• Dixie Ray Hollywood Star



    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: March 10th, 2015.
    Director: Anthony Spinelli
    Cast: John Leslie, Lisa Deleeuw, Juliet Anderson, Veronica Hart, Kelly Nichols Cameron Mitchell
    Year: 1983
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    The Movie:

    When this ‘porno noir’ directed by Anthony Spinelli begins, a few men (one of whom is Cameron Mitchell!) arrive at the office of a private detective named Nick Popodopolis (John Leslie). There’s a body in his office, and through a series of flashbacks, we learn who it is and what happened to her.

    Cut to the not too distant past and a lesbian named Adrian (Juliet Anderson) is proving she hasn’t lost her love for men as she gives Nick some oral satisfaction. Her real intentions behind the sex were to get Nick to walk away from a murder case involving her employer who just so happened to have the negatives of some risqué photos of a beautiful Hollywood starlet named Dixie Ray (Lisa DeLeeuw). Nick’s not having any of it and when Adrian pulls a gun on him, well, you can figure out what happens.

    From here, Nick’s back at it, this time on the couch with his secretary, Carol (Hillary Summers). Once they’re done, he winds up at Dixie’s oceanfront home where she explains the back story behind the photographs that are now causing her so much trouble. She’s got the negatives back but her ex-husband, Charles Barclay (Chris Warfield), has run off prints and has no qualms about showing them off. She gives the negatives to Nick (who hides them in the cup dispenser near his water cooler at the office!) and then he starts snooping around in hopes of taking care of this little problem. He starts off by interrogating the ex-husband’s current lady-toy, a cute young thing named Leslie (Kelly Nichols). Predictably, they have sex and from there, it’s back to visit Dixie again where who should walk in on them while she’s going down on him? Why… Leslie! It turns out she is her step-daughter. Oops.

    When Nick heads back to the office again, two thugs (Sam Baldwin and Chuck Dawson) show up. They work for Tony La Marr (Steve Marlow), a nightclub owner with ties to the negatives and they’re keen on getting them back for their boss. Nick gets assaulted and then winds up in a three-way session with Tony’s girlfriend Sherry (Veronica Hart) and her friend Lisa (Samantha Fox). When Charles himself shows up at Nick’s place, you’d think that he’d be able to close the case then and there, but no, there’s more to this nefarious nudie picture plot than Nick first imagined.

    Dixie Ray Hollywood Star is top notch smut, filled with a great cast all at the top of their game, consistently impressive camera work and lighting, really solid wardrobe work, slick production values and a fairly compelling storyline. It pays homage to a lot of classic hardboiled detective stories and films noirs from the forties and it does so well, without skimping on the sex – all of which is actually pretty steamy. Lisa DeLeeuw is top billed here and she’s great as the femme fatale type, but it’s actually Kelly Nichols who really winds up stealing the show in her first scene with Leslie. The three-way with the gorgeous Veronica Hart and enthusiastic Samantha Fox is good stuff too.

    What exactly Cameron Mitchell is doing in this thing is anyone’s guess (the IMDB states “Mitchell told an interviewer that he was told the film was to receive an "R" rating and that he was not informed that a hardcore version also was being made until after his scenes had been shot” so it’s likely he didn’t know he was acting in a porno movie) but it’s amusing to see him here. Though he lends some mainstream ‘credibility’ to the movie, it’s the adult actors who wind up doing most of the heavy lifting. Leslie is great as the lead, obviously having a good time playing the private dick, while Ms. DeLeeuw is in fine form as the mysterious Dixie Ray. The rest of the cast all put in great work here too.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Dixie Ray Hollywood Star arrives on DVD in a new 2k scan that has been restored from the original 35mm negative and it looks great. The image is consistently crisp, clean, nicely detailed and very colorful. There are no obvious compression artifacts nor are there any problems with noise reduction. Fans of the film should be quite pleased with how nice this presentation is, the colors in particular really shine quite nicely here.

    Audio chores are handled easily enough by the English language Dolby Digital Mono track on the disc. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided. Clarity and balance are strong throughout and there are no problems with any hiss or distortion.

    The main extra on the disc is the inclusion of It’s Called Murder, Baby, the R-rated version of the movie. It’s also scanned from the negative and it too looks excellent. The full strength version runs 1:41:12 and this cut runs 1:34:08. Aside from cutting out all of the graphic sex, the movie also features some alternate footage – for example when Nick first meets Dixie in this version, he sees her playing tennis, in the XXX version he meets her on the beach. They also have different credits – It’s Called Murder, Baby is credited to Lima Productions whereas Dixie Ray Hollywood Star is credited to Coventry Productions.

    Rounding out the extras are a trailer for the XXX version, static menus and chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Dixie Ray Hollywood Star is top notch entertainment for grownups! It’s slick, it’s sexy and it’s even suspenseful – nicely shot and well acted. Vinegar Syndrome have done their typically excellent job with the visuals and even thrown in the alternate R rated cut for good measure.