Times Square was once a wonderland of wonders. It was that place that scared millions and tempted thousands with its mixture of carnality and muggings. This was where the base desires lurked until the invention of the internet. Vinegar Syndrome has done amazing work revitalizing the films that once were hyped on the marquees across Times Square. The following 8 DVDs have done their best to give us the entertainment that once pleased Travis Bickle when he was taking a break from his cabbie gig.
The Flying Acquaintances (1973 – 78 minutes) takes off with Jamie Gillis as a bank teller who moonlights as a cabbie on the weekends. He’s a semi-faithful husband who picks up a stewardess for at the airport and brings her into Manhattan. Turns out she doesn’t have enough cash on her so she gives him a ride. Once again, I’m left pondering why Martin Scorcese didn’t call up Gillis to have a supporting role in Taxi Driver? This film is more of a hard R with a lack of more revealing character shots. There’s a comical element in the romance scenes where the guys have their briefs only halfway down to block any thing that get it in trouble with the ratings board. There’s a great comical moment where Gillis reads a Playboy while engaged with his costar. The bonus features include a trailer, stills and outtakes. It’s funny to see Gillis spot his co-star.
Peekarama: Anticipation & Flesh Pond is a double feature from director Carlos Tobalina. Anticipation (1981 – 82 minutes) opens as just married couple drives through San Francisco back when it was a freaky and shaking town. The bride is eager for finally legal fun in bed. The groom is taken back at finally seeing her birthday suit. It’s like a Duggar honeymoon night. His brother has issues with his wife that leads to him getting busted by the cops. Things get complicated when the siblings get the hots for each others spouse. Things get complicated during a masked party. Flesh Pond (1983 – 78 minutes) gets back to suburban pagan nature. A group of swingers arrives at a country brothel for a wild time. Little do they count on the party being interrupted by two escaped fugitives. Instead of the usual hostage crisis, the outlaws strip down and join in the fun. There’s some plot in this madness.
Drive-In Collection: Marsha The Erotic Housewife, For Single Swingers Only & Her Odd Tastes is a triple feature from Don Davis. Marsha The Erotic Housewife (1970 – 66 minutes) appropriately stars Marsha Jordan. Things start of on a wild foot when their friends secretly audiotape their first time getting freaky legally. It’s a great joke that people did back in the ’70s. Their erotic life loses his luster. Things get worse when they have a kid. She finally gets a little passion in her life by picking up guys at a bar straight out of Quincy. She goes by herself to Las Vegas to gamble on hooking up. This could almost be the pilot for a new series on HBO with its marital melodrama plot. For Single Swingers Only (1968 – 71 minutes) feeds the fantasy of what happens at adults only apartment complexes. The film reminds us that these adults like to shower without any clothes. A woman lays nearly naked on a automated massage table when a neighbor lends a hand. This is the untold stories of the early years of Melrose Place. Her Odd Tastes (1969 – 72 minutes) sends Marsha Jordan around the globe looking for pleasures. Using plenty of stock footage and props borrowed from the early years of Pier One, she goes far. She even shoots up drugs to get a good rush. Nothing is beyond her desired to feel all the desires. She takes part in a savage ritual. Her exploration leads to a comically sad ending. All of the films are from an era where people kept their privates covered even at the naughty cinema so you can watch these three films with your Great Aunt Anna.
Champagne For Breakfast (1980 – 102 minutes) is a smooth piece of adult filmmaking. The opening theme song is as slick as any Hollywood feature. John Leslie is looking for work and finds out that Champagne (Leslie Bovee) needs a chauffeur. He fears the advertising executive won’t hire a guy unless he acts gay. He does his best to be Jack Tripper, the early years. He has a bit time problem when he’s trying to massage her without getting excited. Can he resist her in a sailor suit? The film was market for both the hard and soft viewers. The DVD has trailers for both cuts. There’s also about six minutes of footage used to pad the R rated cut.
Peekarama: Come Under My Spell & Lady Dynamite is another two-fer from Carlos Tobalina. He made more movies than Kevin Hart. Come Under My Spell (1979 – 82 minutes) is the classic set up of college guys looking for a way to pick up women. What can they use to get laid in the wild San Francisco? How about a book on how to hypnotize women? They put their new skills to the ultimate test by turning a wedding reception into their own private orgy. There is a bit of comedy when they try to pass off an apartment’s kitchenette as a hospital room. Lady Dynamite (1979 – 80 minutes) opens with Colleen Brennen getting dumped by her husband after 10 years of marriage. Instead of taking it hard, she hits the road looking for all sorts of kicks. She’s ready to explore all the stuff her husband never wanted to try. She’s down for all sort of parties. Nothing in San Francisco is off limits. Brennen’s red hair looks good on the screen as she dresses down for all occasions.
Peekarama: My Sinful Life & Vegas Girls is about girls that leave home in hopes of a brilliant career. My Sinful Life (1983 – 83 minutes) has Danielle leave home for San Francisco. She confesses to her aunt that she had to leave home for what her adopted parents have been doing to her. Instead of sticking to her educational goals, she meets a gal who gets her working at a brothel. There she meets Jamie Gillis. She also meets other interesting people. The aunt looks like the dorky best friend in those ’80s private school flicks. The end theme song is a great ’80s tune. Las Vegas Girls (1983 – 81 minutes) features a pair of detectives hunting around Sin City for a runaway girl. She’s the daughter of a rich oil man. But she’s arrived in Las Vegas to live the dream of being a hooker. Look closely to spot the Members Only jacket. The detectives hit every orgy on the strip to find their subject. This will be the plot for True Detective 3.
Savage Sadists, Den of Dominance & Daughters of Discipline is a triple feature that lasts as long a regular movie. The three films from director Phil Prince are the early years of 50 Shades of Grey. These are roughies in their content. The cast gets plenty of use with leather and chains in their aggressive action content. This must be what the graduate students in film create at the School of Hard Knocks. There’s a scene is Daughters where a lady keeps on her striped tube socks. This is perfect for that middle aged friend who keeps asking when the next 50 Shades movie is coming out.
Drive-In Collection: Street Trash & The Hangup is a double feature from John Hayes. Street Trash (1970 – 79 minutes) attempts to bring a European texture of cinema to a New York film. This is a semi-science fiction film since a longshoreman down on his luck is determined by a computer to be valuable to a mobster’s growing collection of henchmen. But he doesn’t want this new career change. This is like a really dirty episode of The Night Gallery with less paintings and more busts. The Hangup (1970 – 75 minutes) is a twisted tale of a vice cop who rescues a runaway from the streets. Except instead of getting her into a better place, he turns her into his new lover. The film has plenty of vice situations as the cop keeps busting up scenes around New York City. Will his apartment door be the next one kicked in?
Tags: Jamie Gillis, Vinegar Syndrome