• Peekarama: The Sexorcist’s Devil / Deviates In Love (Vinegar Syndrome) DVD Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: September 25th, 2018.
    Director: Ray Dennis Steckler
    Cast: Carolyn Brandt, Kelly Guthrie, Lilly Lamarr
    Year: 1973/1978
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    The Movies:

    Vinegar Syndrome follows up their DVD release of Ray Dennis Steckler’s Red Hot/Hot Vampire/Peeping Tom with this new double feature containing two more of the late director’s XXX output.

    The Sexorcist’s Devil:

    Our first film follows the exploits of a hooker (the interestingly named Lilly Lamarr in her only credited performance) named Diane Tracy operating out of Las Vegas, Steckler's usual stomping grounds. Through a series of events that make little sense, she winds up getting possessed by the demon Volta who is awakened by a sinister cult of Satanists.

    When an Emmanuelle-esque female photojournalist named Eva and her occultist amigo, Professor Ernest Von Kleinsmidt (Kelly Guthrie), self-proclaimed Sexorcist and Doctor Of Demonology, find out that Volta has plans for world domination. Being reasonable people, they figure they should probably do something to stop her before it's too late. Unfortunately, Diane has gone on a demonic killing spree, taking down her pimp and her roommate and God only knows who else before the end credits roll.

    As seems to be the norm with Steckler's filmography, the movie moves along at a ridiculous pace. The film is completely erratic, it's shot with less enthusiasm than your average Doris Wishman cheapie and it's cast with some of the roughest looking folks you're likely to see (particularly when contrasted with the so-called 'beautiful people' populating modern pornography – though you’ve got to respect the fac that, intentionally or not, he went for realism with this one!).

    That said, there's a charm and a sense of wonder that's obvious in his films that works in much the same way that the charm and sense of wonder prevalent in Ed Wood's filmography helps what are otherwise horrible films succeed not so much as cinema but as a document of one man's efforts to at least try to create. Say what you will about Steckler, many of his films are nearly unwatchable, but he kept going and he did do things his way - for better or worse. This film isn’t well-made but it is fun and it is interesting and because of that it is quite entertaining and definitely worth a look.

    This film has also been released under the alternate title of Undressed To Kill (which is actually the title used on the print that this release was taken from), possibly in an attempt to cash in on a certain Brian De Palma film that this movie has nothing in common with? It’s also worth pointing out that Steckler directs this one under the creative pseudonym of Sven Hellstrom! And at sixty-minutes, this thing is over before you even realize it.

    Deviates In Love:

    Also known as Fade To Red (which is what the title card on the print used for this transfer reads), this hour long loop carrier is… fascinatingly incoherent. It starts out with some footage shot in a sex dungeon of some sorts. Dudes clad partially in chain mail armor have their way with a bound brunette. Once they’re done, she’s branded! The narration lets us in on the fact that this was part of the Inquisition! Cue the opening credits, such as they are, where we learn that this one was directed by Max Miller!

    From there, the same narrator tells us that sexual repression is a problem that carries on to this modern day and that something needs to be done about it. People have urges, after all, and who are we do deny consenting adults the freedom to boff who they want to boff when they want to boff them? At this point we meet a woman named Claire and learn that not only is she a bit of a voyeur, but she also secretly harbors lesbian desires. As Claire wanders around some sort of neighborhood, she peeks into windows and sees people doing various kinky things – at which point the movie seems to become a loop carrier and we more or less travel along with Claire as she watches various couples fuck and suck.

    This one isn’t as interesting or as bizarre as the first feature but it does have some nice footage that shows the outside of an old adult move house called the Tom Cat Theater in San Francisco (that was showing gay porno movies at the time this was shot – the one sheet is hard to make out but it clearly shows a cowboy wearing little but boots in a movie called The Stud Farm…”The gayest show in S.F.!”!). There isn’t much to the story and the sex is shot rather simply – lots of close up shots but very little in the way of any attempts to get artsy or creative with the camerawork. But it’s an interesting curiosity, if not a particularly good sex film.

    The film was previously released on DVD by Alpha Blue Archives under the Deviates In Love title on their Ray Dennis Steckler Teenage Hustler triple feature where it was featured with Teenage Hustler and Pleasure Motel. It ran a few minutes shorter than the version on this Vinegar Syndrome DVD. The film was also included in Alpha Blue Archives’ Brutal Underground Box Set #2 collection but again, it was the trimmed version. Vinegar Syndrome’s release not only appears to be uncut, but it is in much better shape than the ABA release was.


    Both features arrive on a dual layered DVD in 1.33.1 fullframe transfers taken from a new 2k scans of their respective 16mm archival elements. These are grainy, as you’d expect, and there’s minor print damage throughout but it is what it is – there’s no way these movies ever looked all that good in the first place. They’re certainly more than watchable, however, and seriously nice upgrades over what we’ve seen for these two movies in the past as far as home video releases go.

    The films get the Dolby Digital Mono treatment. Clarity is just fine and balance is good but there is some mild hiss throughout both features – never to the point where you can’t hear what is going on, but it’s there. Dialogue is clean, crisp and clear. There are no alternate language options or subtitles provided.

    Aside from menus and chapter selection, there are no extra features on this disc.

    The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome’s double feature release of Ray Dennis Steckler’s The Sexorcist’s Devil and Deviates In Love presents two of the late, lamented director’s wonky smut fests in nice shape. There are no extras but the curiosity value of these two hour-long features more than makes up for it.

    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Someone Weird's Avatar
      Someone Weird -
      DEVIATES... appears to be a cut version on this disc. The last scene is missing footage (see IMDb reviews for details) that is apparently included in the ABA releases (itself a shorter version).