• Infidel, The: Plus The Lost Films Of Sharon Thorpe

    Released by: Alpha Blue Archives
    Released on: 2015
    Director: Charles Bodine
    Cast: Sharon Thorpe, Ric Lutze, Ken Scudder, Justine Lynne, Clair Dia
    Year: 1974
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    The Movie:

    Directed by Charles Bodine, The Infidel opens with a weird scene where some guys are playing football at a park. It cuts back and forth between this scene and some footage of a woman blow-drying her hair. The men get into an argument while the woman heads outside and waters her plants. The guys drink beer in slow motion for some reason and then one of the dudes, Ron (Ric Lutz), splits the scene, his can of Budweiser in hand.

    Back at the house the woman, Beverly (Sharon Thorpe), listen s to music. Ron is Beverly's husband and he heads home. They have to get ready to go to the theater but he wants action. She isn't into it, they don't have time, but he's not taking no for an answer and he rapes her. Ron is an asshole, really. Eventually she meets a sports writer named Ray (Ken Scudder) and soon enough they begin to have a torrid love affair. When Beverly isn't fooling around with Ray behind her abusive husband's back, she's spilling her guts to her best friend Arlene. They play tennis together and have a lot of heart to hearts about love and relationships and, of course, sex. Sex with Ron is a frequent topic and it's never talked about in a positive way.

    As the movie progresses and Beverly's relationship with Ray intensifies, they spend romantic time cuddling on a white fur rug near his keyboard, while Ron builds a bookcase that soon becomes an unusually effective metaphor for the relationships that develop in the movie. Beverly and Ray have more sex, highlighted by a scene that takes place in a strangely decorated room clad in black and silver mirrored wallpaper, but when she tells him she believes in "real love, between one man and one woman" he has to wonder if this fling is going to last. Will Beverly go back to Ron and try to work things out or will the forbidden fruit that he has been so willing to offer her tempt her back into his bed?

    This seventy-three minute softcore soap opera is engaging enough thanks for some fairly well written characters and a decent premise. The acting isn't always perfect - when Thorpe confronts Lutz and tells him he has to change if he wants to keep her he goes WAY over the top and trashes the book case while crying like a banshee. It's more humorous than it is anything else, especially when he leaves the house and runs down the street with some classic music playing behind the scene (the whole movie is scored with some interesting classical selections) and Beverly's echoing voice accusing him of rape in his head. The melodrama in the picture is pretty ripe, but again, if holds your attention.

    The selling point for this one, not surprisingly, is the presence of Sharon Thorpe. She's actually quite good as the distraught housewife who only wants to find true love. We buy her character as genuinely conflicted and understand why, after dealing with Ron, she'd find comfort in the arms of another man. She plays the part well and she looks good doing it. She gets a lot of screen time here, and in fact aside from a couple of minutes where Arlene is in the movie, she's really the only female character. As such, this is a nice starring vehicle for the actress who proves more than capable of carrying the picture.


    The Infidel is presented in a pretty rough 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. The image is often too dark and contrast is uneven. It's watchable in the way that rough looking prints can be, but don't expect greatness here.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono sound mix, the only one available on the disc, sounds okay but no better than okay thanks to some pretty muffled dialogue. There isn't much in the way of hiss or distortion here, it just seems that the original audio was poorly recorded.

    Extras on the first disc start off with a bonus feature entitled Cadillac Named Desire, made in 1978 (which is actually listed first on the menu screen) for Blue Movie Productions. This one introduces us to Arnold Broomsteader (Lou Mann), a man who works dutifully at a drawing board for American Automobile Magazine alongside Mr. Prescott (Jesse McKinna) and Secretary Ms. Simmons (Thorpe, who looks great all hot and nerdy here with her big glasses and business attire!).

    Broomsteader is a Woody Allen-esque nebbish nerd and the movie basically follows his daydreams and sexual fantasies. First up is a scene where he sees Simmons take off her top and rub his suitcase between her legs - "Oh dear, I've gotten your briefcase all wet! Fuck me and I'll never take another paid vacation!" Of course, this isn't happening in the 'real world' but when she hears him accidently moan her name and comes in to check in on him, he almost asks her out. But she's too busy, and soon enough Prescott shows up to ruin the moment. Later, Arnie imagines picking Simmons up in his white Cadillac. When he tells her that her dress clashes with the car, she takes it off and plays with herself. She heads into the backseat where a gangster, Mr. Big (Oliver Nalreh, who also wrote and directed the picture), is smoking a cigar and she takes care of him. At this point they actually have sex on the hood of a moving car - which was probably dangerous in more ways than one.

    From there, Arnold imagines an orgy breaking out in the office where Simmons uses a cigar in a way that would make Bill Clinton smile and businessmen examine the participants with a magnifying glass as they go at it. When Prescott takes off and leaves Arnold in charge, he has a fantasy wherein he plays a cop and pulls over two women (Toni Scott and Valerie Franklin) for speeding only to get handcuffed by the women. At this point, they go all out and put on a pretty great girl/girl show for him, but he never gets to join in. This is a recurring them in the movie - Arnie can't even get laid in his own fantasy world. From there we see Arnold decked out in tights playing a superhero named The Caped Avenger. He gets a call and winds up having to try to save a beautiful woman (Thorpe again) from a very gropey mad scientist out to take this innocent woman's virginity! As the movie winds to a close, Arnold and Ms. Simmons are left alone in the office where he finally confesses his love to her...

    This genuinely funny XXX remake of The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty works quite well. Lou Mann is pretty hysterical as the nerdy lead who can't catch a break while Thorpe is at her hottest here as the secretary. Nalreh is savvy enough to make the most of her casting, putting her in most of the sense and giving her a whole lot of screen time both in and out of her clothing. At seventy minutes in length the movie doesn't overstay its welcome and hey, make sure you watch it all the way through the end credits for a play by play of the film you just sat through (pretty obvious padding but it's still kind of fun). The fantasy sequences are always done with a sense of humor and the cinematography is occasionally impressive and when it's not, it is at least decent. This one is a lot of fun.

    Also included on the disc is Artful Lover (which is also known as Odalisque), made in 1976. This fifty-seven minute quickie stars pretty red-headed Clair Dia as June, a woman married to a businessman named Allen (Ken Scudder). She spends her days keeping house and making sure that he gets his meal on time as he likes it, even going so far as to server him coffee in the nude! After she gives him some morning head he takes off to work, leaving her naked and alone in their big house. Just about that time, however, who should show up but her friend Joyce (Sharon Thorpe). They hang out and talk a bit, and soon enough they start making out and then get into some top notch lesbian highjinks, even letting Scudder listen in on the fun over the phone from his office. This gets him fired up enough to bone his secretary (Claire James) on the desk.

    Later Claire has a bath, lighting some candles to set the mood, the camera lens covered around the rim with some Vaseline to get that soft focus look. She plays with herself and really gets into it, unaware that nearby her dear old hubby is getting head from a blonde he's picked up (Amber Moon). Eventually June winds up going to see a shrink named Dr. Kristoffer (Richard Strong) with husband in tow. They're there for some help in dealing with her marital woes, but first she puts on some classic music and waltzes with the doctor while Allen watches. Soon enough, she winds up screwing him on top of what looks like the same white fur rug from The Infidel! Allen watches his wife do the other man which I guess is payback for him screwing around on her. They then have makeup sex on that same rug. Fin!

    This XXX soap opera is interesting enough, though hardly essential viewing. Claire Dia is the real star here, Thorpe only appears in the one scene, but it is a pretty great scene so hey, quality over quantity. Some nice visuals and decent performances stand out here, but the quality of the presentation is rough and the audio pretty muffled.

    The Alpha Blue Archives Retro Starlets trailer is included on the disc along with menus and chapter stops.

    The Final Word:

    The Alpha Blue Archives DVD release of The Infidel Plus The Lost Films Of Sharon Thorpe isn't of the best quality ever but it does offer up two starring vehicles for the lovely and talented actress as well as a decent supporting part in The Artful Lover. The quality of the presentations here won't floor you but the movies are worth checking out, especially Cadillac Named Desire which is the best of the three pictures on the disc.