DVD Reviews: Vinegar Syndrome Spring Releases

As the temperatures soar outside, the fine folks at Vinegar Syndrome have been heating up the DVD player with numerous titles rescued from the bowels of Times Square memories. They’re recently released 9 titles that vary from the perverse interpretation of classics to just perverse.

A Saint…A Woman…A Devil… (1976) is an adult version of All About Eve before Showtime did it with United States of Tara. Sylvia (Joanna Fields) is sweet woman. Except she has a dark secret that she herself might not know. Turns out she has multiple personalities that turn her into a wild vixen who likes anyone in the room. How did she get this way? Hopefully her psychiatrist can crack her open. The movie was written and directed by Peter Savage, who worked on the book Raging Bull. The greatest part of this adult movie is at thanks to the crew made up of NYU film school undergraduates. This is almost like working on a Scorsese film.
Peekarama: Sadie & The Seductress is a Bob Chinn double feature that will keep your head up. Sadie (1980) is Chinn’s reworking of the Joan Crawford movie Rain. This tale originally written by Somerset Maugham is about a hooker on a tropical island. Chinn adapts it to the Vietnam war. His hooker Sadie (Chris Cassidy) has a bit of a relationship with a holy roller senator. This is a rather classy production with fine performance and sets. This is shows what you can do when a film has a good base story. The Seductress (1981) is a classic tale of blackmailer meets eager couples who don’t notice themselves being filmed. Who is he? What does he want? What will they have to pay to get their secrets hidden?
Peekarama: The Altar of Lust & Angel on Fire is a Roberta Findlay double feature. Roberta really was a woman and not merely a guy’s fake identity. The Altar of Lust is a bit of an educational comedy. A psychiatrist wants to find out what traumatic experience turned his female patient off men. This might make for a comical night for anyone working on their degree in psychology. Angel on Fire is a classic tale of someone walking a mile in another person’s shoes. A jerk dumps his pregnant girlfriend. Through a twist of fate and an accident, the jerk discovers he’s now a woman. He quickly learns what it’s like to be a woman when he encounters Jamie Gillis. Vinegar Syndrome has revived the legacy of Gillis as cinematic force of nature with various releases. The rugged Gillis has his gritty edge on display while letting the jerk get a taste of his own medicine.
Peekarama: Deep Tango & Young Secretaries is a double feature of movies using the infamy of other movies to get quick publicity. Deep Tango (1974) brings together the buzz words from Deep Throat and Last Tango In Paris. Unlike the earlier Deep Roots which had nothing to do with the merged movies, Deep Tango does its best to steal moments from Last Tango in Paris. The movie contains actual parody moments of the beloved Marlon Brando flick. Quite a few scenes are sent up like an adult MADtv sketch. The butter scene gets a proper remix including a visit from a loaf of bread. Young Secretaries (1974) feels like a homage to Roger Corman’s Young Nurses. The plot is simple enough, fresh out of school secretaries will do anything for their bosses. Prepare yourself for scenes of young ladies, older guys, neck ties and big hair.
Drive-In Collection: The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio & A Clockwork Blue are director Jeffrey Haims’ historical features. The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio (1971) mixes the bloody violence with adult action. It’s on one of those movies that asks the question: Who is the intended audience for this film? This is grindhouse. There’s a really gross scene involving a dissected frog. A Clockwork Blue (1972) has nothing to do with Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. This is mostly about time travel to see how historical figures got nasty with each other. Homer gets to be a dirty Doctor Who. It’s a good jokey film with a wardrobe borrowed from a local dinner theater. There is also a limited edition Blu-ray (only 1,000 pressed) that gives more detail to the historical hanky-panky.
Marilyn and the Senator (1975) tears the roof off the U.S. Capitol Building. A senator (William Mangold) is chosen for a risky assignment. While the guy is married, he’s been selected to knock up a CIA agent (Nin Fause). This borders on The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington greatness. The amazing thing is that this film is 128 minutes long. Does seem that director Carolos Tobalina wasn’t a big fan of editing his shot film. Mangold gives a thoroughly entertaining audio commentary. He lets us in on all the secrets including how Fause was cast as the star.
Lust For Freedom (1987) is the first Troma film being presented by Vinegar Syndrome. Rarely does a movie need a laughtrack. But Lust For Freedom would have benefited from one because it was hard to tell at first if it was an inadvertent comedy. But according to director Eric Louzil on the commentary track, they were playing this over the top cop drama for laughs. The laughs are there. An undercover police sting goes extremely bad. Gillian Kaites not merely loses her partner, but her lover when it all falls apart. She walks away from the force to find herself. Her journey crosses into a crooked county where she gets to find out the evils being done at the local women’s prison. This is more hilarious than an episode of B.J. and the Bear. If you enjoy big cheesy ’80s flicks, you’ll lust for Lust for Freedom. Along with Louzil’s track, Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman talks on camera about the movie.
Jungle Blue (1978) does its best to grab the audience that was eager from Dino’s King Kong. This has all the reality of a Tarzan movie. A group of explorers hit the jungle to hang out with a guy in a loin cloth. He hangs out with a guy in a gorilla suit. The duo seem to have no problem getting lucky in the wilds of Africa. The director smartly has a lot of romance scenes that use reaction shots from tropical birds and jungle critters. This is the first time this film has been properly released on home video. This movie is more exciting Dino’s King Kong.
Peekarama: Pretty Peaches 2 & Pretty Peaches 3 reminds people the adult industry didn’t completely abandon film when the ’80s arrived. Alex deRenzy’s adult films break the myth from Boogie Nights. The two films continue the original film that starred Desiree Cousteau. She’s not in either. Siobahn
Hunter plays Peaches in Pretty Peaches 2 (1987). She’s frustrated living at home since mom hooks up with her boyfriend (Peter North). She ends up hitting the road to visit her Uncle (Ron Jeremy). Ultimately she meets ups with Jamie Gillis and gets a little sense of direction in her life. It’s a colorful adult feature. Pretty Peaches 3 (1989) brings along Keisha (Beer League) in the title role. This time she gets spiritual help from a televangelist played by Jamie Gillis. While it doesn’t quite have the star power of 2, there is an appearance from the actor who played Sticks on Happy Days. Vinegar Syndrome has done a fine job in presenting these titles in their cinematic glory.