• Peekarama: Carnal Haven / Her Last Fling



    Released by: Vinegar Sydnrome
    Released on: October 7th, 2014.
    Director: Carlos Tobalina
    Cast: Leslie Bovee, Annette Haven, John Leslie, Sandy Pinney, John Holmes' member
    Year: 1975/1976
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    The Movies:

    Vinegar Syndrome continues to release the films of the late Carlos Tobalina with this new double feature as part of their ongoing Peekrama line of vintage adult film double features.

    Carnal Haven:

    The first feature tells the sordid tale of two doctors, Klein (Sharon Thorpe) and Wasserman (Ken Scudder), who works as some sort of sex therapy duo. Their mission in life is to help troubled couples rekindle the spark that once was by getting them to try new things in terms of their sex life.

    The first couple to go under their wing is Richard (John Leslie) and his beautiful wife Leslie (Leslie Bovee). They’ve seen better days in the romance department and lately Richard’s been chasing tail on the side while Leslie has been content to fall inside a bottle. From there we meet a black couple, Pat (Desiree West) and her husband (Dashile Miguele) who doesn’t seem to work much. He wants her to finance a Cadillac for him but she’s not having any of it, even if deep down in her heart of hearts she knows it would help him climb the ladder of the pimp business into which he’s trying to make his grand entrance. The third couple is an ex-con named Joey (Joey Silvera) and his gorgeous gal (Annette Haven). Ever since getting out of the big house Joey has had a thing for backdoor play while his lady friend wants him to clean up his act and get a real job. Our fourth and final couple is married types Bob (Turk Lyon), a denim clad working stiff, and Olivia (Bonnie Holiday). He’s lost his patience with her as they don’t make much money and she spends most of it on hairspray, leaving him with only four dollars and some change!

    All four couples wind up going to the doctors’ place for an orgy where they learn various sexual techniques including the ‘gypsy grip’ and the benefits of casual lesbian experimentation before going home to try out what they’ve learned and heal their broken hearts.

    This one is entertaining enough, even if the ‘drama’ that exists between the couples tends to lean towards the ridiculous. Leslie and Bovee are fun to watch here, decked out with ‘silver hair’ to make them look older than they are and she’s in very fine form and quite attractive in her part. The pimp angle that runs through the black couple’s angle is silly and probably a little politically incorrect but hey, we get the lovely Annette Haven in a decent role here alongside the perpetually amusing Silvera. The story between Bob and Olivia is another goofy one, but there’s room for unintentional comedy in vintage porn so that’s not a bad thing. The movie is well shot and uses music interestingly enough. It’s well paced and breezy and while the finales that take place between the respective couples are all pretty predictable the whole ‘sex can cure your problems’ approach to the storytelling here is surprisingly positive and the whole thing has a pretty happy, upbeat feel to it that is kind of charming in its own stupid way.

    Her Last Fling:

    The second feature isn’t nearly as good, but it’s amusing enough in its dopey plotting. In the movie a pretty young woman named Sandy (Sandy Pinney) visits her doctor to find out that she only has a few weeks to live. Without much time, she decides to live it up, consequences be damned, and the first order of the day is to go down on another chick for the first time. From there she hits up a big orgy somewhere in the seedy side of San Francisco (look for Paul Thomas and Candida Royale in this scene) before wandering over to the other side of town and buying herself a brand new Cadillac.

    From here, she heads to Las Vegas where she lives the life of a high roller and enjoys some sightseeing and some high stakes gambling before indulging in another orgy, and then yet another orgy. After getting her fill of orgies she falls for some guy and, knowing that she doesn’t have much time left, offers him the keys to her new car – after all, what’s she going to do with it in the great beyond? With that out of the way she goes back to visit the doctor who first gave her the bad news… without actually having received the test results.

    Spoilers… she’s made a full recovery and so she bones the doctor. The end.

    Unless you’re really into orgy scenes, this one is a bit of a snoozer. Sandy Pinney is perfectly easy on the eyes and enthusiastic enough during her suck and screw sessions that she’s not at all unpleasant to watch but her acting is amazing in how monotone and uninspired it is. On top of that, the orgy after orgy structure feels like little more than padding as it doesn’t do much to elaborate on an already very thin plot. Those familiar with John Holmes’ legendary loofa sponge dong might get a kick out of seeing him pop up in one of the orgies, however, even if we don’t see anything else from him (like his face, for example).

    The movie isn’t a complete waste of time though, thanks to some great period location footage showing off some of San Francisco’s sleazy sites and some great footage shot on the old strip in late seventies era Las Vegas. It’s a slow and unoriginal movie, but if you’re a sucker for bad acting, stilted dialogue and neat period location footage, it is worth checking out once even if it doesn’t have a whole lot of replay value.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    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, but you’d be silly not to and it’s never particularly distracting. These are solid transfers through and through, no serious print damage to complain about, sharp detail, very film like but still crisp and clean. Expect some grain, but you’d be silly not to. 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:

    Not the best of Vinegar Syndrome’s Tobalina releases so far by any stretch but the first feature is worth seeing and the second goofy enough that it’s entertaining, if often for all the wrong reasons. The presentation is up to the label’s typically high standards, however, and it’s hard to imagine either film looking much better than it does on this disc.