• Trashy Lady

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: April 12th, 2016.
    Director: Steve Scott
    Cast: Harry Reems, Ginger Lynn, Herschel Savage, Bunny Bleu, Cheri Janvier, Tom Byron, Cara Lott
    Year: 1985
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    The Movie:

    Director Steve Scott’s 1985 film Trashy Lady takes place in the Los Angeles of the 1920’s and introduces us to a mobster named Dutch Siegel (Harry Reems). When we first meet him he’s hanging out with his number one moll, Jessie (Cara Lott). While their sex scene early in the film would seem to indicate that they’re doing just fine, before you know it they’re no longer the couple they once were. Out for a night on the town, Dutch hits up his favorite night club where he falls head over heels for the new cigarette girl, Katherine (Ginger Lynn). Dutch is buddies with the guy who runs the place, Tony (Steve Drake), and he asks him about her – after all, everyone knows that Tony test drives the new talent before putting them out on the floor – but Tony tells him that she’s probably not the type of girl he’s looking for. We learn why when we see, through a flashback, Katherine putting up with Tony’s test drive, but clearly not enjoying herself.

    Dutch is determined, however, so he gets in touch with Rita (Amber Lynn), a dirty girl and proud of it. She just so happens to be the main squeeze of Dutch’s rival, Big Louie (Herschel Savage). But that’s not going to stop her from proving just how good she is at being bad. After she shows him, he knows she’s the right choice to turn good girl Katherine into bad girl Kitty. He needs her to be in tip-top shape for an upcoming convention he intends to go to – he wants to show her off.

    Rita gets Kitty moving right along, first in a quickie with an unsuspecting paperboy (Tom Byron). After that, Dutch’s maid, Norma (Bunny Bleu), gets her involved with Dutch’s own bodyguard and, of course, with her own bad self. While this is going on, a boxer in Dutch’s employ named Johnny (Francois Papillon) is on the outs with his lady friend (Cheri Janvier). Things are going just fine in Kitty’s training, until Big Louie finds out that Rita has been moonlighting…

    This one has it all – Trashy Lady is a really well made movie for adventurous adults! The cinematography is top notch, pretty much every shot is perfectly composed and the lighting and attention to detail employed behind the camera really bring a lot of class to the production. In addition to that, the costumes are excellent, the props all fit within the period that the film is set in – even the old fashioned cars that appear in the outdoor scenes look great. The crew found some great art deco style locations to shoot in, from Dutch’s place to the nightclub where he first sees Katherine. It’s all very professional looking. The score composed from the film, hell, even the font used for the opening titles, it’s all spot on.

    On top of that we get a really strong cast at the top of their game. This might be a later entry in Reems’ filmography but he’s great in the male lead. With his hair all slicked back and his sock garters on even when they shouldn’t be, they dressed him up just right – he looks the part and plays it well. His opening scene with Cara Lott is well done as are the later scenes he’s in. Herschel Savage and Tom Byron (who looks impossibly young here) are also really good in their respective roles. The ladies really shine here, however. In addition to Lott’s scorcher of an opener, we spend some quality time with Ginger Lynn in her prime with great support from equally foxy females like Amber Lynn and yeah, that scene with Ginger and Bunny Blue? Yowza.


    Trashy Lady gets a new AVC encoded 1.85.1 widescreen transfer from Vinegar Syndrome done with a ‘new 2k scan from the 35mm negative and the bulk of the movie looks great. Detail is generally very strong while color reproduction is impressive throughout, particularly the film’s use of bold colors that contrast nicely against the black suits that are common on screen. There’s plenty of grain here but it’s never overpowering or distracting while only very minor print damage shows up here and there (for the most part the image is remarkably clean, pristine even). Skin tones look good, black levels are rich enough to work and the transfer is free of any obvious compression artifacts, edge enhancement and noise reduction. To summarize – the movie looks fantastic on Blu-ray.

    Audio chores are handled by a DTS-HD Mono track. Again, the quality is pretty solid. For a single channel track, there’s a good bit of range and depth you’ll notice and the use of music gets a nice bump from the lossless audio. Hiss and distortion are never a problem while levels remain properly balanced throughout the feature.

    Aside from menus and chapters selection we get a commentary track with cinematographer Tom Howard who, with some help from moderator David McCabe, does a damn fine job of telling listeners the story behind the movie. He speaks at length about his relationship with Steve Scott, the different projects they worked on together, getting the right look down for this particular period film, the locations, the cast and crew members and more. Scott, as Sal Grasso, had ties to Hollywood thanks to his work on some straight pictures and he had no qualms whatsoever about using those ties to get the costumes, sets and props needed to shoot Trashy Lady – and it pays off! There are a lot of interesting stories here about this feature and about Howard’s career behind the camera on a whole bunch of different projects.

    The disc also includes a commentary track from actor Herschel Savage who is joined by actor Bill Margold (who doesn’t appear in the movie – this was probably recorded around the same time that the Blue Ice commentary was recorded). The track on Blue Ice was all over the place, this one is more focused and informative. Savage’s memory isn’t super detailed here but he’s got some pretty fun stories to tell about some of the people who he appeared on camera with, while Margold being Margold has got something to say anytime his partner clams up. These guys seemingly knew everyone in the business at the time so there are a lot of personal anecdotes thrown in here as well as some interesting and pretty astute observations about the quality of the production, what it was like on set and some of the influences that worked their way into the finished picture.

    Also included on the disc is one of Scott’s earliest features, 1971’s Coming West. In this short fifty-four minute quickie, we meet three pretty young women - Penny (Sandy Carey), Kitty (Maria Arnold) and Molly (Starlyn Simone) – as they travel westward on a vacation together. As they travel through Wyoming, Kitty’s mind gets to wandering and the movie shows us a fantasy she has. Here she and her two companions appear as ladies of the evening, plying their fleshy goods in the old west. The stagecoach by which they’re traveling takes off on them and they wind up out in the woods – presumably all alone.

    With little else to do, Kitty gets down to her birthday suit to take a dip in a nearby watering hole. Here she meets up with a studly cowboy named Matt (George Peters) but it’s not all romance and sex… there is an Indian afoot! He sneaks up on Penny and Molly but Matt and Kitty save the day. Kitty then feels bad for the guy and takes care of him, while Penny and Molly show Matt how much they appreciate his heroic actions. Back and the real world, Maria wakes up from her fantasy, and then the girls notice a very familiar looking hitchhiker…

    This older film is a nice inclusion on the disc. It doesn’t overstay its welcome, it presents an attractive cast all quite obviously engaged in their work and it’s got plenty of nice outdoor scenery as well. The print used is in decent shape even if it shows some print damage now and then, and the film goes at a good pace. Fans of Maria Arnold should be quite pleased as she gets a lot of screen time here and she looks great too. It’s breezy, dreamlike and enjoyable enough.

    As this is a combo pack release the Blu-ray comes packaged alongside a DVD version of the movie with the same commentary included on that disc. Both discs fit inside a clear Blu-ray keepcase that contains some reversible cover art with the original poster art on one side and some alternate artwork on the flipside.

    The Final Word:

    Trashy Lady is just a really well made movie. The film looks fantastic, the comedy and even the more dramatic aspects of the picture succeed, the story is engaging and the cast all turn in very fine work indeed. Vinegar Syndrome have done right by the film, presenting it in a gorgeous transfer with fine audio and a nice array of supplements as well.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!