• Peekarama: Cry For Cindy/Touch Me/Act of Confession

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: September 9th, 2014.
    Director: Anthony Spinelli
    Cast: Rene Bond, Suzanne Fields, Sandy Dempsey, Amber Hunt, John Leslie
    Year: Various
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    The Movie:

    This latest release from Vinegar Syndrome’s rapidly expanding Peekarama line offers up three Anthony Spinelli movies in spiffy shape spread across the two discs in the set. Here’s what awaits you underneath that tantalizing cover art…

    Cry For Cindy (1976):

    The first film in the set stars Amber Hunt as the titular Cindy, a prostitute who heads home after an expensive getaway with a fabulously wealthy client named Arnold (Turk Lyon). Upon her arrival, she’s taken upon by her pimp, a greaseball named Ben (Jack Wright) – he wants his money. She tells him she’s got to give all she can to an ailing aunt but a pimp’s got to do what a pimp’s got to do. In reality, she’s been using her money to further the education of her boyfriend Dennis (Fred James), helping to get him through medical school. When Dennis learns the truth about Cindy, that she’s not been on modelling shoots as she claimed but has instead been hooking, he’s upset and they break up. She responds by dressing up in her finest and throwing herself out the window of her high-rise apartment to her death on the streets below.

    As her friends and acquaintances gather at her funeral, we learn through the magic of movie flashbacks how an innocent young woman named Anna became Cindy the high class hooker. Some time ago two hookers named Yvonne (Maryanne Fisher) and Nora (Mitzi Fraser) took her under their collective wing when she needed to make some fast money. She gets hooked up with an older man named Hank (John Leslie) while Yvonne goes to town on Paul (Ken Scudder) and Nora on Tony (Al Russo). This works well enough for Anna that she moves on to a second client in her encounter with a ‘John’ she meets a hotel (John Seeman). Of course, as Anna transitions into her new life as Cindy, no matter how much the money and the sex may appeal to her, there are other issues to concern herself with…

    Quite well acted by all involved, Cry For Cindy shows that one time Hustler centerfold Amber Hunt was actually a pretty decent actress when given good material and paired with a talented director like Spinelli, the kind who cared about the story being told. She’s definitely easy on the eyes to be sure but so too does she bring a reasonable amount of pathos and sincerity to her work in the scenes that take place outside the bedroom. This isn’t a particularly happy film, even if the sex is steamy and well shot, and it deals in grim subject matter the same way that something like Gerard Damiano’s The Devil In Miss Jones does – these sins are not without consequence, we’re told this in no uncertain terms and that makes this a bit of a morality play but that adds further interest to the picture. Production values are solid across the board and while some of the music used in the film feels a bit ham-fisted and overdone, there’s a lot of great cinematography on display and the movie is well paced.

    Touch Me (1971):

    A very early feature from Spinelli, Touch Me tells the story of Doctor Lloyd Davis (Tom Stevens), a psychotherapist hosting a two day session for couples and singles alike at his stately home to help train these eight people (Sandy Dempsey, Andy Bellamy, Rene Bond, Suzanne Fields, Ric Lutz, John Keith, Richard Smedley and George ‘Buck’ Flower) in becoming more sexually open and get over their respective issues. His philosophy is simple – just do it. To get them hip to his way of thinking he has them do a variety of exercises, from eating fruit to erotic touching and then eventually some swinging.

    Once everyone is primed and ready, he asks them to act out their fantasies in the safety of this controlled environment and as that all plays out, things become increasingly kinky until Lutz’s character attempts to get over his insecurity about his size by raping Sandy Dempsey while everyone else sits back and watches!

    Definitely a product of its time, this one is dated in its approach but interesting to watch and lucky enough to have a really solid cast in front of the camera. Spinelli makes sure that each of the characters has a reason to be there, be it an insecurity or a fear of some sort, and while some of the acting is a little less than spotless, each of the cast members are at least able to make a marginally convincing go of it. The fact that Sandy Dempsey, Rene Bond and Suzanne Fields are in this one is probably reason enough for a lot of readers to sit up and take notice but the guys in the cast, Lutz and Flower in particular, are interesting to watch too. Lutz’s rape scene with Dempsey is surprisingly intense and pretty much comes out of left field but it ups the kink factor considerably.

    There’s a lot of emphasis here on group activity and some wonky narration to keep it all in context, both of those factors adding upping the oddity quotient considerably. It’s a fairly typical white coater in how it plays out but the movie is well put together, nicely paced and very professionally edited.

    Act Of Confession:

    The third feature has been notoriously hard to see for years (there was a crummy Alpha Blue Archives VHS release in circulation briefly and then it seems to have all but disappeared) but here it is, much to the delight of nunsploitation aficionados around the cult movie world, and while it isn’t the unheralded masterpiece that many of us probably hoped it would be, it’s definitely an interesting curio. Set in the fifteenth century, the obviously low budget affair tells the sordid tale of a young nun named Sister Beatrice (Kim Durey) entering a convent and having difficulty controlling and reconciling her sexual urges.

    We learn of her difficulties with this as she tends to a field and then later that night witness the fantasy she has about a girl on girl encounter with her roommate, Sister Jennifer (Cyndee Summers). From there, she fantasizes about she and Jennifer taking communion from a priest but wind up giving him oral sex instead, resulting in an expulsion onto a communion serving plate of a rather unorthodox variety! This segues into a few other kinky encounters, with Beatrice receiving the priest’s offering while in a prayer position and then a confessional encounter that leads into a group scene. For the big finish she’s tied to a cross while two friars go to town on her, all of which leads up to the finale where Christ (Rocco Manuel) approaches her and… you can figure it out on your own from there.

    This one is slow and dreamy and set to some odd chanting music that does it no favors but there’s definitely some really nice camera work here. The girls keep their habits on for the entire movie, some may appreciate that while others may not, and the costumes look pretty authentic. The locations used are pretty minimalist but effective enough while the narration does a decent job of building character. The print used for this release does include the infamous ‘Christ blowjob’ scene but it is a softcore edit.


    The first two features are presented in 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen in new 2k scans from the original 35mm negatives. They look very good here, showing strong color reproduction and excellent clarity. Some minor print damage is present throughout, and the odd scratch shows up here and there, but otherwise they look just fine. Act Of Confession is scanned in 2k from the original 16mm negative and presented in its original fullframe aspect ratio. This one is understandably grainier but again, the colors are handled well and the image is in pretty good shape. The cinematography results in a pretty soft image at times but this would appear to be how the movie was shot, not an issue with the transfer.

    All three films are presented in Dolby Digital Mono, in English, with no alternate language options or subtitles. Some hiss can be heard in a few spots but otherwise the audio is fine. The levels are properly balanced and the dialogue is always easy to understand.

    Technically you could consider Act Of Confession a bonus feature but given that a lot of people are going to be interested in this release for that movie alone, maybe it doesn’t qualify. Vinegar Syndrome has, however, included the softcore version of Cry For Cindy. The XXX version clocks in at eighty-six minutes and this softcore cut at nineteen minutes less. Given how the emphasis of the feature is on the dramatic side of the story as much as the erotic side, it makes sense that there’d be a softcore cut as honestly there are times where the gynecological close-ups can be a bit distracting. That said, this likely isn’t the version that most will go back to but it’s nice to see it included here as both a curiosity item and a legitimate alternate version. Both Act Of Confession and the softcore Cry For Cindy reside on disc two.

    Static menus and chapter selection are included on each of the two discs.

    The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome’s triple feature of Anthony Spinelli’s Cry For Cindy, Touch Me and Act Of Confession is a really interesting addition to their Peekaram line. The three films are presented in great condition and the inclusion of the soft version of Cry For Cindy a nice addition to the set. Fans of Spinelli’s output will absolutely want this as will those with an interest in nunsploitation films!