Released by: Alpha Blue Archives
Released on: 2015
Director: Peter Savage (as Armand Peters)
Cast: Jamie Gillis, Davey Jones, Helen Madigan, Tina Russell
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Also known as Hypnoerotica, this 1973 picture by Armand Peters (Peter Savage – the same guy who wrote Raging Bull!) opens with a text screen telling us that what we’re about to see. From there? An intro voice over telling us that we need to know if we’re easily hypnotizable that we are to see this film at our own risk! From there, the face behind that voice –Doctor Laurence Thurston (Savage himself sporting a fake goatee and moustache) - appears and tries to lull us into a state of relaxation so that we’ll ‘become one of the people involved in the scenes you are about to see.’
The movie proper opens in the middle of a domestic dispute that turns violent. Once the woman (Andrea True) is slapped, she wants to be fucked and beaten! He obliges her and they have rough sex as our narrator waxes on about the psychological ramifications of this while some smooth jazz plays on the soundtrack.
From there, we head into the good doctor’s office for him to ramble on a bit more in front of two patients. We learn that she was hypnotized and then we get some great footage of her strolling around Times Square where she runs into none other than Jamie Gills. Her narration takes over and we learn how she fell for him immediately and that she’d do anything he asked of her! They head to his place and they screw – her for the first time (Gillis teachers her to enjoy… a lot). Savage then goes on about love at first sight and then tells a story about Katherine Hepburn while holding up a picture of her. What???
Up next, a couple (Jason and Tina Russell) are having trouble and seek out the good doctor’s help. It turns out this guy, John Smith, is impotent and he wants to be hypnotized to hopefully overcome this trouble. We head to their bedroom where we learn that the wife was kind and understanding, but this was just eating poor John alive. It turns out this guy’s got mommy issues, but after being hypnotized, he’s good to go. Meanwhile, Tina masturbates with a cucumber.
Next we meet a guy named Jerry who wants to kill his sister’s boyfriend out of jealousy. It turns out that when he was younger he used to sleepwalk and then sleepfuck his sister. Now he watches her screw her boyfriend. Through the magic of hypnosis we visit their past and learn that she enjoyed it too.
If that wasn’t enough, his next visit is from an insane Vietnam Vet played by Marc Stevens. Steven dials it up to eleven here, ranting and raving about God and country and playing the paranoid damaged case to the hilt. Once he’s calmed down we learn why he’s really there: it seems his experiences in The ‘Nam have left him so traumatized that now he wants to kill every girl he has sex with! Cue up some flashback footage showing off stock footage clips featuring some genuinely real corpses while Stevens keeps yelling ‘KILL! BODY COUNT! KILL! THAT’S ALL THE BRASS WAS INTERESTED IN! KILL! BODY COUNT!’ over and over again. Then we see him dressed in army greens. He rapes a woman in a hut who is clearly not Vietnamese while we hear audio of machine guns and explosions over her screaming and the magic of poor editing fails to convince us that he’s actually harming her. Then he shoots her! He confesses all of this to the doctor who puts him into a deep trance. Then we see him in the present day having calm, peaceful sex with Helen Madigan but then NO! More war footage and weird ‘Nam flashbacks and naked murder. The doctor goes on about how tough it is to treat soldiers and why. A few more sessions with Thurson and Stevens is having sex with pretty red headed actress Sandy Bernhardt without killing her. Hooray!
This whole mess, seventy minutes of hardcore sex and ridiculous psyhobabble, ends with yet more nonsense out of Savage’s mouth espousing the benefits of hypnotism but warning of its after effects – at which point he undoes the hypnotic spell he put us all under in the opening of the movie… after which we see a highlight reel of some of the sex scenes we’ve just watched (probably to pad this out to the seventy-minute mark).
This is pretty bad, but it’s got some great cast members in it and the sex is reasonably passionate and interesting. The Times Square footage is fleeting but nice to see and as horrible as Savage’s narration and acting is, it’s hard not to be amused by it all. The highlight is Stevens, he simply goes off and is a blast to watch here. Gillis is also in fine form and the ladies? Well Tina Russell, Helen Madigan and Sandy Benrhardt all look great, as do a few of the unnamed ladies who pop up in the picture. This is goofy, but it’s kind of fun. If you appreciate the insanity that Peter Savage brought to his better known picture Sylvia (a.k.a. A Saint… A Woman… A Devil – where he also plays a psychiatrist!), odds are pretty good you’ll appreciate the insanity he brings to Hypnotized.
Hypnotized is presented in a decent looking fullframe transfer that looks like it was taken from a film source (the packaging says it was sourced from a 35mm print). There are some scratches, mostly noticeable in the opening and closing moments, and minor print damage throughout as well as some softness but this is more than watchable. Colors look nice and detail, if never outstanding, is sufficient.
The English language Dolby Digital Mono sound mix, the only one available on the disc, sounds okay despite a bit of hiss present throughout the film. The levels are set properly and while there are a few lines of muffled dialogue, you will, for the most part, have no trouble understanding any of this.
Extras on the first disc start off with Bedroom Bedlam, a feature length picture from 1973 from Butterfly Films with no director credit. It starts off with a woman named Sylvia (Tina Russell) smoking in bed. Her husband (Jason Russell) heads off to the office and she calls up Bernie (Jeffrey Hurst) for some fun. He’s gonna be a while so she masturbates and talks dirty to him on the phone. She’s interrupted by a handyman named Stanley (Guy Thomas) who apologizes for coming in unannounced. Given that Sylvia is all ready to go, it’ll surprise no one to learn that she seduces him and they go at it. Soon enough, Bernie is there and they go at it too. This woman keeps busy.
After that, Bernie jumps into the closet when the maid, Pauline (Any Mathieu), almost catches them at it. With Sylvie out of the room he sees this as his chance to give Pauline a lil’ of the old in/out while Stanley peeks in on them. But what has Sylvie’s husband been up to? He’s been playing around with his mistress (Georgina Spelvin), of course! Since he figures Sylvie has gone out shopping for the day he brings her back to the same bedroom that’s already seen an insane amount of action. Then they’re almost caught and so she winds up hiding in the room that Stanley is already hiding in. Meanwhile, the maid has a lesbian fling with Suzie (Valerie Marron, who kindly leaves her leather boots on just for kicks), Sylvie’s daughter that turns into a three way when Suzie’s boyfriend George (Levi Richards) shows up and joins in.
Sylvie comes back from her shopping trip and sends the three way participants into various hiding places throughout the house. Thinking that they’re alone, she and her husband decide to enjoy each other while ol’ Stanley finds himself in the shower with Pauline and Suzie as the two lesbians get involved in yet another three way with some lucky guy. In the closet, Spelvin gets it on with her hiding partners, George and Bernie. FIN!
This is sixty minutes of fun, meant to be comedic and it is. The movie also has a great cast. Each of the ladies that appears in the picture is a genuine looker and the plentiful scenes of various couplings are performed with enthusiasm. The plot is an afterthought, really, this actually works quite well even if it isn’t particularly cerebral.
After that, a third feature entitled The Hardy Girls from 1974 directed by Alan Ruskin. This one seems to be cut together from other sources, strung together by a pretty thin plot. Basically, Hardy Harrison (playing himself), heads to New York City. Here he hooks up with his old friend Mike (Michael Merlin) and another friend Steve (Bernie Grimes) to take in some of The Big Apple’s forbidden fruit. As such, we voyage with them cruise around various Times Square locations, which is kind of great as it shows of some old bookstores and theater marquees.
Eventually things pick up a bit as we see Tina Russell head into a peepshow booth and masturbate. Shaun Costello (credited as Russ Carlson) shows up in the booth and they have sex while the sound of the projector plays on. Back home, a piano teacher (Patrice Barnett) masturbates with a ceramic hand, and then a completely unrelated black chick disrobes in her apartment to the sounds of ‘Express Yourself.’ She plays with herself until her man shows up at just the right time. From there, a blonde watching a football games lets her fingers do the walking before bouncing herself to a climax on top of a soccer ball! None of this is really related to the main story. Speaking of, the guys hire a hooker (Jeanie Parker) to entertain them. She pours them drinks and then talks about the business, working in New York City and more before bedding one of the lucky fellas.
From there, another unrelated story arc in which a woman gets help with her car from a local mechanic who she then mentally bangs in the back of his shop while masturbating in her kitchen. After that we’re back in NYC on the set of a porno shoot where the girls talk candidly about how and why they do what they do for a living. This one should be a lot more interesting than it is. The poor quality of the presentation doesn’t help much but the biggest problem with it is that it is just really disjointed and there’s no real flow to what little narrative exists. It’s nice to see Russell pop up in the first scene at least.
The first disc also includes an Alphe Blue Archives Retro Starlet trailer that pimps some of their vintage collections, but there’s loads more on disc two which is simply titled The Tina Russell Collection (and contains a compilation feature entitled Tina Russell Classics). Hit play on that disc and you’ll be privy to two hours of clips and loops from throughout Miss Russell’s illustrious career. First up is a short in which she declines an interview but invites the female interviewer to her place to share her ‘usual lunch’ which involves a whole bunch of sex toys and lesbian hijinks. Later we see her get it on with Harry Reems and a few others as she and interviewer Cathy play around. After that we learn how she auditioned for a producer as she screws Jason Russell, plays around in a bathtub with another gal, and has more lesbian sex, straight sex and three ways than you can shake a stick at with the likes of Jamie Gillis, Suzanne McBain and plenty more. This is a decent compilation that shows off a variety of Russell’s skills, but the video quality is kind of lousy as it’s culled from a tape source.
The Final Word:
Alpha Blue Archives’ release of Hypnotized! Plus The Lost Films Of Tina Russell is worth checking out for the title feature and Bedroom Bedlam, both of which are presented in nice shape and feature solid casts. As to the other features on this disc? Consider them a nice bonus, but fans of Ms. Russell will no doubt appreciate the quantity of material included on this set.