• Liquid A$$ets (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: July 31st, 2018.
    Director: Walter Sear
    Cast: Veronica Hart, Samantha Fox, Ron Jeremy, Sharon Kane, Bobby Astyr, Richard Bolla
    Year: 1982
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    Liquid A$$ets - Movie Review:

    Walter Sear’s XXX take on Mel Brooks’ classic The Producers is… odd. Even by the standards of vintage adult cinema, this one stands out as genuinely strange – how many other ‘sexy’ movies open with a scene where a horse takes a giant dump on camera? This scene introduces us to Suzy (Sanja Sorello), a naïve young woman from Trotsville who hopes to make it big in the New York City theater scene. She arrives in The Big Apple and lucks out almost instantly when director Stan Slavsky (Gregory Lions) casts her in his latest production.

    What Suzy, who has no acting experience or talent but who is quite well built, doesn’t realize is that the play is meant to be a bomb. Why? Because wealthy Mr. Cashbox (Bobby Astyr) needs it to flop so, on the advice of his lawyer (Ron Jeremy) and his ‘loophole expert’ friend (Robert Kerman) he can use it as for dubious financial means. As the plot develops, it turns out that Cashbox is nailing not one but two Broadway critics (Samantha Fox and Lisa Be) – which won’t end well for him. He’s also hired the worst actress anyone can think of, Tootsie Lamarr (Veronica Hart), to bulldoze her way through the production alongside Suzy. When she insists that Cashbox take her to the casting couch to try her out, he protest, but it’s no use as she gnashes and growls her way into his pants in a sex scene best described as frightening. Throw in a drunk cast as Rasputin (played by writer R. Allen Leider) and a hypocritically randy judge (Fred Lincoln, in very fine form indeed) and you can see how this gets out of hand pretty quickly.

    A comedy painted in extremely broad strokes, Liquid A$$ets is wildly uneven in both its use of humor and depictions of sex. If you’ve ever wanted to see Ron Jeremy go all the way with an inflatable blow-up doll, then this might get your motor running, but if that isn’t your kink (let’s face it, that’s a pretty specific kink), well, it could just as easily have the opposite effect. Of course, that scene is played for laughs but producer and cinematographer Roberta Findlay makes sure that we see it all in extreme closeup right up to and including the money shot. Then there’s that scene with Hart and Astyr. She’s a lovely and talented performer, one of the best of her day, but her character in this picture is… repulsive? Yep, that’s the right word. Again, this scene is played for laughs – this is made obvious not just by her performance but also from the fact that smoke quite literally erupts from Astyr’s crotch when she’s done with him. At least Ms. Hart seems to be enjoying herself here.

    These scenes are goofy, mildly amusing if you’re in the right frame of mind, but far from titillating. Not all of the scenes are a misfire, mind you – Samantha fox is great here, and ‘one and done’ actress Sanja Sorello has nice energy and enthusiasm when she’s inevitably brought into the fold by the group of deviants she’s cast alongside.

    Production values are decent. Findlay shoots the film pretty well. The costumes are colorful and amusing and if some of the sets are a little sparse, for the most part they work. There’s just way too much mugging for the camera here for this to work as an effective sex film. Some of the humor is pretty funny, even if it is of a decidedly cornball variety, so there’s entertainment value to be had – just keep your expectations in check. If nothing else it’s a decent showcase for weird looking Bobby Astyr’s comedic skills and, to his credit, Ron Jeremy is pretty funny here too.

    Liquid A$$ets - Blu-ray Review:

    Liquid A$$ets arrives on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer taken from a 2k scan of the original 35mm negative. A warning before the feature starts warns us of some image instability inherent in the original materials that couldn’t be completely eliminated, but that’s only noticeable in a few of the scenes that take place in Ron Jeremy’s office and it’s pretty minor. Aside from that, there’s not much to complain about here. The picture quality is quite strong, the transfer boasts strong fine detail, good depth and plenty of texture. There are no obvious compression artifacts nor are there any issues with distracting noise reduction or edge enhancement. The image is quite clean, showing very little print damage, while still retaining a natural amount of film grain.

    The DTS-HD Mono mix on the disc is also fine. Optional subtitles are provided in English only. The dialogue is pretty clean and pretty clear and the score properly balanced. There aren’t any hiss or distortion issues here, the audio is problem free.

    Extras on the disc start off with an audio commentary featuring Roberta Findlay and moderated by Casey Scott. Roberta served not only as cinematographer on the film but also editor and producer. She speaks in her typically blunt fashion about her experiences on the set, what it was like working with Walter Sear (and how/why she let him write and direct the picture) and her thoughts on his abilities as a filmmaker and director, some of the locations that were employed in the picture, her thoughts on interacting and working with some of the more recognizable cast members affiliated with the production and quite a bit more. Findlay’s in fine form here, not holding back but reminiscing with maybe a bit more affection than you might expect if you’ve heard her talk about some of her other films. Scott has a talent for keeping Findlay engaged in his talks with her, this is no exception.

    Vinegar Syndrome also provides an audio interview with screenwriter R. Allen Leider that runs an hour and eight minutes. He talks about how he came to write the picture, his take on how it all turned out, his thoughts on the performances in the film and quite a bit more. Up next is a fifteen-minute interview with actress Veronica Hart who is frank about her work in the picture as she talks up taking direction from Sear, interacting with Findlay, the character she was tasked with playing in the production and her thoughts on some of her co-stars.

    Outside of that we get a theatrical trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection options. This release also comes packaged with some nice reversible cover art.

    Liquid A$$ets - The Final Word:

    Liquid A$$ets is about as goofy as it gets. Nothing is played straight here at all, the humor is over the top and completely corny and much of the sex completely ridiculous. Still, it’s amusing in enough in its audaciousness, and Vinegar Syndrome has, as is their style, rolled out the red carpet for the film’s Blu-ray debut. It looks and sounds quite good and the extras are plentiful and interesting.

    Click on the images below for full sized Liquid A$$ets Blu-ray screen caps!