• Wanda Whips Wall Street (Special Edition)

    Released by: Distribpix
    Released on: November 11th, 2014.
    Director: Larry Revene
    Cast: Veronica Hart, Jamie Gillis, Sharon Mitchell, Ron Jeremy, Tish Ambrose, Leigh Wood
    Year: 1981
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    The Movie:

    One of only a few films to be directed by prolific cinematographer Larry Revene, 1981’s Wanda Whips Wall Street stars the beautiful Veronica Hart as Wanda Brandt, a former prostitute who has put aside turning tricks on Main Street to put her skills to use on Wall Street. Soon enough, she and her assistant, Janie Richmond (Tish Ambrose), and a stockbroker named Lisa Rogers (Samantha Fox) are involved in a scheme that involves setting up shell companies for the purpose of executing some corporate takeovers. There’s more to it than that, however, as Wanda and Janie are going to use their feminine charms to seduce pretty much every male power player around to ensure that they get what they want. And if they don’t, well, these guys are all married, so a little blackmail might just come in handy.

    Soon enough, Wanda is rolling in dough and laughing all the way to the bank, but it doesn’t take long before some of those who have been had hire two private investigators – Lou Perrini (Jamie Gillis) and Ed Drummond (Ron Jeremy) – to try and beat Wanda at her own game.

    Produced by Chuck Vincent’s Platinum Pictures (which makes sense given how frequently Revene worked for Vincent behind the camera), Wanda Whips Wall Street manages to be both entertaining and arousing. Featured alongside the aforementioned cast members are such luminaries as Sharon Mitchell and Ashley Moore but for the most part, this is Hart’s show and she really makes the most of it. Like Annette Haven, Hart always had a feel of classiness about her, a natural beauty with an elegance that was quite appealing both in and out of the bedroom. On top of that, she’s quite a good actress as well and the script, written by Rick Marx (another frequent Chuck Vincent collaborator), gives her plenty of opportunity to do just that. She handles the occasional dramatic moment in the story well but excels not just in the sexier side of the part but also the comedic aspects that are important to making this film work. As a showcase for Hart, the film scores top marks – and it’s also interesting to see her sporting blonde hair here as well!

    The rest of the principal cast members are also a lot of fun here. Samantha Fox and the super cute Tish Ambrose are both a lot of fun to watch as Wanda’s two partners in crime and each lady is, if not Hart’s equal, at least comes close to matching her capacity in terms of generating heat on screen. Hart is definitely the better actor of the three, however. The guys also do fine work here with Gillis and Jeremy both bringing their own inimitable screen presence to the picture and adding a bit of humor to the film by doing so.

    Revene directs with plenty of style, his experience as a cinematographer and lighting expert really shows here. He captures some great locations (including some footage shot on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange building!) and frames all of the action quite nicely. There’s excellent use of color on display throughout the film in both the costuming and the set/location dressings that give both the sex scenes and the non-sex scenes alike a nice sense of warmth that seems to be lacking in a lot of modern adult films, feature based or otherwise, where everything seems so clinical. The fact that this was a fairly glossy production undoubtedly plays a part in that. However, much of the credit goes to those behind the camera who obviously put some care and attention to detail in their work on this picture and for those in front of the camera who perform with an obvious enthusiasm.

    A couple of years later the movie was re-edited and had insert shots put into it to replace the hardcore footage and was released as an R-rated softcore sex comedy called Stocks And Blondes. It would have been neat to see this version included alongside the full strength original cut but that didn’t happen.


    Distribpix reissues Wanda Whips Wall Street in a newly minted transfer from a 2k scan of an original 35mm theatrical print framed at 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen. This new transfer is a pretty huge improvement over the previous DVD release (see some screen caps here) boasting considerably warmer color reproduction and much, much, MUCH better detail. The widescreen framing looks a lot nicer than the old fullframe presentation ever did and overall the image is just much brighter and cleaner than it has been in the past. Contrast looks a bit hot in some spots and there are still some spots where you’ll notice a scratch or a speck now and again, but this is a pretty solid transfer.

    The only audio option for the feature is an English language Dolby Digital Mono track, there are no alternate language options or subtitles provided here. Dialogue stays clean and clear and easy to follow and the levels are nicely balanced. There are no issues with any hiss or distortion to note and this older single channel mix sounds just fine.

    The extras start off with a commentary track from director Larry Revene and leading lady Veronica Hart (or Jane Hamilton, if you prefer) occasionally moderated by Joe Rubin and Steven Morowitz. Here the pair delivers a pretty scene specific discussion about what went into making this movie. They talk about the editing in the film, which Revene did himself, and not that although he directed it he did not shoot it. They talk about shooting on location in New York and New Jersey, how Hart wound up being cast in this film, the importance of staying in character when in front of the camera, what Hart learned from Revene when directing her own movies and of course, what some of Ms. Hart’s co-stars were like to work with including Tish Ambrose. They also discuss how a specific hospital scene was so hard for Hart as it reminded her of what she went through with her own father, the dark humor that makes this movie stand out from a lot of other classic adult films of the era, the issue of labels and trademarks showing up on camera in porno movies, George Payne’s dependability on camera regardless of what was happening on the other side of the camera or the position he was put in, and pay scales as to how they relate to sex scenes versus dialogue scenes. Revene talks about editing the movie for sixteen hours a day for long into the night until it was finished, the importance of certain key lines of dialogue to the film’s humor, why the film has nothing but straight cuts in terms of its transitions and the plot twist that happens at the end of the movie. This is an active and informative track that offers up a veritable history lesson over the course of its running. It’s done with an affectionate sense of humor but for the most part stays on topic and is genuinely interesting. There’s a teeny-tiny bit of dead air here and there but overall, it’s well paced, well structured and a lot of fun to listen to.

    The disc also features a half hour long video interview with Revene and Hart that details how Hart got into the adult film business after doing live sex shows in Times Square. Revene talks about how he met and started working with Chuck Vincent after Vincent saw him shooting and doing lighting at the same time. He then talks about some of the different projects they did together after which Hart talks about how she started working with Vincent as well and her relationship with Roy Stuart. They share some amusing memories about working with the notoriously gruff Vincent, some of the legal issues Vincent ran into on a few movies, how things have changed in the adult industry for actresses over the years since Hart got her start, her thoughts on Boogie Nights, some of the other film projects Revene has been involved with over the years including his work with the Amero Brothers, the climate of making all male films in New York around this time, Revene’s work with Ron Sullivan (aka Henri Pachard), and some of the people that both Revene and Hart have worked with on various projects over the years. There’s a lot of emphasis here on Revene’s work with Vincent rather than on Wanda but given that pretty much everything is covered in the commentary anyway, most won’t mind as this proves to be pretty interesting stuff.

    Outside of that, look for a four minute restoration featurette showing what went into scanning the image and cleaning it up for this remastered DVD, a gallery of archival stills and related ephemera, static menus and chapter selection. On top of that the disc comes with a reversible cover option that features some text from the original pressbook on the flipside.

    The Final Word:

    Wanda Whips Wall Street is a lot of good, dirty fun. It’s really well put together, it features a great cast at the top of their game and it’s as entertaining as it is sexy. The new special edition DVD release from Distribpix is a big improvement over the last release and the supplements on this disc are excellent.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      Probably my favorite Veronica movie. She looks fantastic, is amazingly sexy, and looks like she thoroughly enjoyed herself making the movie. So glad they gave this some loving care.