Thursday, 28 May 2015

Vinegar Syndrom Drive-In Collection DVD Review: Marsha the Erotic Housewife / For Single Swingers Only / Her Odd Tastes


“The first inside look at what really goes on inside those apartments.”
  The film is introduced by one of our main characters Gracie, a blonde Scandinavian bombshell played by Heide Andersen (in her only starring role). This is her story. Gracie and her friend Gloria, a dark haired, almost tomboyish woman played by Sharon Sanford (also in her only starring role) are looking for a new apartment. I say both, because it's mainly Gloria doing the had work as Gracie is awkwardly cleaning herself in the shower. After much frustration and loose ends, Gloria finds a classified ad for a quiet apartment complex looking for tenants who are single swingers only. After being shown round by a rather curvy, but ultimately unattractive redhead, they decide to move in right away! They make an impression on their neighbours almost instantly,especially a couple of “young” and free guys by the name of Dave and Artie. Not only are their neighbours friendly (in that typical creepy swinger sort of way), but this apartment complex has everything you would ever need, including a sauna and gym that has a strange vibrating platform thingy! Awesome! Needless to say, this place sure has seen some action over the years! With two new tenants moving in, the action sure does continue. Could this be a care free sexual haven for the young girls or is there something a bit more sinister and sordid going on?
What can I say about this one? There's bad hair, kitschy fashion and a lot more plush animals than I was expecting. Don't worry, there's plenty of ladies showering and innocent nudity. You get a nice dose of boobs and bum, but there's no intimate lady parts on display I'm afraid. There are even instances where female genitalia is blocked by awkwardly hanging towels and props. Closest thing to a close up is of a nice pair of white undies. Yep, so sexy! You also get some peeping toms, scuzzy guys who look much older than I think intended, some hints of lesbian action and damn fine awkwardly staged soft-core sex. Clumsy is THE word with this film actually. This isn't a great actors film by any means and even though Andersen seems genuinely Scandinavian, her accent sometimes sounds like a bad impression. Overall, this is a cheap and quickly shot film. It's quirky enough I guess, but I found the film overly long and quite dull. I will give it brownie points for one of the strangest and final thirds in cinema I have seen as well as an actually almost sinister ending.

“A Bizarre and Intimate Journey for Adventurous Adults”
Marsha Jordan (The Golden Box) stars as Chris, a woman whose life is far from from dull! When she's not giving herself neck massages with vibrators, she likes to divulge in a tiny bit of incest with her sister Lisa, played by Capri (Executive Wives). One night as she's having some sisterly fun, Chris decides that she needs to move on. Naturally, she takes the step of becoming a vibrator saleswoman. Her work takes her to many places, but employment comes to an abrupt end when one of her demonstrations becomes fatal! Thankfully, help is only a car ride away and she befriends a publisher by the name of John, played by Michael Perrotta (The Idolmaker). After cleaning up the crime scene for Chris, he returns with the journal of her recently deceased lover. Turns out he was a sex researcher (where was that degree when I was studying at university!?) who was travelling around the world researching pain and pleasure. John offers to publish the journal if Chris carries on his research. So after a bit of fireside nookie and yet more vibrator neck massages, her journey begins. She starts by traveling to Hong Kong to find a prostitute mentioned in the journal, unfortunately for Chris, she is long gone. Thankfully, she befriends a Madam and gets a proper massage, with a happy ending of course! She then travels to South Africa and gets tricked in to a Satanic sex ritual (I hate getting tricked like that). After they've done with her, she gets dumped in the hearts of the jungle. She is saved by a hunter and his son and after causing some family rifts (the fatal kind) she ends her travels by visiting Tunisia to get oiled up with a Sheik. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!

Who would have thought incest, murder, rape, Satanism and sleazy globe trotting (of the stock footage type) could be so dull? This effort plodded on at a pace a snail would scoff at. Sure, there's a mixed array of sexual situations, but again, they're executed so clumsily and are about as attractive as a gallery of Susan Boyle nudes. Not even the unintentional comedy of the stock footage and clearly American landscape disguised as an African jungle could keep me entertained with this one. On a personal note, Marsha Jordan reminded me of a Russ Meyer styled mature Barbara Windsor, yep. All in all, this was just a very dull film when it shouldn't have been. Not a fan at all I'm afraid!

“She does what she LOVES...and she LOVES what she does”
Marsha Jordan returns as Marsha, who has recently just married a chap named Gerry, played by Edward Blessington (Cuba Crossing). Things are going wonderfully for the couple, until good old Gerry decides to play away with a young redhead by the name of Natalie, played by Luanne Roberts (Thunderbolt and Lightfoot). The pair met had their first 'encounter' whilst Gerry and Marsha were enjoying their belated honeymoon. Although initially unaware, Marsha discovers Gerry's skeezy little secret and just what kind of man he really is. Understandably heartbroken and angry, Marsha decides to take the ULTIMATE revenge by not abusing Gerry's upcoming pay rise, but also bedding any man she can lay her hands on. Things come to a head at a neighbour's house party and Gerry is confronted not only by Marsha but her own secret. Is fighting fire with fire the answer? Will their relationship continue? WHAT ABOUT THE BABY!?

Overall, this is the most 'accomplished' film of the three. That being said, it's also in some respects, the dullest. If you are looking here for some good old soft-core kicks, be warned that this is more of a straight faced morality melodrama than anything else. There is some well placed humour injected throughout and the dialogue is strong compared to the previous films, but it's still scraping the bottom of the barrel on the enjoyability scale. There's nothing I can really say that I haven't said before. If you are a fan of late 60's and early sexploitation (pretty much films Something Weird would have released) then these are interesting enough pieces. I just didn't find these films entertaining at all. I wasn't expecting high class or top drawer artistry, but this was just quite vanilla and uneventful. These are cheap drive in films that I could only recommend to completists of the genre. I've never really been a big fan of these types of films and early roughies (you know the kind), but I will continue to try when they become available.

In terms of the release itself, the films are presented fairly well. The prints were clearly in bad condition as all films contain evidence of print and sound damage, but once again, Vinegar Syndrome have done as good as a job as can be done with what materials they had to use. I can't compare the prints to previous Something Weird releases, but this is the best you will probably ever see these films look. There are no extras on disc, but you are getting three films for a great price. Like I said, I can't really recommend this release to everyone. If you love this sort of thing, this is a must own. If you're getting in to this sorta cheesecake beehive hairstyle sexploitation cinema (I may trademark that), then maybe watch some of the genuine classics before picking this up. Sorry Ms. Jordan, you have wonderful breasts, but this really didn't do anything for me or Peter Junior!

This release is available directly through Vinegar Syndrome as well as your favourite online retailers.