• Venus Theater Presents Vol. 1: Abduction Of Lorelei

    Released by: After Hours Cinema
    Released on: June 12th, 2018.
    Director: Richard Rank/Rik Taziner/Bob Kirk
    Cast: Serena, John Galt, Charles Neal, Monique Perris, Jamie Gillis, Sharon Thorpe, John Seeman, Rick Andrews, Tyler Reynolds
    Year: 1977/1974/1975
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movies:

    After Hours Cinema presents a triple feature of vintage adult films from the mid-seventies taken from vintage 16mm prints found in the archives of the late Venus Theater in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    The Abduction Of Lorelei:

    First up is this fifty-six minute roughie that starts with the titular Lorelai (Serena) doing her makeup and getting ready for some sort of big even while some music before leaving her abode where she’s spotted by a man and a woman in a white Ford Mustang with a gun. They head after her, watching her start up her rad Lincoln – which has a neat vintage car phone in it that she uses to call her dad before he leaves town to make another million. She arranges to pick him up at the airport on Thursday and goes on her way.

    As Lorelei makes her way to the JC Penny parking lot, the Mustang and a cube van pull up beside her, and in a shocking twist, Lorelei is abducted! She’s snatched and tossed into the back of the van and then tied up at gunpoint. The van takes off, and Lorelei is raped in the back of the van by one of the thugs (John Galt). After that she’s raped by the woman of the group (Monique Perris) with some help from one of the other guys (Charles Neal).

    Eventually the van makes it to its destination and the guys drag her inside a home with a pretty neat deer head mounted to the wall. Here, still bound, she’s tossed onto the bed and hog tied. Her three captors squabble amongst themselves a bit and then take some pictures of her that they intend to send to her father. She’s clearly being held for ransom. After that she’s violated with a Dr. Pepper bottle. The thugs sit down at a table for some wine and some smokes to discuss the specifics of their plan, after which Ms. Perris heads into the bedroom without the company of men for a little quality girl on girl time, untying Lorelei in the proceedings – which seems to be just fine with Lorelei, as shortly after she instigates round two… unaware that her father has just landed at the airport and the two guys have gone off to meet him in her place and then tensions start to arise between the group…

    There’s a decent story told here and the twist ending it handled quite well. The whole thing was clearly made fast and cheap without a whole lot of thought given to cinematography or production value but the initial rape scene in the back of the van is convincing enough to be more than a little unsettling. Things cool down after that, the sex is a lot less rough and, not surprisingly, Lorelei starts to ‘get into it’ a bit more but the air of seediness remains an integral part of the picture’s vibe.

    The cast are decent enough here. Serena is Serena, pretty and fragile looking but adventurous and bold. She does good work in front of the camera and shares nice chemistry with Mr. Perris in their scenes together. This is neither the best nor the worst XXX roughie you’ll ever see but if you have an affinity for the genre it’s worth seeing.

    Note that there is a poor quality VHS sourced version of this (which has burned in Greek subtitles) floating around that runs just over sixty-seven minutes in length, a fair bit longer than this version (which despite the cropping is much more watchable – sigh…). Differences? There’s a minute’s worth of opening credits missing during which Serena wanders around a mall and window shops. The version on this DVD uses a new title card, not the original. There are also quite a few trims to the rape in the back of the van – it’s much rougher and longer on the VHS. The lesbian scene in the bedroom is also missing a lot of footage and after that scene the DVD is missing a segment where Monique Perris talks to John Galt and they kiss in the kitchen. On the DVD there’s a brief moment where Perris fools around with Galt at the poolside – on the tape we realize that there’s actually an entire full length blow-job scene, and it’s been pretty much completely removed from the DVD version. What else… there are heavy and obvious trims to the second lesbian scene in the kitchen/bedroom, a trim where the hooligans get the suitcase of money, and most of the violence is cut out of the shooting scene and then there are trims to the last sex scene as well. One plus side to the DVD is that it has end credits, the VHS stops before we see those – still… there’s about ten minutes of footage missing from this version.

    The reason for the cuts would seem to stem to the print used for the source. It wouldn't have been uncommon for Canadian censors to require cuts to movies like this, though why some of the 'rougher' footage remains intact when other snippets do not is beyond me. Either way, this was not cut by the studio releasing the DVD, it's simply a matter of having only edited elements available for the release.

    Note that I'd previously said, before correcting it, that the music had been changed in the opening scene. That was incorrect. When comparing it to the VHS, the pitch is different (likely because the tape source was PAL) and so it sounds a bit different. The pitch on the DVD seems correct, and upon a second listen, the music has not been changed on this release.

    South Of The Border:

    The second film gives fans the rare opportunity to see none other than Jamie Gillis play a Mexican in a film also known as Three Sex-Crazed Banditos (which is the title that it was released under when Something Weird Video put it out on a double feature DVD with Four Women In Trouble as Volume 182 of their Dragon Art Theater line!

    There’s not much, story wise, to this one – Sharon Thorpe drives two of her pals to Mexico for a little fun in the sun, passing a big sign for The Last Detail on Mann’s Chinese Theater along the way. They’re looking for ‘nice hot Mexican men’ – at least two of them are. One of the group is a bit more modest and would rather go to Disneyland than risk getting raped. Thorpe’s got a gun, however, and promises to quite literally shoot the balls off of any Mexican men that might come on too strong. As they get close to the border and drool over the customs officers, the movie splices in very quick painted pictures of bandito types and then we get the title card.

    After this, with some more obvious music replacements audible on the track, we meet the three banditos, led by Gillis doing one of the most gleefully offensive Mexican accents you’ll ever hear. His two compatriots (both obviously Caucasian) are no better – as they pronounce their horniness to one another. Of course, just about that time the ‘touristas’ have car trouble. The three men head down to see what they can do, which basically means that they kidnap the three girls, take them back to their hideout, throw some tequila around and rape them for a while. There’s some light bondage here, lots of salad tossing thanks to Senor Gillis, and a fair bit of goofy dialogue to go alongside with the unconvincing acting and reasonably convincing fucking. Eventually what was once rape turns into an orgy as they girls get more into it and each other.

    After about twenty-five minutes or so of that, the guys pass out from exhaustion giving the girls their chance to get their revenge – which they do in grand style by basically giving them more sex, only this time they get to be the aggressors. And that’s about it – except for a kinky twist at the end.

    This fifty-six minute rape fest is pretty sleazy but so woefully goofy that it’s tough to take it all that seriously. There’s goofy mariachi music playing in the background for most of the movie, the quickly edited painted bandito images that appear in the movie are just plain weird and the Mexican accents come and go every few minutes but there is a lot of sex in the picture, so it has that going for it. The movie is actually pretty entertaining if you’re in the right mood for it. Thorpe is in fine form and her two co-stars do a decent job here as well. Gillis and the other two dudes are never once convincing, but they’re more than happy to hump away at the girls are frequently and for as long as this fairly plotless cheapie calls for.

    Turn Me ‘Round:

    Last but not least is this quick thirty-eight minute picture credited to Bob Kirk and starring such luminaries as Candy McBain and Bert Reymolds (who would appear to actually be Tyler Reynolds)! John Seeman shows up here too, under the alias of Dale Sievers.

    Seeman plays Colin Grant, the ‘philandering philanthropist’ who, when we meet him, is taking his traditional three hour lunch break. We learn from the narrator that he’s got a string of women across the country and that he spends most of his time and money with them. Grant’s problem is that he just can’t keep it in his pants. As the narrator explains Grant’s situation in life, we see him get head from and then screw a brunette in her apartment.

    Elsewhere, Mrs. Grant (Cazander Zim) has sex with a great guy (Rick Andrews), complaining while he services her that he’s doing the types of things to her that her husband never does. After that we cut to a park where Grant follows a lovely looking dark haired lady named Felicia back to her place. It turns out she’s a call girl, he’s concerned about how much this will cost him, but she tells him not to worry about it and she hands him a belt and tells him ‘use me.’ He tells her this isn’t his bag, he had an accident playing around like this once before, but that if he can do it his way, he’ll use her. She agrees, and then he shows her his welts. She blows him, they have sex, and… she was clearly on her period when they shot this scene. After they finish, a man named Reginald Baxter (Reynolds) shows up out of nowhere. The hooker is expecting him, but Grant is not. Baxter tells Grant that he owns the apartment and Felicia and that he ordered her to bring him here for a reason – years ago Grant killed a beautiful young woman named Babette (Val Anderson) in one of his twisted sex games… Babette was Baxter’s fiancé! Then we flashback to that very event where Grant gets rough with Babette (the scene cuts before anything really happens, we don’t see her really do much).

    From here, Baxter orders Felicia to give Grant a taste of his own medicine. They do this by roughing him up and then Baxter rapes Mrs. Grant (it cuts before anything really happens). Eventually Baxter decides he’s gotten enough revenge on Grant, lets him go and spends some quality time with lovely Felicia… but there’s a twist, of course.

    Clearly sourced from an incomplete print, Turn Me ‘Round (which may or may not also be known as Sex Merchants if the imdb is to be believed) is pretty much middle of the road stuff. The least interesting of the three films on the disc, it doesn’t feature much in the way of production values or plotting, the story doesn’t even really develop until about two thirds of the way through the movie. The acting is wooden and the sex is pretty standard stuff. The narration that starts off the movie continues until about the half way point, where it just stops, and, well… it’s short. We can be thankful for that.


    The three films are presented on one dual layered DVD and, as is After Hours Cinema’s practice, they’re all framed at 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen. This would be all well and good if they were composed for that aspect ratio but you can tell from the screen caps below that the picture has been cropped. These transfers were all taken from well used theater prints that were obviously not in the best of shape to begin with. It doesn’t look like there was any restoration done, they’re presented ‘as is,’ so expect plenty of print damage throughout along with faded colors and murky black levels. That said, in terms of Lorelei, framing aside, the picture quality is substantially better than that tape in terms of detail and color reproduction - this looks like the well used print that it was clearly taken from.

    Here are some comparison caps from the DVD and VHS versions of The Abduction Of Lorelei to demonstrate the differences in the framing.

    Each film gets the Dolby Digital Mono treatment. There are no alternate languages or subtitles provided. There’s a fair bit of hiss present in each movie, especially the third one where the narration can be tough to understand at times. Levels are a bit all over the place, consistent throughout each movie but differing from one feature to the next.

    There are no extras on the disc at all aside from menus and feature selection but included inside the keepcase is a color insert booklet containing a two-page essay on the history of the Venus Theater by Dimitri Otis, a two-page article on the feature attraction by Heather Drain and a quick interview with its leading lady Serena that was conducted via email.

    The Final Word:

    The DVD release of The Abduction Of Lorelei definitely presents the feature attraction in nicer shape than the VHS rips that are floating around, but it has its own issues. Still, for fans of low budget seventies roughies, there’s some appeal here, particularly from the inclusion of South Of The Border.