Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
Released on: February 28th, 2017.
Director: Felix Daniels/Bob Mason
Cast: Christie Ford, Lou Falco, Robert Kerman, Sharon Mitchell, Herschel Savage, Angel Barrett, Jeffrey Hurst, Ed Marshall, Juliet Graham
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This new Peekarama branded double feature DVD from Vinegar Syndrome pairs up the disco-tinged The Night Bird with the infectiously goofy Night Of The Spanish Fly.
The Night Bird:
Our first feature stars Marc Valentine as Southside, a Travolta-esque New Yorker who digs the disco scene. He’s a small time hustler who hangs out with his pals J.T.(David Morris) and Bobby (Michael Ronds). When these guys aren’t scoring with the local chicks, they’re getting into fisticuffs with some of the local guys – not all of whom appreciate their specific brand of ‘charm.’ As much fun as this street life is, however, Southside wants something more. He has a dream – a dream of making it big as a dancer!
Thankfully for Southside, there’s a local disco, run by comely Maggie (Christie Ford). As he starts hanging out there more and more and taking his dreams of boogying on into the limelight more seriously, he can’t help but get pulled back into the gang fights and street brawls that have always been a part of his life.
Written and directed by Felix Daniels, The Night Bird was CLEARLY influenced by the box office success of Saturday Night Fever. In fact, it follows a very similar story arch, with Southside’s search for a better life similar to the one that Travolta’s Tony Manero finds himself on in John Badham’s box office smash made the same year. Coincidence? Hell no.
Despite all the copycat antics, flash disco dancing and reasonably well shot hardcore fuck scenes performed by a very able cast, The Night Bird is actually compelling more for its story than for anything else. There’s enough flash and fuck here to keep your interest on that level but as the story plays out, you find yourself wanting to know what’s going to happen for Southside. A lot of the credit for this needs to go to Marc Valentine, who is quite good in the lead. He plays the angel with broken wings character well, we like him, even while we recognize that he’s got a whole lot of flaws.
It might end on the exact sort of note you expect it to, what with tragedy leading to redemption and all. As such, it isn’t that original, but it is pretty well made and genuinely entertaining enough that fans of seventies smut (especially for those titles with a disco theme) should get a kick out of this.
Night Of The Spanish Fly:
Up next, a sordid tales that explains what happens when a shipment of ‘Go Go Wieners’ is accidently contaminated with the infamous aphrodisiac ‘Spanish Fly.’ Local radio station WFUK keeps listeners up to date on the government’s efforts to get things under control as soon as possible and with as few issues as possible, but it’s an uphill battle to be sure.
At any rate, as the streets of New York City are flooded with contaminated wieners, said wieners are inevitably ingested and as such, people start going at it like rabbits. And as the ‘infection’ spreads across town, the movie shows us firsthand the results – it’s even narrated by a couple who… basically just tell us what’s happening on the screen that we’re watching. A housewife attacks the grocery delivery boy, two girls take on a lucky sailor, a couple squabble and then have crazy makeup sex, a girl named Sandy (Angel Barrett) is ‘tutored’ byProfessor Bloch (Jeffrey Hurst), a plumber goes pipe crazy with a client and a designer goes at it with a model (Jennifer Jordan).
The narrative here is flimsy at best but the sex scenes are plentiful and well shot. Jennifer Jordan is in nice shape here and the rest of the cast are clearly game for pretty much anything that the story can throw at them. This isn’t all that stylish or inventive but the goofy narration gives the movie some unintentionally comedic appeal and the period fashions and detail are definitely a plus. This isn’t essential smut, but it’s worth checking out once.
Both movies are presented in 1.85.1 widescreen scanned in 2k from the 35mm negatives, and for the most part both movies look very good on this DVD. Some small splices and scratches pop up here and there as well as some minor specks but detail is good and colors look excellent. What we wind up with here are some nice, film-like transfers taken from materials that were culled from less than perfect sources but which still look very nice. Texture is strong throughout and there are no issues with compression artifacts, noise reduction or edge enhancement.
Both films get Dolby Digital Mono soundtracks, in English and without any optional language options or subtitles provided. Clarity of each mix is fine. There are some scenes that sound a bit flat but that’s obviously to do with the original recording. The scores sound good here and the levels are properly balanced. Any hiss or distortion that does creep into the mix is minor and not particularly distracting while the dialogue is consistently easy to understand and follow.
Aside from a static menu offering chapter selection, the disc also includes theatrical trailers for each feature.
The Final Word:
Vinegar Syndrome’s Peekarama double feature release of The Night Bird and Night Of The Spanish Fly offers up two oddball slices of seventies smut looking all nice and spiffy. The disc is light on extra but both movies are worth seeing, particularly The Night Bird. Recommended.