• 5 Films 5 Years: Golden Age Erotica

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: January, 2018.
    Director: Anthony Spinelli/Bud Lee/Bob Chinn/Bob Chinn/Victor Nye
    Cast: John Leslie, Juliet Anderson, Veronica Hart, Kelly Nichols Cameron Mitchell, John Holmes, Candida Royale, Desiree Cousteau, Hyapatia Lee, Sharon Kelly, Seka, Angel, Ginger Lynn, Lisa De Leeuw, Jamie Gillis
    Year: 1983/1985/1978/1980/1984

    The Movies:

    To celebrate their fifth anniversary, Vinegar Syndrome give five of their best vintage adult films a welcome Blu-ray upgrade in this exclusive two-disc set. Here’s what to look for…

    Dixie Ray Hollywood Star:

    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.

    The Ribald Tales Of Canterbury:

    The beautiful Hyapatia Lee got into the adult film business when she learned that actresses were making a whole lot more on the strip club circuit than she was despite the fact that they typically delivered lousy performances on stage. When she decided to go this route, she and husband Bud Lee debuted in a 1983 film called The Young Like It Hot, directed by Bob Chinn for Caribbean Films. This relationship proved fruitful and as the years went on, the Lee’s would wind up making a fairly ambitious film for Caribbean called The Ribald Tales Of Canterbury. As the title suggests, it’s a triple X take on Chaucer’s writing with Bud getting directorial credit and Hyapatia top billing.

    Set in medieval times (and shot on a studio lot with costumes previously used by MGM for Excalibur), the story begins with a scene in a tavern where an insanely catchy, goofy theme song plays. Here a female hostess (Hyapatia Lee) talks to those in her party and sets up a little bet. Whoever can tell the best story on the journey they’re about to embark on together will win the prize.

    So as the movie plays out, everyone in the party gets the chance to tell a story. Along for the ride are a handsome knight (Mike Horner), a rugged carpenter (Jesse Eastern), a goofy flour mill operator (Dennis Duggan), a rather unorthodox monk (Elmo Lavino), and the beautiful Lady Of Bath (Colleen Brennan/Sharon Kelly). As the stories are told we see them play out by way of some flashbacks. The knight recalls tells how he escorted an abbot on a journey to visit the pope only to learn that the abbot was not an abbot at all but secretly a hot chick (Debra Lynn). The carpenter talks about how a cheating miller attempted to con two young men (Peter North and Jon Martin) but how his con backfired when his wife (Stevie Taylor) and daughter (Buffy Davis) decided to have an orgy with them. The Lady Of Bath tells of how her father was cheated out of some land by an evil Lord (Bud Lee) and how she used her feminine wiles to win it back by messing around with him and his wife (Cheri Janvier). It goes on from there with a few more stories told before the winner is chosen.

    Highlight by a pretty great scene in which Sharon Kelly does the deed with Hypapatia, this is a nice mix of steamy sex, goofy comedy and reasonably posh production values. It’s obvious that the filmmakers behind this one cared about putting out a good product as the move is nicely lit, the costumes look good and the cast all deliver better than average performances both in and out of the sack. The movie is also well edited and briskly paced, balancing out the hardcore action and the comedic vignettes in between in equal measure and with a good amount of success. Those looking for a serious or literal adaption of Chaucer may walk away disappointed, but really, who’d be doing that in the first place? Those looking for depth need not apply but anyone who enjoys breezy hardcore action mixed with some comedic moments ought to get a kick out of this one.

    Hot And Saucy Pizza Girls:

    Directed by Bob Chinn and featuring its own ridiculously catchy theme song, Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls arrives on DVD from Vinegar Syndrome freshly transferred from its original negative. But wait… theme song? Yes! It goes a lil’ something like this…

    “When the day has just begun and you’re looking for some fun, call up your local pizza girl
    If you’re hungry for a treat but you don’t know what to eat, send for your friendly pizza girl
    I’ve been searching all around the world, just to find my pizza girl
    If you’ve like to have a slice of private paradise, call up and order pizza girls
    Pizza girls they aim to please and delivery is free, they satisfy those pizza girls
    I’ve been searching all around the world, just to find my pizza girl
    Pizza girls now how to cook and she’s listed in the book, look under pizza, pizza girl
    She can whip you up a pie in the twinkle of an eye, take care of business pizza girl”

    At any rate, the premise for this one is pretty simple. In Berkeley, California, there exists a business called Country Girl Pizza run by a guy named John (played by a real like John with the last name of Holmes) with some help from another guy named Bob (played by a real life Bob with the last name of Chinn). This business is doing quite well, but it’s likely got less to do with the quality of the pizza being made than it does with the gang of skateboarding delivery girls employed to get the pizzas to the customers… and maybe get into a little bit of hanky-panky at the same time.

    The newest edition to John’s roster of talent is the conveniently named Ann Chovy (Desiree Cousteau). She needs a job and after John tests her out to make sure she’s got what it takes to work for him (by boning her silly in front of the juke box) she’s got the gig. She and her fellow delivery girls (Laurien Dominique, Candida Royale and Christine De Shaffer) have got the customers going crazy for their pies! Things are going great until a trio of bad guys lead by Henry (Paul Thomas) decide that fried chicken is the true American way and these pizza girls should be taken out of the equation as soon as possible. On top of that, there’s a ‘chicken rapist’ running around causing problems for delivery girls and a cop named Inspector Blackie (John Seeman) getting his nose into all sorts of things... will John be able to save his business or will the fried chicken gang win the day??? Well, the friend chicken gang doesn’t have their own theme song, so you can probably figure that one out on your own.

    This one is just a whole lot of fun from start to finish. Everyone in front of the camera would seem to be having a really good time and they all seem to completely understand the right level of seriousness they should be playing all of this with. The end result is one of those rare adult films that hits the perfect mix of humor and hotness. The sex scenes are plentiful but don’t overstay their welcome. They’re well shot so that little is left to the imagination but at the same time there’s as much emphasis on facial reactions as there is on genital contact, so it feels more human than it would otherwise. Even when there’s various orifices being stuffed with dong, however, there’s still a sense of humor about all of this. The best example is the first scene with Holmes and Cousteau as the dialogue that takes place between to two is genuinely funny and it pretty much sets up everything else to come.

    Well paced and nicely shot on location (in a real honest-to-goodness pizza parlor!) this one moves at a good pace and features an attractive and comedic cast at their best. There’s a surprising amount of pizza related quips in the movie (pay attention to the names of the female characters) while the whole chicken-rapist subplot is just so out there that you can’t help but love it. The ladies are all in fine form here, with Cousteau looking absolutely adorable from start to finish. The male talent fare well here too, with Holmes and Thomas leading the charge – but watch for Richard Pacheco to pop up here too. This one all comes together in all the right ways. Deep? No, not at all, but FUN and those caps are on purpose.

    Prisoner Of Paradise:

    Another one directed by Bob Chinn (the opening credits list Gail Palmer as co-director), 1980’s Prisoner Of Paradise once again pairs the director with leading man John Holmes cast here as Joe Murray, an American soldier serving in the South Pacific of the Second World War. He’s having trouble getting over the loss of his girlfriend, Sue Lee (Mai Lin), but quickly snaps back to reality when his ship is bombed by enemy planes and he winds up a castaway on a remote island. It’s not so bad though – there’s plenty of tropical fruit to munch on and pretty scenery to take in.

    As Joe goes about exploring the island, however, he discovers a Nazi outpost lorded over by the sadistic Hans von Shlemel (Elmo Lavino) and his two equally, though far more attractive, assistants Greta (Sue Carol) and Ilsa (Seka) and a Japanese soldier named Suke (Jade Wong)! He and his fascist friends are holding two beautiful American nurses, Carol (Nikki Anderson) and Gloria (Brenda Vargo), captive and he’s not just going to standby and let that happen. He valiantly tries to break into the compound and save the two ladies but is apprehended by the bad guys and then forced to take care of Ilsa’s womanly needs while Greta takes matters into her own hands scoring bonus points for the creative use of her pistol. Creepy old Hans watches all of this and more and then coerces the female prisoners into getting in on the action too.

    As behavior in the camp becomes increasingly depraved, poor Suke starts to have feelings for Joe and he in turn is reminded by her affections of his late flame. He goes along with her to an extent but soon puts in motion a daring escape plan!

    More of a camp picture than the roughie it might sound like, Prisoner Of Paradise nevertheless does a good job of playing up the Nazi fetish by having Seka and Carol strut around in ‘standard issue’ khakis and leather and looking quite good by doing so. Later in the film they put on fancier SS uniforms. The sex is plentiful and well shot and Chinn (let’s not fool ourselves into thinking Gail Palmer had much of anything to do with this) introduces enough variety into things to keep it interesting. Lots of colorful characters populate the picture and Holmes is in fine form here.

    The movie treats his grieving for dear departed Sue Lee more seriously than it does the rest of the film so there are some odd tonal shifts in that regard but these scenes, even if they stand out in strange ways, actually work in terms of furthering the storyline. They also allow for Mai Lin to appear in the movie, and it’s unlikely that any will complain about that in the first place. Seka and Carol steal the show, they’re obviously having a good time here and definitely get into their work, while Lavino and his obsessions with ‘der Fuhrer’ is genuinely funny. Holmes carries the picture though, getting involved in some minor stunt work and doing his best in the finale to convince as an action hero. This one is a kick.

    Too Naughty To Say No:

    When this 1984 Suze Randall production, directed by Victor Nye, begins, the beautiful Betty (played by Angel) and equally alluring Kathy (the legendary Ginger Lynn) are two girls enrolled in an all girl’s boarding school run by strict Catholic nuns. They’re coming of age, so to speak, and just discovering the joys of their newly found womanhood. When they find themselves at a brothel and put to work there, things start to get weird to the point where Harry Reems is called in to take care of business. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

    Kathy talks Betty into coming with her to have some fun. What kind of fun? The kind of fun you have when Jamie Gillis shows up in a Trans Am and picks you up and takes you somewhere to ‘party.’ And if you know Jamie Gillis, you know what kind of party he wants. Clad in some fancy snakeskin pants, he and Kathy soon disrobe and fuck in front of the naïve Betty. By the time he starts tapping Kathy from behind, Betty’s got her skirt up and her fingers in. It’s a pretty amazing opening scene with innocent lil’ Betty quickly becoming corrupted by her party girl friend.

    Meanwhile, in the brothel we see a black man calling himself Mr. Love (Rufus Jefferson) and a pink haired eighties new wave/punk chick (Lois Ayres) going at it. Then Madam Rose (Lisa De Leeuw), who looks an awful lot like Sister Rose, and two masked men are teaming up for a three way. Things are starting to get pretty intense here, but how does Angel factor into all of this? We find out when she’s brought into the brothel where a priest, a Nazi, a guy in a loud red shirt and businessman are all enjoying the employees (Bunny Bleu, Raven, Stevie Taylor and Heather Thomas). Angel sits on a mattress in front of them all, watching the bevy of beauties take on the men in a massive orgy scene. She simply spins and dances in front of the group while the go at it from all sorts of different angles and orifices, ending with as big of a mess as you’d expect – but then Angel escapes from the brothel and is picked up by two cops who decide to investigate her case by having sex with her!

    After leaving the police, a random flasher chases Angel to an underground lair with a mattress where she proves she’s no longer as innocent as she might look but sadly for Angel, she dies after this rendezvous! Or does she? That’s where the undertaker, the aforementioned Harry Reems, comes in…

    Very loosely based on the Marquis De Sade’s Justine, Too Naughty To Say No is glossy, sexy and funny, often all at the same time. The cinematography, lighting and production values are all top notch and Randall and her crew really did a great job assembling a strong cast. The contrast established early on between Angel’s innocent character and Lynn’s far more experienced and promiscuous schoolgirl is interesting but we know early on that it won’t last long – Betty’s going to be oh so bad by the time this one is over! There are some interesting and unusual twists here, including the death/undertaker bit with Reems, and a whole lot of eighties fashions and styles on display (the pink hair and Gillis in the snakeskin pants), enough so that the movie has plenty of retro charm. This one works really well, it’s creative and well-made and stands up to repeat viewings.


    The five films are spread across two 50GB discs and presented in their original aspect ratios, each in a new 2k scan that has been restored from the original 35mm negative. Generally speaking, they look great. There’s some minor print damage here and there but nothing serious worth complaining about. Detail advances quite handily over the standard definition releases that each of these five features have received in the past. Colors look nice, there are no noticeable compression issues and black levels look good. Skin tones appear natural and lifelike and the transfers are free of any obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    As far as audio goes, each film gets an English language DTS-HD Mono track, there are no alternate language options or subtitles provided here. Clarity is fine for the most part. You might pick up on some minor hiss here and there but we get better depth than we did on the DVD releases. Balance is fine throughout while dialogue stays clean and clear.

    There are no extras to note, just a menus offering film selection on each disc. Note that the fronts of the discs are both labelled the same, save for ‘disc one’ and ‘disc two’ so you don’t necessarily know what films are on each disc until you put them in your player. It’s also worth noting that any extras that were included on the DVD releases (the alternate cut of Dixie Ray and the commentary on Too Naughty To Say No, etc.) are not ported over to this Blu-ray set.

    The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome has done a great job bringing five of their best vintage adult features to Blu-ray to celebrate their fifth anniversary. Sure, the presentations are barebones but you get a whole lot of bang for your buck and the presentation for each feature is excellent. Highly recommended!

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

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Rakesh R.'s Avatar
      Rakesh R. -
      All the movies are really nice upgrades from the dvds. I hope we get another volume this year!
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