DVD Reviews: Vinegar Syndrome’s August Releases



Drive-In Collection: In Search of Big Foot & Cry Wilderness is a double feature from Vinegar Syndrome that’s family friendly. That’s not a joke. I’m not talking about the family known as the Aristocrats. The two films were actually made kids and grown ups in the ’70s & ’80s that couldn’t get enough Sasquatch action. The groovy decade was obsessed with tales of Bigfoot encounters. He became a recurring character on The Six Million Dollar Man. In Search of Bigfoot (1975 – 76 minutes) is a documentary about people hunting around Washington state looking for the mythical man/bear missing link creature that only left fur, feces and enormous footprints in the woods. This is not an episode of the old Leonard Nimoy series In Search Of… The documentary follows Bob Morgan on his mission and the people he encounters. He puts together a huge team of specialists to ensure there’s more than one witness if they encounter the truth. Morgan swears he saw Bigfoot by himself 20 years before. But he had no idea what he saw back then. He thought it was a gorilla. Does he get a second meeting? I can’t give that away. The film is more entertaining and intriguing than the recent cable show about looking for Bigfoot. Cry Wilderness (1986 – 91 minutes) is a family film about a kid who claims he met Bigfoot while staying at his grandfather’s house. It could have just been one of his grandfather’s friends with a serious body hair issue. The kid is mocked at his boarding school. The kid has a dream of Bigfoot warning him that his father is in danger. The kid runs away to the mountain wilderness to save dad and hook up with his hairy buddy. This is a goofy film brought to you by the folks who made Night Train to Terror. Both films are suitable for Bigfoot lovers of all ages.

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Peekarama: Gail Palmer’s Tropic of Desire & Fantasy World is not for anyone family member under 18. We return back to the odd question of whether Gail Palmer existed. Once more it seems that Bob Chinn made these two films instead of the woman. Tropic of Desire (1979 – 80 minutes) features a rather sophisticated Polynesian production design. The sets might seem familiar since they probably were used in Chinn’s Sadie (also out from Vinegar Syndrome). But that’s not a complaint. In the low budget world of filmmaking, especially in the adult genre, there’s no need to avoid reusing a classy set that’s survived one movie. The action takes place in a Honolulu brothel run by Georgina Spelvin. The movie is a bit of an anthology with the different hookers having to tell their story between entertaining sailors. Everyone wants to bring a little carnal joy to each other during World War II. This film seems a bit more historically accurate than a Roger Corman flick. Fantasy World (1979 – 80 minutes) allows Paul Thomas to once more sing as part of his performance. Before he entered the adult acting business, Thomas was part of the Broadway cast of Jesus Christ Superstar. The film features three sailors on shore leave meeting up with three single ladies who visit a nightclub that believes in audience participation numbers. The MC at the club can transport audience members to their ultimate fantasy. The big question is if anyone will want to come back from their ultimate pleasure. Both films have their trailers so you can grasp how audiences in Times Square knew what was coming up.

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Peekarama: Purely Physical & Cathouse Fever is a twice the fun from Chris Warfield. Purely Physical (1982- 82 minutes) early manic pixie girl (Laura Lazare) on a bike gets a gig as the nightclerk at a sleazy motel. She’s wanting to make a little money to get through college. She gets to encounter the unique clientele that don’t need the room for the entire night. Aunt Peg is among those that have their needs met behind closed doors. A few do their best to make Laura abandon her desk, but she holds out until the very end. Cathouse Fever (1984 – 76 minutes) lets Becky Savage quit her boring job and head to Nevada to become a hooker. She lives her dream although what she really wants is a relationship. Can she find Mister Right behind a pile of $20 bills left on the dresser? There’s a weird gag about a guy with tape on his mouth which probably didn’t even work 30 years ago with audiences.

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Peekarama: The Ultimate Pleasure & I Am Always Ready comes from Carlos Tobalina (Jungle Blue. The Ultimate Pleasure (1977 – 72 minutes) is about a couple having serious problems in the bedroom. There’s not much they can do until the husband has a guy die in the back of his taxi. Turns out the corpse left a briefcase full of money. He uses this windfall to pay for his wife to get extreme therapy that involves a strange South American drug and John Holmes. The strangest moment in the film is when the “AIDS Ambulance Service” of San Francisco arrives to see about the dead guy. This isn’t some sort of snide joke since the first case of AIDS wasn’t recognized until 1981 and the syndrome wasn’t called AIDS until 1982. I haven’t been able to find out if this was a real ambulance service or something stickered up by the art director. I Am Always Ready (1978 – 71 minutes) allows Ronie Ross to inherit a fortune. Instead of giving part of it to charity, she funds an adult movie that stars her. She spares no expense at getting only the best to be a part of her film. She’s willing to fork up the big bucks to fly John Holmes from Europe to her San Francisco location. This is much better than what most rich Facebook and Google employees have done with their paydays.

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The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic for all the titles except 1.33:1 on In Search of Bigfoot. The transfers look really good for films that have had a rough history. The audio is mono for all the titles. The soundtracks are tweaked to sound better than ever.

Trailers for most of the films are on their respective DVD sets.

Vinegar Syndrome has finally hit the family market with their double dip of Bigfoot flicks. It’s a good mix of the documentary and the overeager family film. The more adult fare will get viewers a clearer view of what made John Holmes a legend in adult cinema. He was a busy actor during this time.

Vinegar Syndrome presents In Search of Big Foot & Cry Wilderness, Peekarama: Gail Palmer’s Tropic of Desire & Fantasy World, Peekarama: Purely Physical & Cathouse Fever and Peekarama: The Ultimate Pleasure & I Am Always Ready. Directed by: Bob Chinn and others. Starring: John Holmes and Bigfoot. Rated: G to NC-17. Released: August 12, 2014.

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