• Peekarama: Mai Lin Vs. Serena/Oriental Hawaii

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: September 9th, 2014.
    Director: Carlos Tobalina
    Cast: Mai Lin, Serena, John Leslie, Jesie St. James, Rhonda Jo Petty
    Year: 1982
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movies:

    Another Peekaram double feature from Vinegar Syndrome, this time pair up a few more entries from Carlos Tobalina’s filmography, both of which feature the lovely Mai Lin!

    Mai Lin Vs. Serena:

    First up is this odd hodgepodge of a picture that tells the sordid tale of an adult film director named Troy Benny (played by Tobalina himself) who is about to cast his latest triple X rated blockbuster. The last piece of the puzzle he needs to put together is to cast the hottest girl around, but he just can’t decide whether that girl is Mai Lin or whether that girl is Serena.

    Given that the role pays a cool twenty-five grand, the two lovely ladies decide to bet that amount on a contest that will decide once and for all who is the hottest of the hot in what the poster art could only describe as ‘the sexual challenge of the century!’ So the girls hit the town with the intentions of painting it red. They start out at a restaurant where what should be ‘just dinner’ quickly turns into an orgy with pretty much every dude in the joint getting in on the action. From there, they ladies meet up with adult actress Jade Wong and her lesbian lady friend only to hit a gay bar and turn those pesky homosexuals (Mike Horner and Herschel Savage) into libidinous straight dudes with a gang bang of epic proportions. Eventually the cops catch up with the two and toss them into a holding cell – after all, they can’t do the type of things they do in public, no siree, but even there they have a way of making the guards (Billy Dee and Dan T. Mann) come around to see thing their way.

    Once they’ve been sprung, they finalize the results the only way they know how – by lining up twenty or so dudes for a massive group session!

    Pretty much entirely plotless and not particularly well made, Mai Lin Vs. Serena is amusing enough in its own stupid way. The obvious draw here is the two leading ladies, each of whom is admittedly in extremely fine form here. They show no lack of enthusiasm for their work whatsoever and they each get plenty of screen time, which will certainly please their respective fan bases. The fact that lovely Jade Wong pops up here doesn’t hurt things either. The locations are only so-so and the compositions are sometimes kind of questionable but for something that was obviously made fast and cheap with the explicit intention of showcasing the talents of its two starlets, Mai Lin Vs. Serena is at the very least fast paced and heavy on carnal action.

    Oriental Hawaii:

    The second feature is the better of the two films. It follows a former Navy man Bob (John Leslie) living in Hawaii with his wife Mildred Walker (Jesie St. James). This married couple has fallen on hard times and no longer have the money they need to take care of their four kids – sons Burt (Jon Martin) and Ron (Jesse Adams) and daughters Gayle (Rhonda Jo Petty) and Peggy (Danielle). Given that these ‘kids’ are all grown up at this point it shouldn’t matter but obviously this one isn’t going for realism.

    Bob suggests that they make some extra money by having the kids share rooms so that they can in turn open up the two bedrooms that would be made available to any would be renters that might be interested. Low and behold, two students from the nearby University, Leilani (Mai Lin) and Ming (Jade Wong), are very interested indeed and wouldn’t you know it, as soon as they move in everyone gets along just famously. Gayle and Peggy learn all about the importance of dildos from the new boarders while Burt and Ron get in on the action with them at night when mom and dad are asleep. When Bob takes a sleep aid one night, he has a crazy dream in which pretty much all the ladies in the cast get it on, familial relations be damned, and when he confesses what happened to Mildred, well… sparks fly.

    Lucky enough to work with a really good cast this time Tobalina is savvy enough to just let them do their thing. As such, John Leslie’s goofy charm shines here and he does a great job of bringing his character to life. The incest angel might turn some off, and fair enough, but it’s play for laughs here more than anything and it’s impossible to believe for even a second that any of the Walker clan is related in the first place. Given that there’s really no psychological aspect to any part of the story at all, it never gets to the point where it has much weight behind it. This is fun, breezy and shot with a decent enough eye to work quite well.

    The movie is fast paced, features a fun score and each and every one of the female cast members do solid work here. It caters towards the ‘Asian’ fetish, the title obviously implies that this is the case and there’s truth in advertising, but even outside of the scenes in which Mai Lin and Jade Wong appear, the couplings are steamy, fairly well shot and performed with enthusiasm. Throw some good humor into the mix and a decent blend of Hawaiian location photography (as well as some obvious stock footage!) and this one shapes up to be a lot of fun.


    Both features look great in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transferred in 2k from their respective 35mm negatives. The elements used were in excellent condition and while there is a scratch or two here and there, for the most part the transfers are as clean and as colorful as you could hope for. Expect some grain, obvious in some scenes more so than others, but this is how it should be. These are very strong transfers if high nice condition film elements, no serious print damage to complain about. At this point in time anyone who has been following these releases knows to expect excellent quality – this release continues that trend.

    Both movies get the Dolby Digital Mono treatment, in English with no alternate language options or subtitles provided. Both films sound fine. Dialogue remains clear and crisp and the scores sound good. Levels are properly balanced for both features though some might note some minor hiss in a few spots.

    The only extras on the disc are static menus, chapter selection and trailers for each feature.

    The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome’s Peekarama double feature DVD release of Mai Lin Vs. Serena and Oriental Hawaii isn’t the best in the line so far but it’s a fun one. The first feature is fairly disposable but worth seeing if you’re into the two lead actresses but the second one actually tells a solid story, features some good humor mixed in with the sex and benefits from a pretty strong cast. The transfers are top notch and while the extras are slim, as is the norm with this line, you can’t fault the presentation.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Ignatius's Avatar
      Ignatius -
      I still can't get over that one shot in Mai Lin Vs. Serena (the cap below the one of John Leslie in bed) where you can see right off the edge of the set. That shot is held for at least 20 seconds. Carlos Tobalina was a man who really did not give a fuck.