DVD Review: Drive-In Collection: Expectations & Confessions

During the ’70s, the drive-in theaters were losing popularity. Why? Perhaps people wanted air conditioning instead of sitting in their car on a sweltering summer night? Maybe they desired the ability to hear the movie in a massive Dolby Surround Sound instead of a tiny speaker hanging on the car window? Families preferred the new cineplexes with multiple theaters that allowed them to dump the kids in one theater while they see non-Disney titles. What could a drive-in theater operator do? A few drive-ins went for a new demographic by skipping the G-rated family fun for X-rated excitement. Basically the theater owners were projecting the sort of frisky action that was already taking place in the cars parked in front of the screen. Drive-In Collection: Expectations & Confessions is the perfect double feature for a venue that had its mega-screen positioned so that cars traveling on the nearby road couldn’t get a free peep show.

Both movies were made by prolific director Anthony Spinelli (Talk Dirty to Me) in 1977. They might have played together on a few marquees. Expectations and Confessions have the same theme of women losing their humdrum lives in carnal escape. The ladies take an extended walk on the wild side without having to stray too far from home unlike the popular Emmanuelle series. These films are kinda like Jack Nicholson’s The Passenger except with less arthouse appeal. Nobody was counting on New York Film Critics to give them fat awards. They just wanted another gig with Spinelli.

Expectations is a proper identity switch story. Margo (Delania Raffino) has grown bored of her life as a rich housewife. Instead of getting a gig on a Bravo Real Housewives series, she makes a deal with Montana (Chris Cassidy) to swap lives. This is like Wife Seap except they aren’t supposed to be chaste during the identity exchange. This element is introduced nearly as fast as Margo moves into Montana’s tiny apartment. Adult Film legend Joey Silvera knocks on the door and proceeds to knock her boots. He doesn’t notice or care that she’s not really Montana. This also leads to Margo having her first sensual experience with a woman (Desiree West). She’s no longer a humdrum housewife as she becomes the other woman. What about Montana’s time at Margo’s fancy house? Things get seriously complicated when she sleeps with one of Margo’s relatives. Can either women swap back at the end of their exchange time? The film has a bit of an arty edge as it’s easy to suspect that Margo is also Montana. Is this a double life being lived by one woman? Are we out thinking the movie that is barely 68 minutes long?

Confessions is a less complicated identity escape flick. Beth (Kristine Heller billed as Cindy Johnson) is a bored housewife who isn’t digging her husband. While out driving, she gives into temptation when waiting for the light behind a biker. This kinky encounter leads her to do wild things like play with her husband’s boss (Silvera) and be a Domme for a couple. It’s kind of like Luis Bunel’s Belle Du Jour except there’s no care about how this will affect her relationship with the dull husband. Heller isn’t a bad actress when she’s full clothed. This film appears to be the peak of her career since she “retired” after 1978.

Vinegar Syndrome was supposed to also release Drive-In Collection: Savage Water & Death By Invitation at the same time. Unfortunately they encountered a rights issue with Savage Water which is a shame for fans of movies about white water rafting trips going to hell. But there’s a chance it’ll be released at a later date. Drive-In Collection: Expectations & Confessions is a remarkable double feature that deserves a play at the Wayside Drive-In on the edge of town in the summer of 1977. Spinelli’s two efforts play well without being the same movie with a slightly different cast joining Joey Silvera.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfers make the films look so much better from when their 35mm prints were shipped around the country. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. They do a fine job with a rather rough audio track.

There are no bonus features.

Drive-In Collection: Expectations & Confessions feature two women who find alternate ways to lose their humdrum life for an escape into hedonism. This is great for people eager for a double feature of vintage adult films. These are adult movies from the ’70s so be prepared for body hair.

Vinegar Syndrome presents Drive-In Collection: Expectations & Confessions. Directed by: Anthony Spinelli. Starring: Kristine Heller, Joey Silvera, Delania Raffino and Chris Cassidy. Boxset Contents: 2 movies on 1 DVD. Released: March 12, 2013. Available at Amazon.com.