• Showdown (Vinegar Syndrome) DVD Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: July 31st, 2018.
    Director: Henri Pachard
    Cast: Sharon Mitchell, Gina Carrera, Shanna McCullough, Nina Hartley, Jamie Gillis, Joey Silvera, Mike Horner, Herschel Savage
    Year: 1985
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    Showdown - Movie Review:

    Directed by Henri Pachard in 1985, Showdown is centered around the Bar None Dude Ranch – essentially a cat house that exists out in the middle of a desert in the American southwest. The place is run by a madam named Crystal (Sharon Mitchell) and it wasn’t all that long ago that they were chased out of town by the local sheriff (played by director Henri Pachard himself). Things are going well enough at the brothel in so much as the girls all get along well - Bess (Patti Petite) and Katie (Shanna McCullough) get along very well as we see in the film’s opening sex scene, as do new girl Jennie (Gina Carrera) and Liz (Nina Hartley) – but they’ve got one serious problem: this place is so remote that they don’t really have a regular clientele.

    Soon enough, three guys - Alvin (Jamie Gillis), Jack (Mike Horner) and Marty (Herschel Savage) – have car trouble and where should they wind up? The ranch, of course. Here they quickly realize what the Bar None Dude Ranch is really all about. Meanwhile, Deputy Clem (Joey Silvera), who was once romantically involved with Jennie, pokes about trying to see if he can get something going again while still encouraging her to leave this life of ill repute and easy money behind her – but not before each of our lucky travelers gets with a girl. See, Marty lays Bess, Alvin gets it on with Katie (in a hammock!) and Jack is lucky enough to get mixed up in a three-way with Liz and Jennie. Before it’s all over, Jennie and Crystal spend some quality alone time together as well – but will Clem’s romance with Jennie fizzle out once and for all or blossom into something new and exciting?

    Although Showdown is far from Pachard’s best work it has enough to recommend that it should prove worthwhile for fans of mid-eighties adult movies. Yes, the performers, many of whom had been in the industry for quite a while at this point, very much reflect the era in which the movie was made (expect a fair bit of big hair!) but they do decent enough work. In fact, the dramatic side of the storyline is handled quite well, particularly the relationship that exists between Silvera’s cop and Carrera’s working girl. These two are reasonably believable here and they have good chemistry, making the inevitable scene that takes place between them at the end of the movie all the more appealing. Showdown also features strong production values across the board – the costumes might be a little goofy at times but they don’t look cheap and the ranch setting that was used as the film’s chief location works quite well.

    It’s a shame then that the story just isn’t as interesting as it could and should have been. The sex scenes are nicely shot and passionately performed so the movie works quite well in that regard (Sharon Mitchell steals both scenes that she’s involved with in this picture and she looks great doing it) but the plot itself never gets to be all that interesting. Still, this is more than watchable even if it should have been more remarkable or memorable than it turns out to be.

    Showdown - DVD Review:

    Showdown arrives on DVD in a 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer taken from a new 2k scan of the original 35mm negative. The film looks very good, showing very little in the way of print damage outside of some occasional small white specks. At the same time, the transfer retains an organic, filmic look. Great colors, good depth and texture, strong black levels – no complaints really. Skin tones look nice and natural, never too pink or too orange, and the image is free of obvious noise reduction, edge enhancement or compression artifacts.

    The film gets the Dolby Digital Mono treatment. Clarity is just fine and balance is good. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion. Dialogue is clean, crisp and clear. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided.

    Aside from menus and chapter selection, the disc includes the film’s original theatrical trailer.

    Showdown - The Final Word:

    Showdown is an amusing mix of comedy and, yes, a bit of romantic drama. The cast do well here, the performances both in and out of the sack are pretty solid and Pachard’s direction keeps things moving at a good pace. Vinegar Syndrome’s DVD release is light on extras but it does look and sound very good. If you’re not a fan of mid-eighties smut, this probably won’t change your mind but if you do have an affinity for porn of the era this is worth a watch.