent’s worst nightmare comes true.  Alerted that the adolescent girl has gone missing, Van Dorn wastes little time heading to Los Angeles where the local authorities offer little assistance outside of recommending the hire of a private detective.  Foul-mouthed and unorthodox, the troubled father enlists the services of Andy Mast (Boyle) who makes the harrowing discovery of a ratty stag film starring the precocious teen.  Virtually impossible to track and overcome with pain and anger, Van Dorn takes matters into his own hands to locate his child, leading him through a sensory shocking exploration of the adult film underworld and its unsavory operators.  Asking questions best left unanswered before masquerading as a film producer to better infiltrate his surroundings, the straight-laced Calvinist’s connection to a working girl (Hubley) with insider access sends the mismatched pair to the illuminated porn palaces and bathhouses of San Diego and Frisco where more depraved alleyways are opened to Van Dorn.  Subjected to grizzly snuff films and entry into bondage-style dungeons, the forever changed parent reaches rock bottom when a gut-wrenching revelation is made on his surreal odyssey of turmoil.

    Capturing the bygone storefronts and coin-operated sex shows of the Sunset Strip, Hardcore is an authentically gripping and viscerally effective feature that leaves scars long after its end credits fade to black.  The Academy Award winning Scott is exceptional as a father struggling to salvage his faith in the gutters of S&M debauchery while, Boyle makes for an intriguingly sordid private eye with sex on the mind.  In addition, Season Hubley greatly impresses in her role as the street hustling key to Van Dorn’s daughter with early appearances from Tracey Walter (Repo Man) as a perfectly cast adult store clerk and Ed Begley Jr. (St. Elsewhere) as a fully dressed porn star, also on hand.  Crafting outsider personalities and bringing hypnotic allure to urban decay like no other, Schrader’s West Coast-based feature, although narratively unique, serves as a welcome companion piece to his scripted Taxi Driver masterwork that both host psychologically wounded characters suffocating within their dark environments.  Although easing the brakes on a more appropriately traumatizing conclusion, Hardcore still leaves viewers in a state of awe and disbelief by the sights and sounds most would assume only reside in nightmares and not the very real crevices of our imperfect society.

    Limited to 3,000 units, Twilight Time presents Hardcore with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Boasting natural film grain throughout with spot-on facial tones and soothing contrast, Schrader’s sophomore feature arrives free of scuffs and scratches with vastly impressive black levels seen during its many nighttime street sequences and in the backrooms of porn shops.  In addition, detail is striking with easily seen fingerprints on peep show booths plus, boastful colors admired though neon-lit lighting and Scott’s Hawaiian shirts greatly impress.  Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, the track is far from spellbinding or wildly dynamic but, prioritizes dialogue and makes Composer Jack Nitzsche's (Cruising, Stand by Me) trembling guitar chords wholly impactful.  Special features include, a new 2016 recorded Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Paul Schrader followed by an Audio Commentary with Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer & Paul Scrabo.  In addition, an Isolated Score Track, the Original Theatrical Trailer (1:21) and a 6-page booklet featuring another excellently authored essay by Julie Virgo conclude the supplemental package.

    One of Schrader’s most accomplished efforts that unquestionably influenced Joel Schumacher’s snuff film thriller 8MM two decades later, Hardcore is an unflinchingly brutal assault on parental fears and broken faith set under the hot, throbbing lights of pornography skid row.  Shocking and emotionally draining, Twilight Time ushers the controversial classic onto Blu-ray with a definitive presentation, chatty and informative commentary tracks from its creator and well-versed historians plus, engaging liner notes making the release essential to any 70s film enthusiast.

    RATING: 4/5

    Available now and limited to 3,000 units from Twilight Time, Hardcore can be purchased exclusively via TwilightTimeMovies.com and ScreenArchives.com.

  • Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978) / Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979) Blu-ray Review

    Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978) / Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979)

    Director: Gail Palmer

    Starring: Carol Connors, John Holmes, Pat Rhea, John Leslie & Turk Lyon / Carol Connors, Wendy Williams, John Leslie, Desiree Cousteau, Shadow Neva, Rhona Jo Petty & Sharon Kane

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Following her turn in 1972’s iconic Deep Throat, porn princess Carol Connors would headline arguably her most memorable role in 1978.  Presented under their popular Peekarama banner in an all-new Blu-ray edition, Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents the hilarious adventures of a shy virgin, curious about sex.  Restored in 2K, Erotic Adventures of Candy centers on shy, virginal Candy (Carol Connors), a beautiful girl curious about sex.  Destined to learn from experience, Candy sets out on a steamy adventure of exploration with hilarious results.  Next up, Candy Goes to Hollywood finds our sexy blonde protagonist arriving in Hollywood in search of fame.  After hooking up with a scamming talent agent, Johnny Dooropener (John Leslie), Candy learns the ropes of how to make it in the big city.

    Naive and airheaded, Candy is a gorgeous college student anxious to lose her virginity.  Repeatedly daydreaming about fornicating with her Hispanic gardener, Candy acts on her impulses with the reality being less romantic than she imagined.  Hilariously, Candy’s father charges into the room to disrupt and a brawl ensues.  Shortly after, with her father in the hospital, Candy sets out on a journey that leads her to chance encounters with strangers, each ending with all parties in their birthday suits.  The charm and jovial spirit of Erotic Adventures of Candy is its similar tone to the teen-sex comedies of the era, only intertwined with moments of hardcore sex.  Notable moments include Candy’s encounter with Sean (John Holmes, Johnny Wadd Is Here), a man who guilt trips her into feeling sympathy for his uncircumsized man-part.  Luckily, Sean hits the jackpot, engaging in a variety of different sex acts with the blonde buxom.  Pat Rhea (Lipps & McCain) makes a hysterical turn as Candy’s increasingly horny Aunt Em who finds herself in quite a few sexual scenarios of her own and enjoying them immeasurably.  In addition, Candy’s first visit to the gynecologist is unforgettable as her doctor does more than just an examination.  Oral pleasure and such follow with Candy happy to accommodate the good doctor.  The wacky humor helps the picture sustain its watchability beyond its well-supplied hardcore material.  Meanwhile, the film’s climax finds Candy persuaded to enter a spiritual sanctuary where several orgies are taking place in order to reach a “higher spiritual level”.  Blow jobs, salad tossing, lesbianism and even male on male oral play is highlighted.  Predictably, Candy goes with the flow and makes it with her spiritual advisor, before going down on a hooded monk whose identity is a shock.  Packed with enough climaxes and hardcore material to surely suffice, Erotic Adventures of Candy benefits immensely from its ability to not take itself too seriously and have some fun.

    Opening with a parody of the MGM logo, Candy Goes to Hollywood finds our blonde bombshell in the movie capital of the world in search of fame.  Befriending a talent agent/hypnotist/used car salesman/scam artist Johnny Dooropener (John Leslie), Candy is thrust into the sharky waters of Tinseltown.  Arriving in Hollywood, wonderful shots of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre plus, Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Carson’s walk of fame stars are captured.  A Bee Gees rip-off song plays as Candy makes her way down Hollywood Boulevard with peep show theaters conveniently playing Erotic Adventures of Candy and Gail Palmer’s Hot Summer in the City in the background.  Once again, Candy finds herself in a variety of comical yet, scandalous situations including, a car ride from a female stranger that escalates to a few drinks and a strap-on being used on Candy.  Plus, the Hollywood hopeful lands an appearance on The Dong Show where a woman launches golfballs from her vagina.  The Unknown Comic makes a brief cameo on stage while, the host of the show gets friendly with Candy behind the curtain.  Clearly a hit, Candy lands a guest spot on the Johnny Farson Show but not before the late night star introduces her to his dressing room.  More parodies ensue when Candy auditions for Samuel Goldicker’s (Turk Lyon) latest film.  Simply reading your lines and sleeping with the director gets the job done for our clueless protagonist.  Recycling actors from the previous film in different roles, Candy Goes to Hollywood leads to a familiar finale with an orgy-centered party.  More oral play, extreme close-ups of penetration and even more shots of climaxes round out this sexually charged sequence.  Johnny Dooropener’s scheme catches up to him when Candy and other girls realize they’ve all been promised the same role, resulting in Dooropener’s cherry being popped.  

    The zany humor and excellent footage of Hollywood circa 1979 make Candy Goes to Hollywood the superior effort.  In addition, skin fans should be pleased to note that the ante is definitely raised in this installment with Connors looking even more gorgeous.  Interestingly enough, years following her directorial efforts, Gail Palmer admitted to never contributing to the films and her involvement was a mere front for her then boyfriend, porn distributor Harry Mohney.  Palmer would eventually sue her former flame in 1984 for excluding her from the profits of their films.  Appearing in Playboy in 1977 as a Michigan State girl, Palmer was an active face for the films‘ promotion being used as a spokesperson in the trailers.  Nonetheless, Candy Goes to Hollywood is a fun example of adult film fare that understands the power of a sense of humor while, still delivering all the X-rated goods desired by porn enthusiasts.

    Restored in 2K from their original 35mm camera negatives (Candy Goes to Hollywood being newly restored in 2016), both films sport 1.85:1 aspect ratios.  Improving over their previously sound DVD release, colors are noticeably sharper in Candy’s red sweater and other bright attire with skin tones revealing even more detail.  Faint scratches arise in darker sequences but hardly deter from the obvious enhancements seen in their hi-def presentations.  Both films greatly impress with their latest restorations boasting additional cleanup and solid grain levels.  Equipped with Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono mixes, both films are once again relayed with clear dialogue levels with only mild cracks and pops arising without sacrificing listenability.  Akin to its DVD release, special features include, the Erotic Adventures of Candy Original Theatrical Trailer (4:44) and the Candy Goes to Hollywood Original Theatrical Trailer (2:02).

    After several more films and a directorial effort, Carol Connors retired from the adult industry to start a family (her daughter Thora Birch would ultimately catch the acting bug and appear in such Hollywood fare as American Beauty and Ghost World).  Vinegar Syndrome has done another sound job upgrading two of Connors‘ best remembered works to high-definition.  Erotic Adventures of Candy and Candy Goes to Hollywood make for a fun double bill of 70s erotica that delivers on skin and casts a charm with its sense of humor, greatly attributed to Connors‘ bimbo-like personality.  A wonderful time capsule of late 70s Hollywood, Vinegar Syndrome’s most popular Peekarama release continues to sweeten the tooth’s of adult film fans.

    RATING: 4/5

    Available now from Vinegar Syndrome, Erotic Adventures of Candy / Candy Goes to Hollywood can be purchased via VinegarSyndrome.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers. 

  • Pretty Peaches Trilogy: Pretty Peaches (1978), Pretty Peaches 2 (1987) & Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest (1989) Blu-ray Review

    Pretty Peaches Trilogy (1978-1989)

    Director: Alex de Renzy

    Starring: Desiree Cousteau, Juliet Anderson, Joey Silvera, John Leslie & Paul Thomas / Siobhan Hunter, Tracey Adams, Hershel Savage, Ron Jeremy & Jamie Gillis / Keisha, Tracey Adams, Marc Wallice, Eric Price, Rachel Ryan & Jamie Gillis 

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Vinegar Syndrome, the sultans of smut, proudly present erotic maestro Alex de Renzy’s Pretty Peaches trilogy in all its uncut glory!  In the original classic, Desiree Cousteau (Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls) stars as the bubbly and vivacious Peaches who after attending her father’s wedding, winds up in an accident resulting in a severe case of amnesia.  Rescued, for better or worse, by two horny men, Peaches’ road to recovery will be a long and hard one.  Next up, Pretty Peaches 2 centers on the sexually curious Peaches (Siobhan Hunter, Summer Lovers) as she hits the road to educate herself only to end up in San Francisco at her eccentric Uncle Howard’s (Ron Jeremy, Terms of Endowment) house.  Finally, Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest finds Peaches (Keisha, Uniform Behavior) ditching her trailer park life to search for spiritual enlightenment, leading to a series of sexual explorations.  

    Long considered de Renzy’s pornographic masterpiece, Pretty Peaches is equal parts scandalous and humorous made possible by the optimistically dopey performance of the gorgeous Desiree Cousteau.  After being knocked unconscious and sneakily raped by an uncontrollable fellow, Peaches awakes with no memory of herself prompting her two manipulative rescuers to take her in.  Concerned for his daughter’s whereabouts after her speedy exit from his wedding, Hugh (John Leslie, Candy Goes to Hollywood) attempts to enjoy his honeymoon with his black bride.  Between penetrating his new wife to a soundtrack of bed squeaks and engaging in a sweaty threesome with his blonde housekeeper, Peaches is no closer to remembering her identity.  Shuttled to the uncle of her rapist to help with her condition, the four-eyed horn dog instead performs an enema on Peaches, prompting the short-haired beauty to geyser everywhere in the film’s most hilariously over the top moment.  In addition, more bizarreness occurs when Peaches attempts to secure work as a dancer only to be sexually dog-piled by a swarm of strap-on wearing lesbians for the enjoyment of an audience.  As her unfavorable keepers get lucky with a duo of blondes, Peaches gets her own education from an especially thorough doctor.  Increased silliness and sexually-charged pandemonium converges at a lubed up swingers party where a most unexpected family reunion takes place restoring Peaches’ memory.  Deservedly awarded Best Actress by the Adult Film Association of America for her performance, Desiree Cousteau drives the picture in earnest with her adorably cute performance and unbelievably natural curves.  Providing wall to wall sequences of hot sex, Pretty Peaches’ notable sense of humor separates itself from other efforts as a bonafide erotic classic.

    Nearly a decade after the original film’s debut, Pretty Peaches 2 focuses on nearly 20-year-old Peaches (Hunter) longing for a crash course in sex.  Blocked from going all the way with her hunkish boyfriend Bobby (Peter North, The Bigger the Better), Peaches’ foxy mother Eunice (Tracey Adams, Angels of Passion) instead helps to ease his “lovers nuts” while, her stepfather (Hershel Savage, Losing Control) influences Peaches to seek answers out in the wild.  Hightailing it to San Francisco to shack up at her uncle’s pad, the sexually clueless picks up tips from a truck driver’s private party with a prostitute before arriving at casa de weird.  Ron Jeremy’s hilarious turn as the brightly dressed Uncle Howard is the film’s nonsexual highlight before engaging in an incestuous threesome with his wife and equally wacky son at the dinner table.  While former star Cousteau is sorely missing in action, Siobhan Hunter does well as the luscious Peaches of the 80s although, her role is limited to that of an observer until the film’s final act where she finally puts her lessons to use with a masquerading grandma played by Jamie Gillis (Corruption) and a steamy lesbian engagement.  Furthermore, although her fictional daughter headlines, Tracey Adams arguably steals the show with her knockout figure and increasingly hot encounters with several gents.  Sexier and surprisingly funnier than its predecessor, fans of big hair, amongst other “big” things, will take delight in de Renzy’s better late than never followup.

    Recasting the title role yet again, Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest finds sex queen Keisha stepping into the iconic role of Peaches in de Renzy’s underwhelming final chapter.  Unrelated to its previous installment where our protagonist was in search of sexual knowledge, Peaches, living in a trailer park with her attractive mother (played again by bombshell Tracey Adams), longs for spiritual enlightenment in her mundane life.  Under motherly orders, Peaches meets with the not-so-subtle Dr. Thunderpussy (Rachel Ryan, Private Places) to help ease her mind.  After a very lubricated examination, the lesbian doctor retreats to a backroom to fornicate with a sex doll.  Consistently gullible, our virginal lead then takes pity on a grieving TV preacher (Jamie Gillis returning in a new role) and aims to join him and his big-breasted assistant.  Just as things are getting hot and heavy, the FBI zeroes in on the deceitful preacher, edging Peaches out of her chances of enlightenment.  Persistent as ever, Peaches continues her journey leading her to a religious commune where she backs out of a lesbian threesome before losing her virginity to a hunk in a dojo-looking room.  Concerned for her whereabouts, Peaches’ mother and meathead boyfriend Bobby (Gene Carrera, Rock ’n Roll Heaven) pursue her, only to predictably end up riding the hobby horse together with muscles keeping his Reeboks well fastened.  Ultimately failing to find what she was searching for, Peaches is rejuvenated by a drunken hobo, inspiring her to be a strong voice for the needy.  Far too redundant to be original, Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest seemingly forgets the humor and boundary pushing elements that made its predecessors so memorable.  In addition, although attractive, Keisha is the least charismatic of the Peaches stars while, the film’s scandalous sequences appear by the numbers and lacking steam.  Understandably all great things must come to an end but, unfortunately Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest stands as the weakest chapter in a franchise that began so enthusiastically.

    Boasting a new encode restored in 2K from 35mm elements, Vinegar Syndrome presents the original film with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Filmically beautiful, natural grain is ever-present while, skin tones are highly detailed with colors of every variety making stunning impressions.  Mild instances of light scratches are occasionally spotted but hardly a cause for concern.  Meanwhile, its sequels, also restored in 2K from 35mm and 16mm elements with 1.85:1 aspect ratios, share equally pleasing presentations although, Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest suffers from noisy backgrounds and vertical splices appearing every now and again.  Individually equipped with DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mixes, dialogue is well-handled while music choices are appropriately balanced with wailing cries of ecstasy.  Once again, the third installment does suffer from noticeably lower pitches that require increases in volume to fully collect dialogue deliveries and other potent audio.  Although special features from Pretty Peaches’ original limited edition Blu-ray are not ported over making it a worthy keeper, the sole supplement is the Pretty Peaches 2 Trailer (3:38).

    Collecting underground pornographer Alex de Renzy’s trilogy of forbidden fruit, these golden age classics of erotica are of noted importance to adult connoisseurs for their sense of humor and sexual explorations of its charismatic title character.  In what appears to be a monthly basis, Vinegar Syndrome has yet again proven to porn preservers the labor of their efforts with another first-rate accomplishment sure to be appreciated for years to come.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    Available now from Vinegar Syndrome, the Pretty Peaches Trilogy can be purchased via VinegarSyndrome.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers. 

  • Assault on New Releases #9: Count Dracula (1970), Zombie High (1987), Axe (1975) / Kidnapped Coed (1976), Women's Prison Massacre (1983), Corruption (1983) & The Brain That Wouldn't Die (1963) Blu-ray Reviews

    ASSAULT ON NEW RELEASES #9

    Count Dracula (1970)

    Director: Jess Franco

    Starring: Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski, Herbert Lom, Maria Rohm, Soledad Miranda, Fred Williams & Paul Muller

    Released by: Severin Films

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Intent on crafting the most faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s iconic novel, Director Jess Franco (99 Women) would lure Christopher Lee (The Wicker Man) from his fanged appearances for Hammer Films to headline as the Count.  Soaked appreciatively in gothic atmosphere, Franco’s interpretation unfolds faithfully enough before taking several liberties of its own.  Following Jonathan Harker’s (Fred Williams, She Killed in Ecstasy) escape from Castle Dracula, the film dawdles with recuperation and Van Helsing’s (Herbert Lom, Spartacus) convincing of the black arts to several characters permeating the runtime.  Although its narrative proves to be uneventful in several areas, Christopher Lee’s performance is captivating with his bloodshot eyes and graying mustache adding a visual flair to the timeless character.  In addition, Klaus Kinski (Jack the Ripper), perfectly cast as the disturbed Renfield, is grossly underused in a role otherwise tailor made for the thespians eccentric energy.  While lacking a more erotic flair accustomed to other Franco efforts, Count Dracula achieves moments of glory with Lee’s engrossing performance and the film’s grandiose locations yet, never overcomes its monotonous attempts at plot development.  

    Presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, Severin Films presents Count Dracula with a 1080p transfer capturing natural skin tones and boldly represented colors, best appreciated in the film’s period costume choices.  With the exception of one reinstated sequence of scratchier quality, the transfer is virtually free of any wear and tear while, black levels are satisfactory with only occasional murkiness on display.  Equipped with an LPCM 2.0 mix, dialogue is perfectly audible with the film’s chilling score effectively relayed throughout.  Accompanied with a five-star spread of supplements, Severin Films includes the expressionistic feature Cuadecuc, Vampir (1:06:18), an Audio Commentary with Horror Historian David Del Valle and Actress Maria Rohm, Beloved Count (26:24) featuring an interview with Director Jess Franco, A Conversation with Jack Taylor (10:00) and Handsome Harker (26:14) with Actor Fred Williams interviewed.  In addition, French Director Christophe Gans hosts an appreciation of Jess Franco’s Count Dracula in Stake Holders (7:32) while, Christopher Lee Reads Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1:24:08) plus, the German, French, Italian & Spanish Alternate Title Sequences (1:36) are also included alongside the film’s German Trailer (3:08).  

    RATING: 4/5

    Available now from Severin Films, Count Dracula can be purchased via Severin-Films.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

    Zombie High (1987)

    Director: Rob Link

    Starring: Virginia Madsen, Richard Cox, James Wilder, Sherilyn Fenn, Paul Feig & Kay E. Kuter

    Released by: Scream Factory

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Shot entirely at the University of Southern California, Zombie High stars Virginia Madsen (Candyman) as the bright Andrea Miller.  After accepting a scholarship to the prestigious Ettinger boarding school, Andrea takes notice of the unusual drone-like behavior of her fellow students.  Before long, a deep rooted secret amongst the school faculty is revealed leading Andrea and her boyfriend Barry (James Wilder, Delta Phi) to fend for their lives.  Scripted by no less than three writers, Zombie High was the brainchild of USC film stockroom handler Aziz Ghazal who, under a unique circumstance with producers, offered the school’s facilities and equipment in exchange for students to intern on a professional film set.  With the exception of its cast and several behind-the-scenes crew members, Zombie High is an impressive accomplishment yet, not one of renowned quality.  Devoid of any scares whatsoever, Director Rob Mink’s sole feature consists of a cast of talented up and comers including, the future Academy Award nominated Madsen, Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks) and future Bridesmaids director Paul Feig delivering a poor man’s Duckie.  While the vibrant young thespians give earnest performances, the dull storyline and two-dimensionality of their characters suffocate the film.  Although professionally produced under its student film-like circumstances, Zombie High is painfully uneventful and seemingly forgets to include its titular creatures until its final fleeting moments.  

    Scream Factory presents Zombie High with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Inherently soft at times, remnants of digital noise can be spotted in the film’s first half during dormitory scenes and dimly lit moments that thankfully subsides later on.  While flesh tones appear decently and bolder colors found in Madsen’s bright sweaters pop best, the transfer is satisfactory given its unconventional history.  Equipped with a disappointing DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, dialogue registers overwhelmingly low with volume increases essential during viewing.  In addition, the film’s generic rock soundtrack, while providing decent boosts in quality, does so at the expense of drowning out more dialogue.  Limited with its offerings, special features include the film’s Trailer (1:05), uncredited liner notes found on the reverse wrap and a DVD edition of the release.

    RATING: 2/5

    Available now from Scream Factory, Zombie High can be purchased via ShoutFactory.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

    Axe (1975) / Kidnapped Coed (1976)

    Director: Frederick R. Friedel

    Starring: Leslie Lee, Jack Canon, Ray Greene & Frederick R. Friedel / Jack Canon, Leslie Rivers, Gladys Lavitam & Larry Lambeth

    Released by: Severin Films

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Restored from their original negatives, Severin Films proudly presents the early efforts of Director Frederick R. Friedel on Blu-ray for the first time ever!  Marking his directorial debut, Axe centers on three murderous criminals who seek refuge at an isolated farmhouse occupied by a withdrawn teenager and her paralyzed grandfather.  Shot inexpensively and running barely an hour, Axe is an unsettling tale that presents its characters with little to no exposition yet, never compromising their chilling believability.  Following the murder of a gay man and dehumanizing target practice with a market clerk, the chain-smoking Steele (Jack Canon, Maximum Overdrive), Lomax (Ray Greene) and younger, more hesitant Billy (Frederick R. Friedel) invade a desolate farmhouse to evade capture.  The beautiful Leslie Lee plays the emotionally stunted Lisa as she calmly premeditates her brutal revenge against her unwanted guests.  Contemplating suicide before savagely fighting back, Lisa’s actions are equally warranted and alarming.  Unfairly included on the U.K.’s banned list of video nasties, Axe oozes rural dread with exceptional style and effective editing that increases its artistic quality more than its grindhouse reputation suggests.

    Next up, Kidnapped Coed, billed as The Kidnap Lover, finds money hungry crook Eddie (Canon once again) kidnapping red-headed richie Sandra (Leslie Rivers, Reform School Girls) only to have his hostage form an unusual attraction for her abductor.  Canon excels as the heavy determined to kill if his ransom isn’t delivered with the timid Rivers playing nicely off of him.  Encountering several unsavory characters that arguably rival Eddie’s own demeanor, the cigarette-puffing crook slowly opens up to his victim, igniting an unlikely romance between characters from different tracks of life.  Nicely developed and crafting a well-executed tonal change, Kidnapped Coed is a fitting followup to Friedel’s previous effort in terror that although briefly timed, plays exceedingly well.  

    Severin Films presents Axe and Kidnapped Coed with 1080p transfers, sporting 1.85:1 aspect ratios.  Although speckles and instances of cigarette burns are apparent, both films admirably shine with noticeably filmic representations while, appreciative detail, natural skin tones and boldly presented blood pop nicely in both features.  Equipped with DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mixes, dialogue is audibly satisfactory with mild instances of hiss and static occasionally detected.  Although Kidnapped Coed serves as the stronger audio candidate, both films get the job done.  In addition, each film contains an optional German audio track.  Rightly saluting both films with numerous bonus features, Severin Films provides Audio Commentaries on both with Writer/Director Frederick R. Friedel, Production Manager Phil Smoot & Makeup Artist Worth Keeter.  In addition, Friedel’s intriguing hybrid cut of both films entitled Bloody Brothers (1:29:11) is also included with an introduction by Friedel and an Audio Commentary with Nightmare USA Author Stephen Thrower.  Furthermore, At Last…  Total Terror!: The Amazing True Story of the Making of Axe & Kidnapped Coed (1:01:40) is a newly produced retrospective work featuring interviews with key talent and visits to the original shooting locations.  Also included, Moose Magic: The George Newman Shaw & John Willhelm Story (38:35) traces the history of the films’ talented musicians while, Stephen Thrower waxes intellectual on Axe & Kidnapped Coed (9:15) with a selection of Trailers, TV Spots & Radio Spots (8:31) rounding out the disc’s supplemental content.  Finally, located on a separate compact disc, both films’ original soundtracks are included with 7 bonus tracks from Shaw & Willhelm.

    RATING: 4/5

    Available now from Severin Films, Axe / Kidnapped Coed can be purchased via Severin-Films.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

    Women’s Prison Massacre (1983)

    Director: Bruno Mattei

    Starring: Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Ursula Flores, Maria Romano, Raul Cabrera & Antonella Giacomini

    Released by: Scream Factory

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Repurposing much of the same cast and filmed back to back with 1982’s Violence in a Women’s Prison, Director Bruno Mattei’s (Hell of the Living Dead, Rats: Night of Terror) Women’s Prison Massacre continues the sleazy tradition of scantly clad females doing hard time.  When reporter Emanuelle (Laura Gemser, Black Emanuelle) is framed for drug smuggling and sentenced to prison, she is confronted with unspeakable violence from fellow inmates and guards.  While attempting to maintain her sanity, a deadly pack of arriving male prisoners invade the prison as Emanuelle and her trusting cellmates seek to regain control.  Gabriele Tinti (Rider on the Rain), Ursula Flores (Violence in a Women’s Prison), Maria Romano (Thor the Conqueror), Raul Cabrera (Allonsanfan) and Antonella Giacomini (The Seven Magnificent Gladiators) co-star.  A genre staple of grindhouse cinemas and drive-in theaters during the 70s and 80s, Women’s Prison Massacre takes the familiar tropes of attractive females, inhumane violence, corruption and nudity to steer its own exercise in exploitation.  Hypnotically beautiful, Laura Gemser headlines as the wrongly imprisoned Emanuelle who vows to expose the corrupt politician responsible for her incarceration.  In addition to defending her life against pale-skinned inmate Albina (Flores) and mistreatment from guards, Women’s Prison Massacre injects healthy doses of lesbianism for good measure.  Although the arrival of the male prisoners increases the action and exploitation including sequences of rape and a twisted game of Russian roulette, their inclusion feels slightly out of character for a traditional WIP film and steals attention away from Gemser and her supporting players.  Unquestionably cut from the same cloth as other films of its ilk, Women’s Prison Massacre is not nearly as impressive as other efforts although, its hilarious dubbing and jaw-droppingly funny dialogue provide plenty of entertainment.

    Scream Factory presents Women’s Prison Massacre with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Possessing a fairly soft appearance, the film is free of any scratches or other extremely undesirable blemishes while, skin tones are modestly pleasing.  In addition, black levels found in the dirty and dimly lit prison appear generally hazy at times yet, never overwhelm ones viewing.  Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, the poorly dubbed dialogue is efficient although never overly impressive.  Scoring queues, gunshots and screams show signs of increased authority while remaining generally restrained.  Furthermore, no unfavorable levels of hiss or static were detected.  Surprisingly, no special features have been included on this release.

    RATING: 2/5

    Available now from Scream Factory, Women’s Prison Massacre can be purchased via ShoutFactory.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

    Corruption (1983)

    Director: Roger Watkins

    Starring: Jamie Gillis, Kelly Nichols, Tiffany Clark, Tanya Lawson, Tish Ambrose & Vanessa Del Rio

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    The desire for power becomes more than one man bargained for in Director Roger Watkins’ Corruption.  Unsure if he can repay a debt owed, Williams (Jamie Gillis, Dracula Sucks) finds his life controlled by his lenders only to have his associate betray him in exchange for his own sense of power.  Following the kidnapping of his sister-in-law, Williams is caught in a deranged sexual underworld with his unsavory half-brother as his guide and unlikely only hope for a way out.  An all-star ensemble of porn royalty including, Kelly Nichols (Dixie Ray Hollywood Star), Tiffany Clark (Hot Dreams), Tanya Lawson (Kinky Business), Tish Ambrose (Streetstar) and Vanessa Del Rio (Lips) co-star.  Although narratively vague in its storytelling, Corruption is undoubtedly a visual splendor, courtesy of valued Cinematographer Larry Revene (Deranged, Doom Asylum) whose lighting and camerawork intoxicates the frames with genuine atmosphere.  Juxtaposed with heavy doses of tantalizing sex sequences ranging from lesbianism and bondage to deep throated decadence and surreal necrophilia, Corruption may not gel with those left questioning its darkly surreal tone yet, deserves utmost appreciation for its rich photography and steamier moments brought to life by some of the eras most favored performers.

    Restored in 2K from the 35mm original camera negative, Vinegar Syndrome’s efforts are nothing short of exceptional.  With skin tones looking lively, detail in textures and closeups greatly impressing plus, striking colors found in sexy lingerie making admirable pops, Corruption spoils viewers with its near impeccability.  While black levels seen in a dimly lit bar scene and a sexual encounter in a black room showcase instances of flakes and noticeable digital noise, Vinegar Syndrome has treated the film with an expected level of care leaving it in better shape than ever.  Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mix, crackling is occasionally heard but, never interferes in the delivery of dialogue while, the eclectic score of sexy saxophone themes, wailing electric guitars and synthesized beats sound terrific.  Special features include, Through the Lens: Larry Revene & Corruption (12:25) where the talented DP reminisces on the productions charming cast and Watkins’ acute eye and talented abilities as a writer and director.  In addition, the Theatrical Trailer (3:18), Pressbook Gallery (0:53) and DVD edition of the release are also included.  Furthermore, Vinegar Syndrome has included the profound easter egg of Roger Watkins’ nasty 1977 shocker The Last House on Dead End Street (77:58) on disc.  Although a Blu-ray edition of the film is currently being prepped, this sample course is in fact uncut yet, far from what the finished release will look like.  Finally, a Reverse Cover Art utilizing Corruption’s original 1-sheet poster concludes the supplemental offerings.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    Available now from Vinegar Syndrome, Corruption can be purchased via VinegarSyndrome.com.

    The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)

    Director: Joseph Green

    Starring: Herb Evers, Virginia Leith & Leslie Daniel

    Released by: Scream Factory

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Distributed by independent mavericks American International Pictures, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die centers on Dr. Bill Cortner (Herb Evers, Escape from the Planet of the Apes) who after losing his future bride in an accident, swears to resurrect her through medical experimentations.  Salvaging her head while feverishly scouring for a suitable body replacement, the conscience Jan (Virginia Leith, Violent Saturday) begins losing her mind while planning her revenge on the man who unethically kept her alive.  Cheaply produced for less than $70,000, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die laid dormant following its completion in 1959 before being acquired by AIP several years later.  Pushing its mad scientist agenda of absurdist surgeries and eerie experiments, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die relies equally on buxom beauties and curvy strippers to attract attention.  Following Dr. Bill Cortner’s desperate mission to locate a proper body to attach to the head of his lover, Cortner attends smoky bars and bikini modeling shows for prime candidates.  Busty broads and floor pummeling catfights add to the film’s sexual sleaziness that largely separates it from other Z-grade sci-fi pictures of the time.  Longing to be put out of her misery, Jan befriends an imprisoned creature in Bill’s laboratory to assist in her revenge scheme.  Tearing the arm off of the good doctor’s assistant, the concealed monster (played by noted Israeli circus performer Eddie Carmel a.k.a. “The Jewish Giant”) surprisingly lives up to expectations when his facially deformed, pinheaded self is revealed in the film’s final moments.  Undeniably bizarre and equally entertaining, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die follows the familiar path of a scientist with a god complex while, its inclusion of seductive pinups sells the film even more.

    Scream Factory presents The Brain That Wouldn’t Die with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 1.66:1 aspect ratio.  Newly restored from its negative, this uncut presentation contains mild instances of speckles and cigarette burns while, its black and white photography largely impresses with admirable detail in closeups and wardrobe.  In addition, black levels appearing in Dr. Cortner’s vehicle and the bloody aftermath of Kurt’s arm being removed look refreshingly inky.  With filmic grain present throughout its entirety, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die lives on looking better than ever!  Equipped with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix, several cracks and pops arise without sacrificing any dialogue along the way.  Otherwise presented cleanly, speaking bits and the film’s score come through nicely.  Special features include, an Audio Commentary with Film Historian Steve Haberman and Author Tony Sasso with Haberman offering plenty of informative anecdotes along the way while, Sasso relies on pointing out the obvious onscreen.  In addition, the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Episode of the film (presented in standard definition) is included alongside, Alternate Model Footage (1:26).  Culled from the international cut and lacking sound, this brief sequence showcases the beautiful Adele Lamont posing nude for photographers.  Finally, a Photo Gallery (3:46) and the film’s Theatrical Trailer (1:54) conclude the disc’s bonus content.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    Available now from Scream Factory, The Brain That Wouldn’t Die can be purchased via ShoutFactory.com, Amazon.com and other fine retailers.

  • Prisoner of Paradise (1980) DVD Review

    Prisoner of Paradise (1980)

    Director(s): Bob Chinn & Gail Palmer

    Starring: John Holmes, Seka, Sue Carol, Jade Wong & Elmo Lavino

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Returning to exotic locales and set against the backdrop of World War II, Director Bob Chinn (Tropic of Desire), along with Harry Mohney (using girlfriend Gail Palmer as a pseudonym), captures John Holmes infiltrating sexually deviant Nazis.  Scanned in 2K from the 35mm negative, the kings of kink, Vinegar Syndrome, proudly present Prisoner of Paradise, where bizarre sex rites reign supreme on an island of sin!

    Prisoner of Paradise stars John Holmes (Johnny Wadd) as American G.I. Joe Murray, marooned on a tropical island following the bombing of his ship.  Discovering a small Nazi outpost and kidnapped American women, Murray is determined to save the day.  Seka (Sunny Days), Sue Carol (The Goodbye Girls), Jade Wong (Oriental Hawaii), Nikki Anderson (The Erotic World of Seka), Brenda Vargo (’11’) and Elmo Lavino (Matinee Idol) co-star.

    MOVIE:

    A blending of Nazisploitation and war epic, Prisoner of Paradise breathes an air of quality above most adult fare.  While, retaining its XXX foundation, Director Bob Chinn chooses to push story and character development ahead of skin.  Re-teaming with his Johnny Wadd leading man, John Holmes stars as G.I. Joe Murray, a WWII soldier grieving over the loss of his girlfriend (Mai Lin, credited as Miko Moto).  After his ship is bombed, Murray is marooned to a tropical island where he survives on coconuts and bathes under waterfalls.  Upon discovering a small Nazi outpost withholding American women, Murray rushes to rescue the damsels from the Furhuer’s clutches.  Holmes is in top form, mustering decent emotion over the loss of his sexy Asian lover while, trying to survive his situation.  Ilsa (Seka) and Greta (Sue Carol) appear as sadistic lesbian Nazis who get their rocks off forcing oral pleasure and sex upon their prisoners.  Overseen by commanding officer Hans (Lavino) and Suke (Wong), a mute Japanese soldier, the American women have little hope for escape after Murray is also taken prisoner.  Impressed with the size of his “gun”, the seductive Nazis force the American scum into salacious activities.  As Greta pleasures herself with a pistol grip, Ilsa, wearing only knee-high leather boots, forces Murray into sex while, threatening him with a luger to not climax in her.  Growing increasingly intoxicated, Hans become voyeur as he then forces a female prisoner to go down on Murray, before eventually copulating.  Cruel whippings and more forced sex follow, diminishing the prisoners hope of survival.  Luckily, Suke develops an uncontrollable attraction to Murray and puts the moves on him.  Reminded of his deceased lover, Murray willingly goes along with the sexual advances, using her trust to his advantage.  Following an intimate session, Murray and his fellow prisoners manage to torch the outpost and escape with their lives.

    Bursting with attractive players and convincing use of wartime stock footage, Prisoner of Paradise takes full advantage of its island location to convey a satisfying story of Nazi imprisonment.  Serving up a scandalous spread of hardcore sequences, Bob Chinn’s big-budget opus places priority on story and production value.  Surprisingly well-acted and genres competently blended, Prisoner of Paradise is a crowning achievement for Chinn that could have easily been reworked as a decent exploitation offering.

    RATING: 4/5

    VIDEO:

    Newly restored in 2K from the 35mm negative and sporting a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, Prisoner of Paradise arrives with light scratches and vertical lines early on.  Skin tones are conveyed accurately with detail nicely picking up Holmes’ essential stache and long fingernails.  Black levels vary, with slightly fuzzy moments during dimly lit, oriental alley sequences and impressing with the Nazis stark black uniforms.  Colors read well with only Lin’s red attire looking a little too striking.  Flakes and specks occur sporadically, with the lush island setting reading well.  Understandably, the included stock footage is far more scratch-ridden than the rest of the film, but far from unwatchable.  

    RATING: 3.5/5

    AUDIO:

    Equipped with a Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono mix, Prisoner of Paradise sounds satisfactory with dialogue coming across well, if not a bit hushed at times.  The film’s soundtrack impresses most with the added boost in volume coming across appropriately.  Explosions and machine gun fire also send a decent bump to the otherwise controlled soundscape.  Minor instances of hiss and pops occur, mostly during reel changes, but nothing worth worrying over.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    EXTRAS:

    • Theatrical Trailer (3:50)

    • Caribbean Films Promos (6:32): Includes California Gigolo, Hot Legs and Prisoner of Paradise.

    RATING: 1.5/5

    OVERALL:

    While, Nazisploitation films may have been on their last legs by 1980, Director Bob Chinn blends the exploitative genre harmoniously as an X-rated war epic.  Adult movie legend, John Holmes delivers a surprising turn as a WWII G.I. with more depth than most would expect.  With a strong visual identity and an early appearance from the uber-sexy, Seka, Prisoner of Paradise entertains as much as it tantalizes.  Continuing the good deed of excavating Chinn’s game changing offerings, Vinegar Syndrome have provided porn enthusiasts with one of his best.

    RATING: 3/5

    Available September 9th, Prisoner of Paradise can be purchased via Vinegar Syndrome and Amazon.com

  • 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 DVD Review

    42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4

    Director(s): Unknown

    Starring: Erica Boyer, Linda Shaw, Sharon Kane, Dorothy LeMay & Annie Sprinkle

    Released by: Impulse Pictures

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    From the filthy theater rows of the Deuce comes another salacious marathon of adult loops for your viewing pleasure.  42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 once again invites pornographers to create their own personal booths in the comfort of their living room with this vintage stash of stag.  Re-mastered from original film prints, Impulse Pictures is your guide on this journey of underground sex flicks, captured in up-close intimacy.  

    42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 features 15 8mm adult loops from the 1970s and 1980s.  Totaling nearly two hours worth of content, 42nd Street Forever - The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 includes hardcore highlight reels featuring Erica Boyer, Linda Shaw, Sharon Kane, Dorothy LeMay & Annie Sprinkle.

    MOVIE(s):

    Saddling up where we left off, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 presents another wide variety of hardcore loops with intriguing titles and even more intriguing on-screen action.  Featuring 15 different loops, Vol. #4 highlights include Tammy and the Doctor, a subtitled entry that focuses on an ill woman who summons the good doctor for a house call.  Following a physical examination, Doc inserts an IV into Tammy’s backside, exciting the under the weather patient.  Turned on, Tammy puts the moves on her treater and the two engage in oral play, doggy style and Doc climaxing in Tammy‘s mouth.  Exactly what the good doctor ordered!  Another untitled entry finds a ponytail sporting bookworm interrupted by a mask wearing horndog, visibly in support of President Carter.  A fast-paced blow job, more doggy style maneuvering and some spanking follow for the two lovebirds.  Dorothy LeMay (Nightdreams) stars in Wheelchair Mary as a horny redhead confined to a wheelchair.  After Mary is short on cash for her dirty magazines, she produces a ferocious blow job for her trench coat wearing delivery boy.  Full-blown sex ensues with LeMay’s “O-face” appearing catatonic.  In the not so subtle, Fuck My Huge Tits, Annie Sprinkle appears in an interracial session as her hung companion succumbs quickly to the big-breasted Sprinkle’s oral skills.  Plenty more blow jobs follow along with the promise of the loop’s title leaving Sprinkle dosed in man juice.  After the Game, another subtitled entry, follows two sexy females infatuated with a star quarterback.  The girls surprise him with a game of two on one resulting in a plethora of playbook positions.  In this volume’s most bizarre entry, fans of pregnancy porn will rejoice with One in the Oven.  Sharon Mitchell gets frisky with a noticeably showing female, exchanging passionate licks and sensual rubdowns.  Finally, 2 From Column A finds Erica Boyer and Asian star, Mai Lin, pile driving and motorboating each others no-no zones.  

    On par with previous installments, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 continues to provide a nice variety of hardcore loops with a heavy emphasis on lesbianism.  From interracial fornication and leather clad strip downs in Leather Lust to the eyebrow-raising pregnancy fetish of One in the Oven, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 is destined to be another welcome entry in any passionate pornographers collection.

    RATING: 3/5

    VIDEO:

    Remastered in high-definition from original film prints, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 is presented full frame sporting a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  As expected, the reels are lined with massive scratches and dirt with colors occasionally dropping out.  Offered with a “play all” option or an individual loop select feature, this collection of hardcore stag flicks are badly worn but still watchable and shouldn’t deter dedicated porn enthusiasts from viewing.

    RATING: 2.5/5

    AUDIO:
    Equipped with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 only presents a projector sound effect.

    RATING: -/5

    EXTRAS:

    • Liner notes from Cinema Sewer Publisher, Robin Bougie: Once again, Bougie provides his always insightful knowledge with his latest offering, No One Rides for Free.  Bougie waxes intellectual on the earliest known American stag film from 1915, believed to be filmed in New Jersey (offering a new dimension to the term “Dirty Jerz”) and how stag films‘ intent have not changed much.  In addition, Bougie points out career highlights of some of the more notable faces found in Vol. #4 and their unfortunate fates.  Informative, humorous and far too short, Bougie’s words never disappoint.

    RATING: 2/5

    OVERALL:                                     

    42nd Street Forever - The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 continues to pull back the curtain on forgotten stag films of yesterday.  Presented rough and tough as remembered, Impulse Pictures’ latest entry in their popular line carries a strong emphasis with safer lesbian scenarios and the occasional threesome with well hung lads.  With One in the Oven being the standout loop for its offbeat fetish, 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. #4 packs a prominent amount of adult starlets, sure to please peep show purists.  Fans of previous installments should take kindly to this latest volume of Times Square smut.

    RATING: 3/5 

  • Purely Physical (1982) / Cathouse Fever (1984) DVD Review

    Purely Physical (1982) / Cathouse Fever (1984)

    Director: Chris Warfield

    Starring: Laura Lanzare, Michael Morrison & Juliet Anderson / Becky Savage, Rhonda Jo Petty & Rick Cassidy

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Injecting a much needed dose of 1980s pornography, Vinegar Syndrome welcomes a Chris Warfield double feature into their popular Peekarama banner.  Working under the pseudonym Billy Thornberg, Warfield weaves tantalizing tales of hotel room romps in Purely Physical and whore house exploits in Cathouse Fever.  Restored in 2K from their original camera negatives, the kings of kink take you back to a decade where more than just Olivia Newton-John was getting physical.

    Purely Physical stars Laura Lanzare (Pleasure Zone) as a journalism major who takes a job as a motel clerk.  Guests check in for a wild time while Lazare develops her own sexual daydreams.  Cathouse Fever centers on Becky (Becky Savage), a lonely secretary desperately in need of a lifestyle change.  Shy and withdrawn, Becky heads to Las Vegas to join up with a popular whorehouse.  Rhonda Jo Petty (Little Orphan Dusty), John Colt (Fever), Rick Cassidy (Swinging Ski Girls) and Chica Moreno (Debbie Does Las Vegas) co-star.

    MOVIE(s):

    Brunette bombshell, Laura Lazare, who held a modest porn career before calling it quits mid-decade headlines Purely Physical in an early role as journalism major, Kathy Harrington.  After landing a job as a motel clerk, Kathy accommodates horny patrons obsessed with one thing on their mind.  Guest highlights include a teenage couple, who falsely check-in as “Mr. & Mrs. A. Lincoln”, embarking on their first sexual encounter.  Slow and cautious, a premature orgasm influences the couple to try again leading to hand jobs and doggy-style romps.  In addition, Charlie (Michael Morrison, Meatballs Part II), a fact touting movie nerd sporting a tacky striped jacket hits the jackpot with a sultry woman.  After some mutual oral play, Charlie is wiped out allowing his lucky lady to make off with his cash.  Meanwhile, Kathy uses her new position to work on her writing, imagining what sexual pleasures her guests are getting themselves into.  High-strung businesswoman, Claudia Sinclair (Juliet Anderson, Aunt Peg), attempts to unsuccessfully put the moves on Kathy prompting her to instead admire her own reflection while pleasuring herself.  An exhausted man frustrated with life is surprised to have two attractive lesbian lovers (one of whom looks eerily similar to Sarah Silverman) pay him a visit.  The trio engage in a sexually-charged threesome including several position changes.  Talk about room service!  Finally, after completing her shift, Kathy submits to her sexual urges and gets wild with a frequent guest.  Purely Physical is a fun early 80s sex fest that continuously feels fresh with each hotel guest hornier than the last.  Laura Lazare is a stunner while, Michael Morrison‘s movie obsessed character is a hoot to watch.  Hosting a cast of attractive players, Purely Physical is rarely boring and almost always engaging.

    RATING: 4/5

    Contrary to what the film’s synopsis indicates, Cathouse Fever has nothing to do with college coeds seeking desperate measures to pay for their tuition.  Instead, Becky Savage (Sex Games) stars as a lonely secretary longing for a change of pace in life.  Gap-toothed and bearing a slight lazy eye, Becky spends much of her time living in her head, fantasizing about herself in sexual scenarios.  Eventually, Becky follows her desires and moves to Las Vegas to work for a popular brothel.  Cathouse Fever captures splendid early 80s footage of Sin City’s iconic strip in all its neon lit glory.  Becky knows she has great legs and is finally ready to soil her oats.  Endlessly moaning and groaning, Becky fornicates with a leather boot wearing cowboy while sporting an Indian headdress.  The performers of Cathouse Fever never shy away from talking dirty and exaggerating their moans, increasing the film’s tantalizing context.  In addition, the cathouse runs rampant with leather clad, chain wearing whores experimenting with dildos on one another.  The staff tirelessly attempt to get a gagged client off resulting in several humorous inserts.  As the newbie, Becky is a vocal vixen when it comes to pleasure and dishes it out as hard as she takes it.  Fearing an addiction to the lifestyles’ fever, Becky longs for meaningful love and fantasizes about the perfect sex session with a well-groomed man under neon lights and sensual music.  Cathouse Fever concludes with Becky returning back to her regular lifestyle but looking back on her wild times with fondness.  Cathouse Fever serves as another refreshing slice of 80s adult entertainment packed with incredibly vocal performers going the distance, all to bodacious tunes that could only emerge from that radical decade.

    RATING: 4/5

    VIDEO:

    Restored in 2K from their respective 35mm camera negatives, both films bear 1.85:1 aspect ratios.  Both films look very respectable with only minor flakes and speckles cropping up occasionally.  Purely Physical experiences brief frame jumps but are hardly significant.  Colors pop decently with bolder ones such as the hot red hotel sheets reading well.  Skin tones are very accurate with detail quite crisp, capturing close-up action and near transparent bodily fluid clearly.  Unsurprisingly, these 1980s efforts look as squeaky clean as possible thanks to Vinegar Syndrome’s usual TLC.  

    RATING: 4/5

    AUDIO:

    Equipped with Dolby Digital 1.0 mixes, each film is audible with relaying their dialogue but issues still exist.  Purely Physical is plagued with an undercurrent of static throughout its runtime.  Similar to a skipping record on a turntable, the noise is most noticeable in quieter scenes but is always apparent which can become tiresome.  Hiccups aside, each film’s hip synth music comes across just dandy.

    RATING: 3.5/5

    EXTRAS:

    - Purely Physical Trailer

    - Cathouse Fever Trailer

    RATING: 1/5

    OVERALL:

    Vinegar Syndrome has successfully filled a void of 80s pornography from Chris Warfield’s late directorial career.  Purely Physical’s motel setting keeps things fun and light allowing each hotel guest to act as a short vignette.  Laura Lazare is a sight to be seen and does well as the journalism student who eventually walks on the wild side.  While, Cathouse Fever’s description is far from accurate, the actual film has much to enjoy for porn enthusiasts with a lonely girl spreading her wings at one of Las Vegas’s popular whorehouses.  Becky Savage is a loud, energetic sexual force that is complimented by an equally dirty talking supporting cast.  Vinegar Syndrome’s treatment of these forbidden pleasures is another satisfactory effort that should sit handsomely with fans of the beloved, big-haired decade.

    RATING: 3.5/5

  • Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978) / Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979) DVD Review

    Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978) / Candy Goes to Hollywood (1979)
    Director: Gail Palmer
    Starring: Carol Connors, John Holmes, Pat Rhea, John Leslie & Turk Lyon
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Following her turn in 1972’s iconic Deep Throat, porn princess, Carol Connors, would arguably headline her most memorable role in 1978.  Presented under their popular Peekarama banner, Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents the hilarious adventures of a shy virgin, curious about sex.  Restored in 2K, Erotic Adventures of Candy, joined by its sequel, co-stars a myriad of familiar adult entertainment faces including John Holmes (Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here), Pat Rhea (Chopstix), John Leslie (Confessions) and Turk Lyon (Pro-Ball Cheerleaders).  Plus, special appearances from Wendy O. Williams (Reform School Girls), Huster-Centerfold, Desiree Cousteau and Miss Nude America, Shadow Neva round out these flicks.

    Erotic Adventures of Candy centers on shy, virginal Candy (Carol Connors), a beautiful girl curious about sex.  Destined to learn from experience, Candy sets out on a steamy adventure of exploration with hilarious results.  Next up, Candy Goes to Hollywood finds our sexy blonde protagonist arriving in Hollywood in search of fame.  After hooking up with a scamming talent agent, Johnny Dooropener (John Leslie), Candy learns the ropes of how to make it in the big city.

    MOVIE(s):
    Naive and airheaded, Candy is a gorgeous college student anxious to lose her virginity.  Repeatedly daydreaming about fornicating with her Hispanic gardener, Candy acts on her impulses with the reality being less romantic than she imagined.  Hilariously, Candy’s father charges into the room to disrupt and a brawl ensues.  Shortly after, with her father in the hospital, Candy sets out on a journey that leads her to chance encounters with strangers, each ending with all parties in their birthday suits.  The charm and jovial spirit of Erotic Adventures of Candy is its similar tone to the teen-sex comedies of the era, only intertwined with moments of hardcore sex.  Notable moments include Candy’s encounter with Sean (John Holmes), a man who guilt trips her into feeling sympathy for his uncircumsized man-part.  Luckily, Sean hits the jackpot, engaging in a variety of different sex acts with the blonde buxom.  Pat Rhea (Lipps & McCain) makes a hysterical turn as Candy’s increasingly horny Aunt Em, who finds herself in quite a few sexual scenarios of her own and enjoying them immeasurably.  In addition, Candy’s first visit to the gynecologist is unforgettable as her doctor does more than just an examination.  Oral pleasure and such follow with Candy happy to accommodate the good doctor.  The wacky humor helps the picture sustain its watchability beyond its hardcore material of which there is plenty.  The film’s climax finds Candy persuaded to enter a spiritual sanctuary where several orgies are taking place in order to reach a “higher spiritual level”.  Blow jobs, salad tossing, lesbianism and even male on male oral play is highlighted.  Predictably, Candy goes with the flow and makes it with her spiritual advisor, before going down on a hooded monk whose identity is a shock.  Packed with enough climaxes and hardcore material to surely suffice, Erotic Adventures of Candy benefits immensely from its ability to not take itself too seriously and have some fun.
    RATING: 3/5

    Opening with a parody of the MGM logo, Candy Goes to Hollywood finds our blonde bombshell in the movie capital of the world in search of fame.  Befriending a talent agent/hypnotist/used car salesman/scam artist, Johnny Dooropener (John Leslie), Candy is thrust into the sharky waters of Tinseltown.  Arriving in Hollywood, wonderful shots of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre plus, Marilyn Monroe and Johnny Carson’s stars are captured.  A Bee Gees rip-off song plays as Candy makes her way down Hollywood Boulevard with peep show theaters, which are conveniently playing Erotic Adventures of Candy and Gail Palmer’s Hot Summer in the City, showcased in the background.  Once again, Candy finds herself in a variety of comical yet scandalous situations including a car ride from a female stranger that escalates to a few drinks and a strap-on being used on Candy.  Plus, Candy lands an appearance on The Dong Show with a woman who launches golfballs from her vagina.  The Unknown Comic makes a brief cameo on stage while, the host of the show gets friendly with Candy behind the curtain.  Clearly a hit, Candy lands a guest spot on the Johnny Farson Show but not before the late night star introduces her to his dressing room.  More parodies ensue when Candy auditions for Samuel Goldicker’s (Turk Lyon) latest film.  Simply reading your lines and sleeping with the director gets the job done for our clueless protagonist.  Recycling actors from the previous film in different roles, Candy Goes to Hollywood leads to a familiar finale with an orgy-centered party.  More oral play, extreme close-ups of penetration and even more shots of climaxes round out this sexually charged sequence.  Johnny Dooropener’s scheme catches up to him when Candy and other girls realize they’ve all been promised the same role, resulting in Dooropener’s cherry being popped.  The zany humor and excellent footage of Hollywood circa 1979 make Candy Goes to Hollywood the superior effort.  In addition, skin fans should be pleased to note that the ante is definitely raised in this installment with Connors looking even more gorgeous.

    Interestingly enough, years following her directorial efforts, Gail Palmer admitted to never contributing to the films and her involvement was a mere front for her then boyfriend, porn distributor Harry Mohney.  Palmer would sue her former flame in 1984 for excluding her from the profits of their films.  Appearing in Playboy in 1977 as a Michigan State girl, Palmer was an active face for the films‘ promotion being used as a spokesperson in the trailers.  Nonetheless, Candy Goes to Hollywood is a fun example of adult film fare that understands the power of a sense of humor while, still delivering all the X-rated goods desired by porn enthusiasts.
    RATING: 4/5

    VIDEO:
    Restored in 2K from their 35mm camera negatives and Interpositive respectively, both films sport a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Incredibly sharp and bolstering an array of bold colors, most noticeably in skin tones and Candy’s bright clothing, Candy’s exploits shine.  Occasional scratches and pops arise but hardly take away from the overall clean presentation of these films, a true testament to the care of the original elements.  Admittedly, Candy Goes to Hollywood squeaks by as being the superior transfer due to its nearly scratch-free appearance.  Another remarkable effort from the heavyweights of adult home entertainment.
    RATING: 4/5

    AUDIO:
    Equipped with Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono mixes, both films come across clearly with dialogue picked up just fine.  Erotic Adventures of Candy does have some minor moments of hiss and pops early on in the film, but smooth sailing beyond.  Satisfactory sound mixes that don’t necessarily offer a ton of range, but still get the job done nicely.
    RATING: 3.5/5

    EXTRAS:

    - Erotic Adventures of Candy Original Theatrical Trailer

    - Candy Goes to Hollywood Original Theatrical Trailer

    RATING: 1/5

    OVERALL:
    After several more films and a directorial effort, Carol Connors retired from the adult industry to start a family (her daughter, Thora Birch, would catch the acting bug and appear in such Hollywood fare as American Beauty and Ghost World).  Vinegar Syndrome has done another sound job preserving two of Connors‘ best remembered works.  Erotic Adventures of Candy and Candy Goes to Hollywood make for a fun double bill of 70s erotica that delivers on skin and casts a charm with its sense of humor, greatly attributed to Connors‘ bimbo-like personality.  A wonderful time capsule of late 70s Hollywood, this latest Peekarama offering should most definitely soothe your sweet tooth.  
    RATING: 3/5  

  • The Chambermaids (1974) DVD Review

    The Chambermaids (1974)
    Director: Unknown
    Starring: Eric Edwards, Valerie Marron, Mary Stuart & Andrea True
    Released by: Impulse Pictures

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Impulse Pictures continues their crusade of delivering more steamy cinema from adult entertainment’s prime decade.  Cheaply produced and showcasing its battle wounds, The Chambermaids comes newly re-mastered and determined to show just how “thorough” the maids at this particular hotel really are.  

    The Chambermaids centers on two attractive hotel maids, tired of their job and frequently short on cash.  Horny and determined, Mary Ellen and Sally hatch a plan to give guests some generous “room service” for extra money.

    MOVIE:
    A paper-thin plot and a painfully amateurish production sets the stage for this breezy hotel-set sexcapade.  Mary Ellen and Sally are far from shy when jumping in the sack with businessman or other women which leads to no shortage of sultry situations.  The Chambermaids comes packaged with a female three way, plenty of oral pleasure with quintessential 70s bush in extreme close-ups and a sexually engaged man with enough body hair to spare a grizzly bear.  Sadly, the players are not terribly attractive and their wooden performances can be laughably awful.  In addition, the poorly dubbed in moments of ecstasy solidify the bargain dollar production of The Chambermaids.  While, Impulse Pictures did a fine service rescuing this skin flick from extinction, The Chambermaids ultimately suffers from its low standards and bore factor.
    RATING: 1.5/5

    VIDEO:
    Impulse Pictures presents The Chambermaids full-frame sporting a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  Utilizing a poorly kept theatrical print, The Chambermaids is plagued with every issue imaginable.  Extensive amounts of scratches and lines consume the picture while, colors are inconsistent and appear washed out.  The presentation is far from ideal but, the film is still watchable and maintains a very grindhouse aesthetic.
    RATING: 2/5

    AUDIO:
    Equipped with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix, The Chambermaids sounds unimpressive largely in part to the poorly recorded audio during filming.  Dialogue, what little there is, sounds muffled and difficult to hear at times.  The presumably public-domain music heard during steamy sequences is far from crisp and experience minor dropouts as well.
    RATING: 2/5

    EXTRAS:

    None.

    RATING: -/5

    OVERALL:
    The Chambermaids is a low-budget porn cheapie that leaves you vastly underwhelmed.  The array of performers are not exactly lookers and the less than professional production makes the film a chore to get through at times.  That said, Impulse Pictures should be praised for rescuing such an obscurity at the risk of it not surviving many more years based on its tarnished condition.  Uneventful and lazy, The Chambermaids simply doesn’t deserve a tip for their services.
    RATING: 2/5

  • Deep Roots (1978) / Starlet Nights (1978) DVD Review

    Deep Roots (1978) / Starlet Nights (1978)
    Director: Lisa Barr
    Starring: Jesse Chacan, Anita Sands & Liz Renay / Leslie Bovee & Candy Nichols
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Vinegar Syndrome, the sultans of smut, have officially ushered in 2014 with another double bill of adult pleasuretainment under their new Peekarama banner.  Both films, directed by Joseph Bardo (under the pseudonym of Lisa Barr), involve unique tales of a Native American relocating to Hollywood to sow his oats while, a sexy retelling of Snow White keeps you seated for more scandalous fun.  Scanned in 2K from 35mm archival prints, Vinegar Syndrome continues to raid the vaults treating fans with more bygone executions in adult entertainment.  Let’s find out what awaits in this latest batch of X-rated goodies...

    Deep Roots finds Native American, Billy (Jesse Chacan), leaving his reservation behind to explore the lust capital of Hollywood where he finds himself surrounded by erotic temptation and beautiful women.  In addition, Andy Warhol superstar, Liz Renay (Desperate Living), makes an appearance.  Meanwhile, Starlet Nights performs a sexy retelling of Snow White with evil stepmother, Joyce (Leslie Bovee), attempting to corrupt her beautiful stepdaughter, Snow (Candy Nichols), with the more scandalous side of the Hollywood film industry.

    MOVIE(s):
    Kicking off with our Native American protagonist leaving his reservation in the dust, Billy (Chacan) hightails it to Hollywood on his flashy motorcycle.  It doesn’t take long before Billy befriends big breasted beauty, Joan (Anita Saunds), and the two head to Billy’s pad to get better acquainted.  Learning of Billy’s love for painting, Joan suggests Billy literally paint her nude body.  The two engage in a flirtatious game of foreplay before our uncircumcised Indian dives into steamy sex, covering every position in the book.  A brief scene hinting at Joan’s pending engagement to another man is showcased but never fully explored.  Billy continues his sexual odyssey with another female who begins going down on him before developing virginal nerves.  Billy is understandably frustrated when he exits the apartment and decides to walk a fellow female neighbor home.  Billy humorously speaks his mind and goes on a tangent citing the girl as a “cocktease”.  Luckily, Billy’s cries are heard as the young female neighbor seduces him for yet another successful round of fornication.  Deep Roots is not particularly well acted, leading to many humorous moments and awkward delivery of lines.  Lacking in talent, Deep Roots attempts to make up for in graphic visuals.  Joan, Billy’s first conquest, agitated with her engagement, visits her friend, Liz (Liz Renay), for moral support.  Liz throws on some tunes and urges Joan to join her in a scantily clad burlesque-like dance off.  While, the two never engage each other sexually, the sequence has an air of charm to it.  The climax of the film takes place at a crowded costume party, where “fifty beautiful people” are credited.  Dressed in revealing outfits and a moronic Groucho Marx ratting off jokes to the camera, an energetic orgy takes place amongst the party guests.  Joan wins a raffle prize making her the party’s sexual guinea pig as groups of guests take turns with her.  Plenty of partners are swapped and salads are tossed as this costume ball orgy marks the erotic highlight of the film.  The film concludes with Billy’s only failure, summoning him back to her apartment to finally go all the way.  Once Billy has had enough, he travels back to his reservation where his roots are firmly planted.  Deep Roots makes decent use of its Hollywood setting by capturing footage of the Hollywood sign and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  Although, more vintage footage of this ilk would have been appreciated.  The film is poorly edited and injects badly dubbed dialogue during sex scenes, creating unintended humor.  Deep Roots lacks a decent story and wooden performances from its cast, but if all you desire is highly sexualized scenes of pleasure than Deep Roots may suffice.
    RATING: 2.5/5

    Next up, in the tradition of sexy fairy tale retellings, Starlet Nights conducts its own erotic spin with Snow White.  Leslie Bovee (Lustful Feelings) stars as Joyce, wicked stepmother to Snow (Candy Nichols).  Frustrated with her husband’s fawning over his daughter, Joyce intends on ruining Snow’s virginal reputation.  The film begins with Joyce admiring herself in the mirror as she conducts a solo pleasure session on herself.  Summoning her magic mirror’s human entity and a genie, the trio engage in a wild threesome.  Joyce devises a scheme for Snow to meet her agent about acting, where she will be given a poisonous apple to consume.  Joyce never shies away from thanking those helping with the plan such as her agent’s secretary.  The two ladies decide to have a steamy fling on the boss’s desk because, why not?  While, Snow is being pampered and never eats the apple, Joyce organizes a costume party to take place as a way for her to smooze with prestigious producers.  It may be considered laziness or genuine appreciation but, Director Joseph Bardo (who also executive-produced the bitchin Vicious Lips), seemed to really love capturing groups of people fornicating in ridiculous costumes.  Consisting of familiar faces from Deep Roots, the party quickly turns into yet another sexual romp where Joyce engages in more triple action fun, a man is caught having chains clipped to his junk and Snow debuts herself with a kinky striptease.  Taking a cue from Deep Roots again, Snow quickly becomes the highlight of the party and patrons are taking turns with her.  The producer for the television series Charlie’s Devils (clever, right?) gets it on with Snow and casts her in the role Joyce was gunning for.  As Snow gets her big break and begins filming, she finally eats the apple and presumably dies although, it’s never really made clear.  Joyce catches her own break as the same producer wants her for the lead in Francis Ford Cappuccino’s The Godmother trilogy (notice a pattern here?).  Happily agreeing to the role, Joyce repays the favor by engaging in a sex-fueled romp session with said producer but not before inviting the housekeeper to join in.  Starlet Nights offers some of its own vintage Hollywood footage with shots of a Warner Bros. building and billboards for Roots and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  The film is far more fun and tongue in cheek than its predecessor and possesses more professionalism with a pro like Bovee in the lead.  While, other X-rated fairy tales like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella offer more entertainment, Starlet Nights packs a decent story with plenty of erotica to make it the superior flick of this package.
    RATING: 3/5

    VIDEO:
    Vinegar Syndrome have scanned both films in 2K from 35mm archival prints and presented in 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  Deep Roots kicks off in relatively rough shape with scratches and lines apparent and an odd pixelation in each shot.  While, the pixelation appears to be inherent in the transfer and not a technical glitch, the less than pleasing effect is distracting.  Colors are presented decently with detail looking most effective in extreme close ups of penetration and oral pleasure.  The second half of the film improves but imperfections are still prevalent throughout.  Starlet Nights is in much better shape with scratches and hiccups in lesser quantities and colors appearing much bolder.  Vinegar Syndrome’s latest Peekarama installment is a mixed bag with generally decent results.
    RATING: 3/5

    AUDIO:
    Both films come equipped with Dolby Digital 2.0 mixes, with varying results.  Deep Roots is plagued with a constant hiss in its track making dialogue a struggle to make out at times.  In addition, audio nearly drops out making a few dialogue moments severely muffled.  These appear to be source related incidents and lack of proper audio handling during filming.  Luckily, Starlet Nights fares much better with a static hiss practically nonexistent and dialogue sounding more robust.  A brief audio drop occurs during a later sex scene which stabilizes quickly.  Certainly, another mixed offering, with Deep Roots borderline disappointing but Starlet Nights more than making up for it.
    RATING: 3/5

    EXTRAS:

    Nothing to see here, folks!

    RATING: -/5

    OVERALL:
    Vinegar Syndrome’s second edition under their Peekarama banner goes down as a mixed offering of erotic selections.  Deep Roots sounded more appealing than it actually was with stiff acting crippling the flick, leaving the steamy sex scenes its only selling point.  Starlet Nights, the scandalous retelling of Snow White, fared much better with a funnier story and comical approaches to the characters.  Leslie Bovee steers the ship like an adult star pro making her the film’s highlight.  Orgy romps, oral pleasure and lesbianism pack all the necessary adult fun to make Starlet Nights the champ of this double bill.  Vinegar Syndrome accomplished the best results they could given the elements they were working from.  While, not stellar treatment, the films have been preserved in much better shape than originally found which is rewarding for all adult film fans. 
    RATING: 3/5 

  • Abduction of an American Playgirl (1975) / Winter Heat (1976) DVD Review


    Abduction of an American Playgirl (1975) / Winter Heat (1976)
    Director(s): Unknown / Claude Goddard
    Starring: Darby Lloyd Rains / Sue Rowan, Helen Madigan, Lisa Young & Jamie Gillis
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Vinegar Syndrome, the saviors of smut, kick off 2014 with a bang.  Literally!  The first entry in the label’s new “Peekarama” line pairs two scandalous features together that are sure to set fire to your senses.  What are a pair of kidnappers to do when their gorgeous victim gives them more of a sexual run than they anticipated?  Plus, winters can get mighty cold especially when a ruthless pack of delinquents barge into your cabin to light their own sexual fire.  Line up for the big show and witness the sultry excitement right before your eyes...

    Abduction of an American Playgirl finds two lonely men who decide that kidnapping a beautiful woman and subjecting her to their sexual pleasures will cure their anxiousness.  Oddly enough, the would-be victim turns the tables and reveals herself to be a supreme nymphomaniac leaving the men helpless to her demands.  Next up, Winter Heat finds a group of ex-cons intruding on and terrorizing a trio of helpless women in their snowbound cabin.

    MOVIE(s):
    Just when you thought you’ve seen it all from Vinegar Syndrome, the indie distributor is ready to surprise you again.  Abduction of an American Playgirl had sleaze written all over it but I was genuinely surprised to find so much humor in the film.  The bumbling kidnappers, one sporting a choice 70s-stache, are hilarious as a a pair of horny bums that are looking to fix their dilemma fast.  Much to their luck, they spot a gorgeous female and hatch a scheme to whisk her away back to their pad and have a wild night of carnal delights.  In addition, the two decide to extort $5,000 (because why get greedy) from the victim’s father in exchange for her safe return.  As the men finally decide to get down to business, the victim shows surprising interest in their “manlier” areas and the party becomes a mutual one.  Sexual positions a plenty invade the next few scenes with everything from oral pleasure to everything in between administered.  Once our kidnappers have had their fill, the victim is far from through.  The duration of the film takes hysterical turns as the men can barely get a moment of sleep let alone finish a cup of coffee before they are forced back into the bedroom.  To make matters worse, the victim’s father laughs off the men’s extortion attempts leaving them in an odyssey of sexual pleasure that they can no longer handle.  Other drifters make their way through the pad getting a taste of the nymphomaniacal victim before throwing in the towel and making their great escape.  Eventually, the father bites on the extortion scheme (for the bargain price of $500) and orders his other daughter to meet the exhausted culprits for the exchange.  Yet again, our victim and her resourceful sister, pull the sheet from under the men and make off with the money and their car!  The energetic sisters crash at a local motel for some incest-filled lovemaking before welcoming an African-American bellboy in for a little threesome action.  Penetrating excitement and a final climax shot wraps the film up with the ladies possibly biting off more than they can even chew.  Abduction of an American Playgirl surprised me with how humorous the actors and their exchanges with one another managed to be.  The film has no shortage of sexually-charged scenes that are sure to please the most devoted adult cinema lover.  
    RATING: 3/5

    There’s no question that Winter Heat was inspired by Wes Craven’s 1972 shocker The Last House on the Left, but how does it differentiate itself?  By turning up the sleaze notch, of course!  This unforgiving roughie, pits a group of ex-cons (three sleazeballs and one chick for good measure) who terrorize and abuse a group of unsuspecting women in a snowbound cabin.  Similar to Abduction of an American Playgirl, Winter Heat opens on a humorous note with the criminals discussing a variety of topics including how one of the men was raped in the rear while serving time plus his near bout with pneumonia.  Of course, conversation can bore some which leads our female henchmen to go down on one of her cronies because why not?  Eventually, the deadbeats make their way to a cabin of women where they force themselves inside for a night of abuse.  Winter Heat is unquestionably one of the sleazier flicks I’ve seen in sometime.  The ex-cons savagely insult and humiliate the women by making them strip, shove mashed potatoes down their throats and force them to perform oral sex.  Oral sex quickly turns into full-fledged rape as climax shots are popping off as early as 10 minutes into the film.  The abuse continues to mount as the rapists trade off girls and the female baddie has her own way with one of the victims.  While, the film doesn’t find the antagonists murdering anyone, they certainly push the sexual angle far more than The Last House on the Left did.  As time goes on, the victims seem to mutually go with the flow and begin to enjoy the company of their new housemates.  While, the sexual nature and shots of penetration are a tad more present here than Abduction of an American Playgirl, Winter Heat is easily the sleazier feature of this collection and will challenge you to take a shower after its viewing.
    RATING: 3/5

    VIDEO:
    Abduction of an American Playgirl has been scanned in 2K from the 35mm negative and presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  Yet again, Vinegar Syndrome surprises with how well films of this ilk can clean up.  Scratches and debris are present at times but overall colors are quite nice with the film’s imperfections never intruding.  This certainly gets the job done!
    RATING: 3.5/5

    Winter Heat has also been scanned in 2K from a 35mm archival print and presented in 1.33:1 aspect ratio with slightly rougher results.  The opening titles have plenty of scratches before stabilizing to better conditions.  Dirt and pops in the frame appear occasionally but not bad enough that you miss out on any action.  Considering the subject matter, the dirty grindhouse projection is nicely fitting for such a feature.
    RATING: 3/5

    AUDIO:
    Abduction of an American Playgirl is equipped with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix that is serviceable with dialogue coming across clear, albeit low at certain moments.  The dips in audio levels occur late in the film and will only require a few raises to your volume button to catch everything.  Overall, this’ll do.
    RATING: 3/5

    Winter Heat also comes with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix that is on par with the former.  Dialogue is heard clearly with a light hiss appearing at times.  Listening to this film a little louder than normal will benefit the viewing experience.  
    RATING: 3/5

    EXTRAS:

    - Abduction of an American Plowgirl Theatrical Trailer

    RATING: 0.5/5

    OVERALL:
    Vinegar Syndrome’s latest “Peekarama” offering is a unique bundling of edgier adult entertainment.  Abduction of an American Playgirl plays for laughs while still packing plenty of sexual enjoyment in the form of orgies, oral play and more!  Winter Heat is crowned sleaze king of this collection with its despicable portrayal of brutal ex-cons who have their way with innocent women.  The slimeballs definitely give David Hess and company a run for their money without even murdering any of their victims.  The film makes you feel dirty and succeeds in setting a genuine seedy tone.  Vinegar Syndrome continues to prove their fearlessness with the rare titles they release and their “Peekarama” installment may be one of their most risque to date.  Keep’em coming!
    RATING: 3.5/5

  • Wakefield Poole's Bible! (1973) DVD Review


    Wakefield Poole’s Bible! (1973)
    Director: Wakefield Poole
    Starring: Georgina Spelvin, Gloria Grant, Bo White & Caprice Couselle
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    The Bible seems like unusual and risque subject matter to utilize for a softcore effort.  Nonetheless, Director Wakefield Poole (Bijou) did just that when he unveiled his own erotic interpretation of collected stories from the good book in 1973.  Starring Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones), Gloria Grant, Bo White (Blue Summer) and Caprice Couselle, this is definitely not The Bible you remember reading in Sunday school.  Restored from the original negative, Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents Wakefield Poole’s Bible! for the first time on home video.  After 40 years, let’s see how this scandalous biblical tale holds up...

    Wakefield Poole’s Bible! is an erotic avant-garde retelling of stories from the holy book including Adam & Eve, Bath Sheba and Samson & Delilah.  Sexual twists are made to all the tales along with a stunning array of visuals and a soundtrack of classical music.

    MOVIE:
    Having never been a religious man, my interest was peaked at the idea of someone taking a source material so worshipped and injecting a sexually charged edge to it.  Director Wakefield Poole introduces the film and cites homages to Walt Disney’s Fantasia, Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles, which led me to believe that I was in store for a much more sophisticated softcore effort.  Interestingly enough, I was right.  As the film opens, the viewer is treated to beautiful cinematography where Adam is being birthed on a gorgeous beach setting.  Shortly thereafter, he encounters Eve and the two experience the touch and sexual pleasure of another human being for the first time.  The sequence is visually arresting and presented in a very classy manner.  The bite of the infamous apple segways into the next tale.  Bath Sheba (Georgina Spelvin)  grows jealous of her husband’s attraction towards a scantily clad servant and spends the rest of the story attempting to be more sexy.  Spelvin stuns as she bares all and ends up attracting the interest of a peeping tom.  The tale definitely injects the most humor of the lot as the two chase each other around until finally succumbing to their desires.  Finally, Gloria Grant stars as Delilah in perhaps the oddest story of the three.  Midgets covered in body paint along with a muscle man who Delilah goes down on before he’s killed will definitely raise a few eyebrows.  Grant, always proud of her body, shows off everything and is one of the highlights of the entire film alongside Spelvin.

    Wakefield Poole’s Bible! takes a silent film approach and is told with no dialogue (minus a few lines delivered by Eve).  The interactions between the characters and the classical music accompaniment bring the film to life in a similar fashion to Walt Disney’s Fantasia.  The film has plenty of beautiful sequences along with Spelvin and Grant on full display but even at a 75 minute runtime, the film tends to drag its feet.  I would cautiously recommend the film as a tasteful, albeit odd, and elegant execution in softcore, but be advised it may be appreciated for being more “artsy-fartsy” than it is tantalizing.  
    RATING: 3/5

    VIDEO:
    Vinegar Syndrome has restored Wakefield Poole’s Bible! from the original negative in 2K and presents it in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio.  The film stumbles early on as footage (assumingly stock) of the big bang is loaded with scratches and debris but stabilizes soon after.  Colors are decent enough with milder scratches and pops apparent throughout the runtime without imposing on the viewing experience.  A serviceable presentation for a film that could, and probably should, look a lot worse.
    RATING: 3/5

    AUDIO:
    Wakefield Poole’s Bible! comes equipped with a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono mix that does what it needs to.  With barely any dialogue spoken, the mix does a fine job relaying the classical music soundtrack as well as subtle background noises like chirping birds and wave crashes.
    RATING: 3/5

    EXTRAS:

    - Introduction by Director Wakefield Poole

    - Audio Commentary with Director Wakefield Poole: Poole explains how his original intent was to make this a hardcore film but seeing as how this was during the Nixon administration, he opted for softcore.  Poole remains quiet for many portions of the film choosing to set up a scene and and allowing it to play out.  Poole occasionally offers some thoughtful injections on his artistic choices for the film but they are far and few between.

    - Women of Bible - Interviews with Georgina Spelvin & Gloria Grant: Spelvin enthusiastically discusses her early work in hardcore films which eventually lead to her role as Bath Sheba in Bible!.  Spelvin touches on the lightning speed pace of the film shoot and her admiration for Poole.  Meanwhile, Gloria Grant explains how working in a restaurant lead to her being cast in the film.  Grant goes on to explain that she hailed from a family of ministers who were unaware of her appearance in the film.  Grant also discusses her shift to becoming a make-up artist which earned her an Emmy for her work on As the World Turns.

    - Emerald City Interview: Director Wakefield Poole discusses Bible! on a public access network circa 1977.

    - Bible! Screen Tests

    - Stills Gallery

    - Theatrical Trailer

    RATING: 4/5

    OVERALL:
    Wakefield Poole’s Bible! is an odd but often unique softcore retelling of biblical tales.  The cinematography and classical music add a layer of beauty to a film that already accomplishes a lot visually.  While, the appearances of Spelvin and Grant are the highlights of the film, it does tend to get a little too artsy for my own taste and causes the runtime to stretch itself thin.  For those expecting a sexually graphic interpretation of Adam & Eve going at it, think again because this is far more tasteful than that.  Vinegar Syndrome does a great service by providing a wealth of interesting special features and insight into a film that evaded home video for 40 years.  Wakefield Poole’s Bible! is a unique beast that is sure to have a divided audience but for fans of adult cinema, this is a rare softcore experiment that should be experienced at least once.
    RATING: 3.5/5

  • Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying (1977) DVD Review


    Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying (1977)
    Director: Ernst Hofbauer
    Starring: Helga Anders, Sandra Atia, Ulrich Beiger & Rolf Castell
    Released by: Impulse Pictures

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Impulse Pictures bears all yet again with the latest, tantalizing installment of Schoolgirl Report.  Director Ernst Hofbauer returns behind the camera for another educational exercise in teenage erotica.  With 10 of the original 13 installments released on DVD, will this latest offering of soft-core vignettes be worthy of a spot in your adult cinema collection?  Let’s get down to it...

    Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying centers on a German radio program where experts have joined to discuss what can be done to protect the youth of today.  As sexually charged stories are explained, the viewer watches them unfold on screen.  A young girl is crushed when her sex partner betrays her during their many sexual study sessions.  Regime, an attractive schoolgirl, claims she was sexually assaulted by her tutor while a foursome in a barn goes from hot to hilarious.  In addition, Michaela plans to commit suicide after being kidnapped and turned into a sex slave while, in the final segment, a group of girls are destined to see their 18 year-old friend Heidi finally lose her virginity.

    MOVIE:
    Admittedly, Volume #11 of this extremely popular franchise is my first encounter with the series.  Having known much about their history and appeal, the films always evaded me until now.  Coming off “hardcore” material such as The Oral Generation and Lustful Feelings, Schoolgirl Report Volume #11 surprised me with its toned down sexual scenes and intriguing story.  Don’t get me wrong, this is very much an adult film but, if you’re searching for moments of penetration or shots of climaxes, you’ve come to the wrong film.  This latest installment weaves a much more interesting story to encompass the sexual vignettes than one would expect.  Assembling a group of experts to discuss the laws enforced on the youth gives the film an almost scholarly approach to the subject matter.  Sexologist, Günther Hunold, co-wrote the film as well as the other installments in the series.  Hunold’s non-fiction book Schulmädchen-Report was the loose inspiration for the films which could explain the very honest and educational slant they possess.  Volume #11 manages to tease the viewer with its array of young ladies as much as it shocks and injects humor into itself.  The foursome of virgins soiling their royal oats in a barn reaches a hilarious climax just as... well, they climax, resulting in a messy, paint covered finale.  The shocker of the bunch is Michaela’s kidnapping and disturbing turn into a sex slave.  Her escape and desire to end her life is a grim one due to the believability of the situation.  I don’t know about you but I’m not sure how pro-life I would be after an experience like that.  Thankfully, the film ends on a much lighter segment with Heidi’s friends constantly nagging her about ditching her virginity.  Heidi’s friend locks her cousin and Heidi in a room together until the deed is done.  The two teens have a hoot making the ladies outside believe things are getting hot and heavy.  Afterwards, Heidi and her new “partner” fall for one another and decide to actually make love on their terms.  Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying was an unexpected, albeit decent execution in soft-core eroticism that just might inspire me to sniff out the previous installments in this enduring series.
    RATING: 3/5

    VIDEO:
    Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying is presented in anamorphic widescreen (1.66:1) and looks decent enough.  The film’s opening title sequence is the roughest in shape with scratches and debris a plenty but the print stabilizes nicely afterwards.  Colors are slightly drained but not awful looking, with no real eye sores for the rest of the runtime.
    RATING: 3/5

    AUDIO:
    Impulse Pictures accompanies the film with a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix presented in its original German language.  The mix gets the job done with serviceable treatment and nothing in the way of dialogue.  In addition, newly translated English subtitles are provided as an option.
    RATING: 3/5

    EXTRAS:

    No special features included with the exception of the optional English subtitles.

    RATING: -/5

    OVERALL:
    Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying was my first crash course with this series that garnered much popularity in its heyday.  Arriving so late to the party had me concerned that the series would be losing steam, but Volume #11 managed to tell a unique tale draped in soft-core glory.  Unable to compare it to the other installments, Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying certainly didn’t make me run for the hills in disappointment but rather left me more curious on the staying power of this neverending franchise.
    RATING: 3/5

  • Virgin and the Lover (1973) / Lustful Feelings (1978) DVD Review


    Virgin and the Lover (1973) / Lustful Feelings (1978)
    Director: Kemal Horulu
    Starring: Eric Edwards, Leah Marlon & Jennifer Welles / Leslie Bovee & Jamie Gillis
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    Vinegar Syndrome welcomes another double dose of passion and perversion in their popular Drive-In Collection!  The indie label continues to preserve and release some of the most obscure and erotic films in recent history with this latest release being no exception.  Two bonafide skin flicks from Director Kemal Horulu (The Sexualist) are paired up that’s sure to send your senses for a loop with featured talent from Jennifer Welles, Leslie Bovee and Jamie Gillis.  Let’s take a look at these erupting features…

    Virgin and the Lover centers on a filmmaker (Eric Edwards) who lives in a sensual dream world where he is torn between his love for a beautiful woman and his odd desires for a female mannequin.  In Lustful Feelings, a young woman (Leslie Bovee) is forced to earn an income in order to pay off the drug debt her lover (Jamie Gillis) owes.  Unknowingly to her significant other, she takes up prostitution and develops a knack for it.


    This review was originally published through Euro Cult AV.  To view it in its entirety, click this link:

    http://eurocultav.com/Reviews/Virgin_and_the_Lover_Lustful_F/virgin_and_the_lover_lustful_f.html

  • The Oral Generation (1970) DVD Review


    The Oral Generation (1970)
    Director: ?
    Starring: ?
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome

    Reviewed by Mike Kenny

    The exploitation hounds that make up Vinegar Syndrome are back at it again with some more scandalous cinemania from Times Square circa 1970! If you’re yearning for a crash course in the scientific study of how to please your significant other in the oral department, then you’ve come to the right place. The Oral Generation will provide with you all the necessary answers you desire in explicit detail but not before you are treated to four sexy shorts in the flesh. Feelin’ lucky tonight? Then, shut that mouth and prepare to enter The Oral Generation

    In true theatrical viewing experience, the sultry cinema begins as soon as you insert the disc in your player.  We are treated to a trailer for the main attraction, The Oral Generation, which showcases some true money shots that are awaiting the viewer towards the second hour. Next, the sexual odyssey continues in four skintastic shorts that, much like the main feature, are marking their home video debuts. Clinical Sex focuses on Alice, a patient seeking the help of her physician in regards to her inability to be sexually aroused while making love to her husband. Fear not because some “close bonding” with the doc will be sure to clear that right up. Meanwhile, Nurse Ella, the doctor’s faithful companion, tends to another female patient ensuring she is “well taken care of”. Unfortunately, we learn that once Alice’s husband catches wind of the doctor’s “break through” with his wife, he takes legal action and successfully closes down his practice… and things were going so well too.

    Any Way You Like It deals again with a concerned female patient seeking the guidance of her doctor after being disturbed by her brother stimulating a slew of maids with some contraption. The doctor decides the only way to break her mental block with vibrators is by using it on her. For what the check-up fee is, our patient isn’t pleased and insists on the “real thing” while the nurse becomes friendly with the contraption herself. The true oddball of the bunch is Naked Sexes which pits four topless women and three g-string wearing muscle men (who all look like they’d be very fitting in William Friedkin’s Cruising) literally giggling at each other for 15 minutes. There’s no sexual interaction between the opposite sexes just a weird face-off of laughing bursts as the men flex everything from their butt cheeks to their pecs. The short comes off quite hilarious at times but quickly runs out of gas as the constant laughing will drive you insane.

    The Different Sex, the final short, deals with sex education student Sandra, who while writing a paper on the human orgasm finds the best way to learn about the subject is experiencing it firsthand with her two male classmates who amazingly can have sex while wearing their shorts! As Sandra completes her “research” her female roommate and neighbor, Karen, both feel that Sandra could use some “extended notes”. It’s no mystery that Sandra could write her paper with such ease and knowledge on the subject after such intensive studies. Before the main feature begins, we are treated to an outtake from the film where a couple are having an arousingly fun time sucking each others fingers among other things all on a hideous plaid couch.

    Finally, after 52 minutes of shorts to prep you, The Oral Generation takes center stage. The film kicks off with some truly remarkable footage of Times Square 1970 and all the operating grindhouse and peepshow theaters of the time all in their blinking light glory. The Oral Generation certainly attempts to take a very educational standpoint on the oral satisfaction between lovers. The popular sex books at this time in history are discussed as well as the religions stances on certain areas of sex and love making. But, don’t be fooled thinking this is a health class video because before you know it, you are thrown into some truly explicit scenes. A wife narrates as she explains how she relaxes her husband in the shower after a long workday. In addition, a husband, during sex, fantasizes about his wife being a provocative secretary. The scene continues to cut back and forth from the couple going at it to the wife in sexy lingerie having some fun with herself for the camera. As the film progresses, an interracial couple are having an orally good time as the woman imagines her husband as some sort of karate master with sai in hand. Finally, the film climaxes literally with a couple inviting a female friend to join in on their sexual fun.

    MOVIE:
    Without sounding like a prood, I find it difficult to evaluate films of this caliber since they aren’t a major area of interest for me. I appreciate that they have such a dedicated fan base and the content, specifically of the 1970s, made up such a large part of what made that New York City scene so gritty and fascinating. The Oral Generation is certainly a genuine slice of programming from the Times Square theaters during the early 70s and that itself is intriguing. The explicit nature and rawness of the content on this release is something that I’m not even sure exists anymore so to see it saved and so well preserved is quite a sight. The shorts have more comedic moments than anything found in the main feature which was welcoming for someone who doesn’t view much of this content. Other than that, I suppose you get what you’re looking for when it comes to adult flicks of this time. Naked Sexes remains such an oddity to me that I don’t think I’ll be forgetting it anytime soon especially the one g-string wearing gent that sported a Groucho Marxesque mustache. The Oral Generation, the feature presentation, started off appealing to me simply due to the remarkable shots of Times Square early on in the film and other New York landmarks like the New York Public Library that would be so awesomely utilized over a decade later in Ghostbusters. Before long, the educational viewpoints that are presented earlier all take a backseat for the sexual and oral goodness people are coming to expect. Scenes of men and women going down on each other drag for 15 minutes at a time which quickly becomes boring. If you’re jonesing for money shots of penetration that are teased in the trailer then you’ll have to wait until the final moments of the film. I can’t say that I personally hated the film, it’s just not really my cup of tea. There’s no denying that there is a demand for vintage content of this kind and if you’re a lover of the material then The Oral Generation will fit in well with your adult cinema collection. It just wasn’t for me.
    RATING: 2/5

    VIDEO:
    If you asked me how circa 1970 pornography would look in this day and age, I would have naively said “it’ll look like shit”. But, I’d be wrong. Dead wrong! Vinegar Syndrome presents this release in a 1.37:1 aspect ratio restored in 2K from the original 35mm camera negatives. These flicks are quite the sight. Colors look remarkably bright while skin tones are as natural as can be. Detail is terrific picking up the sweat droplets on faces and every minor blemish one could possibly notice on a body. Minor moments of scratches are seen but they are so quick and insignificant that it barely makes a difference whatsoever. It’s hard to believe these films look as wonderful as they do but take my word for it, these are some top quality looking skin-flicks!
    RATING: 4/5

    AUDIO:
    The English Mono track does what it needs to do. No distracting hiss or anything to disrupt the film can be found here. Dialogue and groans of ecstasy come off nice and clear.
    RATING: 3.5/5

    EXTRAS:

    Depending on how you look at it, everything that was discussed above, with the exception of the main feature, can be considered as an extra. That said, since the film automatically plays through everything together gives it the impression that it’s all one seamless program. But, for the sake of debating, I’ll re-list the extras in this section as well.

    - The Oral Generation Theatrical Trailer

    - Shorts restored in 2K from 35mm original camera negatives: Clinical Sex, Any Way You Like It, Naked Sexes & The Different Sex

    - 10 minute outtake scene from The Oral Generation

    RATING: 3/5

    OVERALL:
    The Oral Generation is an explicit, sexually charged journey from yesteryear. A time when pornography was on the rise and really finding its footing in society. While I wasn’t particularly blown away by the material, there’s no denying the demand for content from this era and Vinegar Syndrome has done a remarkable job saving it from oblivion. The video quality is breathtaking when considering the kind of material this is and the extras are a nice assortment of adult goodness that makes this package a great bang for your buck. The Oral Generation is a film that was destined to live and die along with the Times Square scene of the 70s but thankfully Vinegar Syndrome came to the rescue and gave it superior treatment. Regardless of my overall opinion of the content, preserving any film, especially in this case, before they become extinct gets a praise from me. Well done, Vinegar Syndrome!
    RATING: 3/5