Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Vinegar Syndrome Review: Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls (1978, dir: Bob Chinn)

(dir: Bob Chinn, 1978)

We Deliver!!!”
We all love pizza right? Sometimes there's nothing better than kicking back on a lazy weekend evening, sinking some beers and ordering from your nearest pizza joint. Sometimes the service can be quite lousy, but every now and then they go above and beyond to deliver customer satisfaction. Thankfully, John over at Country Girl Pizza does exactly just that. John, played by John Holmes (ERUPTION, JOHNNY WADD) not only provides you with inches of pleasure (the puns in the film are worse), but also uses his pizza parlour as a front for his escort service. Yep, it's service with a smile and happy ending if you're willing to tip! His hot pant and rollerblading clad staff include Gina, Shakey, Celeste and bubbly newcomer Ann Chovy (get it?) played by Candida Royalle (JUNGLE BLUE, MASTERPIECE), Laurien Dominique (DOING IT!, CALENDER GIRL), Christine De Shaffer (BLACK LOLITA, EAGER BEAVER) and Desiree Cousteau (PRETTY PEACHES, HOT RACKETS) respectively. Business is going great for John, but it's all put in jeopardy thanks to a creepy trench coat wearing inspector played by John Seeman (NIGHT PLEASURES, FANTASY IN BLUE) who is hot on the case of the illegal operation. To make matters worse, Berkeley is a fried chicken kinda city so a couple of big boys in the fast food business aren't happy and enlist the help of the infamous Night Chicken to send a message to John and his girls. Yep, the cards aren't exactly in John's favour. Will he and his band of scantily clad cuties overcome the fuzz and the infamous chicken rapist? Or will his hopes and dreams be burnt to a crisp?
  Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of adult comedy. The film never takes itself too seriously and is light hearted. Sure, the comedy is low brow and there are plenty of puns, but I did find myself genuinely laughing and smiling at the humour. The story is solid with a few absurd twists and turns that work. Sometimes, the action in films like this can get in the way, but as with a lot of Chinn's work, the actual sex aspect plays in to the actual story as opposed to being a story shoe horned in between sex. Speaking of which, the action is of high quality and never overly long. As much as I love classic adult cinema, I do tend to get bored when scenes linger on too long. Thankfully, Chinn knows how to craft an actual film. The performances are good, Cousteau plays naive and bubbly perfectly, some may say that it's a bit too campy or hammy, but for the film it works perfectly. The talent on display is very pleasing on the eye indeed, but Costeau unsurprisingly steals the show. Seeing her go on and on whilst she's tending to a customer is a fun highlight. Another aspect I enjoy is this is more than just a film shot in the same place just dressed differently for each scene, Chinn utilises a genuine looking pizza place and the locations are dressed like actual domestic locations.
  Overall, the film is yet another solid effort from Bob Chinn. The film has a lot to offer and does exactly what it sets out to do, entertain and titillate. Everyone involved puts in a great effort and I would say the film is a legitimate comedy. I could definitely see this working as an R-rated film as well as a piece of porn (not too sure if there was a softer version available). It may not be for everyone, but if you want a light hearted effort, this is definitely a film you should seek out. If you are a newcomer to the genre or Chinn's work, this is a great starting point. There's a genuine sense of art to it. You also get the likes of John Holmes and Desiree Cousteau, which can never be a bad thing! This is one of those rare occasions were I see myself watching this film again multiple times in the future.
Once again, Vinegar Syndrome has done a great job with this release. The film is presented in 1.85:1 and has been restored for the first time completely uncut on DVD. The film looks and sounds great and compliments the high quality of the original production. In terms of extras we also get the theatrical trailer and a rather insightful and entertaining interview with Damon Christian (RHINESTONE COWGIRLS, BUBBLE GUM), the executive producer of the film. All in all, it's another win from Vinegar Syndrome. Go buy it now, maybe even order yourself a pizza! Luckily there is Thai massage parlour and pizza joint nearby, maybe I can experience Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls for myself? Wait! What!?

Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls is available directly from Vinegar Syndrome here as well as your favourite online retailers.


Monday, 9 February 2015

Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama Review: Sexual Heights (1981) / Undulations (1981)

(dir: Carlos Tobalina, 1981)

Unparallelled peaks of passion...”
  Got a little fact for you all before we start. Did you know that there are more divorced men living in San Fransisco than anywhere else in the world? No? Well neither did I until watching this film. A few minutes in and we're learning something already! Anyway, we meet our main characters, a group of divorced buddies who live together. We have Joe the architect, played by Herschel Savage (JAIL BAIT, FLESHDANCE), Ron the doctor, played by Jamie Gillis (WATERPOWER, DRACULA SUCKS), Jim the Lawyer, played by Jesse Adams (MOB JOB, ULTRAFLESH) and Art the engineer, played by Michael Morrison (PURELY PHYSICAL, CORRUPTION). After watching some porn, Joe tells them the story of how he came to be divorced. It's all down to his pesky dick teasing babysitter Laurie, played by Tawny Pearl (BALLGAME, LUSTY LADIES). After talking about he nearly raped the poor thing, they come up with the plan to get revenge and let Joe have some more fun. They decide to dress up, get alcohol and lace cigarettes with some good old weed. John Holmes (PRISONER OF PARADISE, JOHNNY WADD) wants in, but Ron says she may be a bit scared by his 'presence'. Poor John, he's very understanding though and goes home to get down and dirty with Mai Lin (CRACKED ICE, ORIENTAL MADAM), so it's not all bad. With the gang suited and booted, including Joe in drag, they call Laurie, she arrives and takes advantage of the hospitality. Under the influence and watching the free porn available, she decides to play and yeah, you can see this how this will end. Well, there's a couple of nice surprises (for some) along the way!
  Well ladies and gentlemen we have quite a cast here! Jamie Gillis, Herschel Savage and John Holmes. Even the wonderful Serena (BLACK LOLITA, AUNT PEG) gets a major credit. Well, I say John Holmes and Serena have a major credit, they're hardly in it! Holmes is involved in a couple of unrelated sequences and has a few lines with Gillis. Serena only appears in a girl on girl video the divorcees decide to watch (it is a lovely scene though!). Oh well, easy pay-check and it's more names to sell the film I guess? That small complaint aside, Sexual Heights is a fun watch and not just for Savage's ludicrously giant spectacles! It's an absurd story that involves an absurd plan and it's done with a purposefully slapstick tone. Seeing Herschel Savage in drag is worth admission alone. The fact that Laurie doesn't realise who's involved is humorous. Everyone puts in a great performance, I just wish John Holmes was more predominant. I will admit that towards the end, the film was beginning to drag (there's a Tobalina staple involved, you may know my thoughts on that). All in all, this is a nice and silly title that doesn't take itself too seriously. That being said, there are a couple of genuinely sinister scenes from Gillis (no surprises there) and Savage that put the icing on the cake. Not the best effort, but far from a dull entry in to Tobalina's filmography.
(dir: Anthony Spinelli, 1981)

The ultimate trip around the world... In motion...!”

John Holmes and Jamie Gillis return, but this time they playing themselves as guests with president of the International Male Watchers' Society, Maggie Miller, played by Kitty Shane (CHAIN LETTER, TANGERINE) on the late night talk show Undulations. The hosts are Mai Lin (also returning as herself) and Georgia Drugg, played by Suzannah French (BLAZING ZIPPERS, SKIN ON SKIN). The group discuss a whole manner of subjects from male prostitutes, women taking advantage of men when it comes to landing that all important and gay rights amongst other things. John and Jamie talk also talk about (in an actually sincere and honest sounding way) their approaches to what they do best. Each subject discussed is illustrated with a vignette including something that art lovers wish would happen to them when they find a piece that is a bit out of their price range. All of this climaxes in to, yes you guessed it... A signature Tobalina group session!

Yep, this is a simple film. It's as straightforward as Jamie's hardened pecker. A novel concept, that some may enjoy more than others. As always Holmes and Gillis put in a great performance, the female cast not so much. That being said, there's nothing too jarring about their performances so it never becomes an issue. On a purely trivial note, damn is John Holmes a flashy dresser. I need to get me a goddamn red turtleneck immediately! Overall, I did enjoy this effort too. The vignettes are also well acted and don't really outstay their welcome. The action is good and varied, especially seeing the Holmes / Gillis double team! I liked some of the 'social' aspects too. I'm not too sure if it was completely intentional, but it does cover some great civil issues and also tackles gender politics. Don't worry, you're not getting bogged down with pseudo-intellectual bullshit with this. Out of the two, this is the weaker of the films, but nothing awful and it does have replay value.

Overall, these are above average films from Carlos Tobalina. Sure, he uses the kaleidoscope effect a lot throughout and even uses the end credits of Sexual Heights for Undulations which gives it an unintentional charm. I'm guessing both films were produced back to back here. In terms of picture and sound quality, another stand up job from Vinegar Syndrome. I'm not too sure what sort of home release these titles have had in the past, but damn do they look and sound wonderful. I've said in the past that sometimes the pairings on these Peekarama releases can be pretty weak, but this is a fairly solid double feature, I can see why they';re released together. All in all, this is definitely worth your time and hey, getting to see Holmes and Gillis on home format is always a great thing! Wow, I seem to mention the male cast in classic porn a lot.... oh well!


Friday, 6 February 2015

Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama Review: Three Ripening Cherries (1979) / Sensual Fire (1979)

(dir: Carlos Tobalina, 1979)

RIPE for ACTION ready to be plucked...'”
  Don't you just love sisters? Well, thankfully Uncle Tobalina has a film just for you! What we have here are the three sisters. Sally, Lucy and Ann played by Dorothy Lemay (TABOO, CHOPSTIX), Misty Regan (CHAMPAGNE ORGY, BABY CAKES) and my favourite, Brooke West (FANTASY, THE BLONDE). After a hard day at school, the girls go home and ask their mum Rose, played by Kitty Shayne (SEXUAL HEIGHTS, UNDULATIONS) all about sex. She tells them about her experiences when she was their age. We find out her virginity was robbed by a family friend leading her to seek out compassion whenever and wherever she could. Her journey to find the PERFECT orgasm comes to an end when she meets the man who would become her husband. How very aromatic indeed! Inspired by her stories, the girls retire to their bedroom and well, they get to grips with each other whilst fantasising about various boys and teachers from their school. Why wasn't my high school experience like this!? It's not all happy days for the girls however, as they find out that a couple of guys they want to party with are gay. Now it sounds more like my high schoo.... No, wait!

OK, where do I begin? I found this a rather tedious ride in all honesty. Oh don't get me wrong, seeing Brooke West involved in some girly fun is a blast! I just found it to be yet another rather lazy, uninspired piece of smut. I really dig Tobalina, but I'm getting rather tired of seeing group based scenes. I did really enjoy the use of music, Carlos always seems to have good music in his films. What stood out this time was hearing the theme tune to Terry and June (American friends should look up the show on Youtube for a good laugh!), which brought a big smile to my face! All in all, if your wanting pure action, this is a great film. The sex is of a very high quality which is to be expected from Tobalina. Overall, I found it about 20 minutes a bit too long. Oh well, the next film has one of my all time favourites!
(dir: Carlos Tobalina, 1979)

The tremendous allure of YOUNG SEX'”
  Carrying on the whole family theme, we move on to Sensual Fire. Jamie Gillis (THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN, WATERPOWER) stars as Roy. He has recently fallen in love with Laura, played by Jesie St. James (RANDY, HOTLINE). Things are going wonderfully for the for the pair. All that changes when Laura's young daughter Teena, played by Dorothy Le May (TABOO, BLIND FURY) returns and shakes things up. Whilst she is in her room having some lonely fun, little does she know Roy's office is next door and he has a peep hole. He begins to watch her which eventually leads to him constantly fantasising about making love to her. To try and shake his mind off this filth, he confides in a shrink friend (we all have one right?). His suggestion is to cleanse his palette and go visit the local cat house. Here he meets cute secretary Glory, played by the blonde goddess herself, Serena (PLEASURE PALACE, PRISONER OF PARADISE). This unfortunately doesn't work so he confides in his friendly neighbourhood man of the cloth, Father Carlos, played by Mr. Tobalina himself. His words of wisdom are to seek out the woman who Teena reminds him of. Yep, I'm converting right now too! Will this plan work? Will the Lord be looking over Roy? Get on your knees and find out for yourself!

Considering we get to see Gillis and Serena getting down, this really isn't that special of a film. Sure, there is enjoyment in the ludicrous storyline and plot development, but it just drags on. Jamie Gillis steals the show as he always does, but even he can't save this one. As is often the case, it's a very well shot film, with some great lens flare shots and wonderful location cinematography. The music is great too, a mix of down and dirty with cheery upbeat synth thrown in. You will definitely recognise one or two of the tracks. Just like Three Ripening Cherries, the film is a tad too long for my tastes and could potentially be cut down by 10 or 20 minutes.

Overall, this isn't really a stand out release in terms of film selection. Both films are rather weak and forgettable. I would say if you're looking to complete your Tobalina collection, then it's perfect for you. If you're looking for a stand experience, maybe pass on this one. What the films lack in substance, they make up for it in style. As always, the films are remastered to an obscenely high quality. A tip top restoration and presentation job from Vinegar Syndrome. As a small bonus, trailers for both films are included so there's a plus point for collectors!

You can buy this DVD release directly from Vinegar Syndrome here, as well as your favourite online retailers.