• 9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review



    9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review
    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: August 27th, 2019.
    Director: Abel Ferrara
    Cast: Pauline LaMonda, Dominique Santos, Joy Silver, Shaker Lewis, Abel Ferrara, Peggy Johnson
    Year: 1976
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    9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy – Movie Review:

    Originally shot as Nothing Sacred (a much better title) and directed by ‘Jimmy Boy L.,’, 1976’s 9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy details the X-rated exploits of a beautiful dark haired woman named Pauline (Pauline LaMonde). Well to do and tired of the lesbian relationship she’s been in with opium smoking Gypsy (Dominique Santos), she’s gone back to men – which we see in no uncertain terms during the opening credits and then immediately after when she jumps on the stable boy (Shaker Lewis), recently arrived from France. Pauline’s internal narration lets us know not just how excited she is by this encounter, but also that she feels Gypsy should learn to start loving men.

    Elsewhere, Gypsy uses her Tarot cards and reads letters from Pauline, all of which allows her to envision some of her former lover’s trysts. Gypsy even tells us how Pauline’s ancestors engaged in incestuous union decades ago, two daughters (LaMonde joined by Peggy Johnson) having their way with their father (played by one ‘Jimmy Laine’). We also see how recently Pauline once again fell into bed with a woman, this time with a beautiful black woman named Nacala (Joy Silver), who is in turn followed home and then raped in the stairway of her apartment by two men (in a sequence heavily edited from the previous VCX DVD release but presented full strength on this Vinegar Syndrome reissue). As all of this plays out, Gypsy does what she can to exert control over freewheeling Pauline – but will she actually be able to control her the way she wants to?

    The feature film debut from director Abel Ferrara (the man behind Ms. 45, Driller Killer, The Addiction, The King Of New York and many more well-regarded films), 9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy was written by the director’s frequent collaborator, Nicholas St. John (under the alias of Nicholas George). St. John appears in the film as Pauline’s chauffeur. It’s a strange, dreamlike film that manages to succeed thanks primarily to its strong visuals and some quality performances rather than its narrative strengths. The cinematography from Francis X. Wolfe is top notch, often employing some very unusual angles to help create mood and enhance tension in the film. The score from Joseph Delia (another Ferrara regular, having scored The Bad Lieutenant, Body Snatchers, China Girl and a few others) is also top notch, a weird mix of jazz fusion and strange instrumental pieces. The production values here are strong across the board.

    As to the performances, it’s amusing to see Ferrara himself play the old man in the three-way scene and St. John play the chauffeur but their parts in the film are pretty minor. Joy Silver is quite good as the black ‘princess’ in the picture, she has an interesting look to her, while the heavily made-up Dominique Santos is quite as the mystical Gypsy, delivering her performance with some pretty decent enthusiasm. Pauline LaMonde, however, is the real start of the show – no surprise, as she gets the bulk of the screen time. She’s a very attractive woman with a unique look to her. Her performance here is quite solid, and while the narration is occasionally a little on the hokey side, she commits to the part and the movie is all the better for it.

    9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings 9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy to Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 widescreen with a transfer taken from a new 2k restoration of the film’s original 35mm negative. There are a couple of spots where you’ll spot a bit of print damage but otherwise, the transfer is excellent. Detail is very strong here, lots of depth and texture is evident throughout the picture, while flesh tones look perfect. Color reproduction is spot on and black levels are nice and solid. There are no problems with any compression artifacts, edge enhancement or noise reduction issues and the image retains a beautifully filmic look throughout. No problems here at all, the picture quality is top notch.

    The English language DTS-HD Mono track is clean and clear. Levels are nicely balanced throughout, the film’s dialogue is always easy to understand and follow and the score used in the picture sounds quite good as well. No problems with any hiss or distortion to note, no sibilance – this is a fine track. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Extras start off with a new audio commentary with Samm Deighan who starts the track by noting how Ferrara has personally promoted Driller Killer as his first feature rather than this picture, due to the stigma of having worked in hardcore. She also talks about how some of the themes explored in this film are reflected in later more mainstream efforts. Deighan spends some time talking about other mainstream directors that have made hardcore films over the years, she points out some of the humorous and satirical nods scattered throughout the picture. She also talks about how Francis Delia (who shot Nightdreams and Café Flesh and who also directed loads of music videos) took the Francis X. Wolfe alias before then going on to talk about his career for a bit. She also spends some time talking about Brad Stevens’ book Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision and the importance of that work, how the picture includes collaborations with many of the key players Ferrara would work with in the years to come, how the character of Pauline still feels contemporary even today, the exploration of repressed trauma that the film explores, the use of tarot cards in the movie, the director’s willingness to do anything necessary to get the film made (including show up in the incestuous three-way scene and whether or not a body double was used for the penetration shots), the film’s theatrical and home video release history and censorship issues that it ran into, why scenes are shot without synch sound, the impact of the rape sequence in the film and how it fits into Ferrara’s filmography over all, how the sex scenes represent female empowerment in many ways, how Max Weinberg wound up working on the soundtrack, how uncredited producer Arthur Weisberg got involved in the production and quite a bit more. Deighan’s insight is well-informed, her commentary providing a good mix of critical analysis, personal insight and facts/trivia about the picture’s history.

    Aside from that, we also get a trailer for the feature, menus and chapter selection. As this is a combo pack release, we also get a DVD version of the movie taken from the same new restoration and including the same extras. Vinegar Syndrome has also packaged this with some very cool reversible cover sleeve art.

    9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy – The Final Word:

    9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy relies a lot more on visuals than on a strong narrative but it’s an interesting and beautifully shot film that benefits from a strange, dreamlike atmosphere and Pauline LaMonda’s inimitable screen presence. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release presents the film in its uncut form and in fantastic shape, and while the release is light one extra features, Deighan’s commentary is a good one.

    Click on the images below for full sized 9 Lives Of A Wet Pussy Blu-ray screen caps!









































    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Paul L's Avatar
      Paul L -
      Excellent. Nice review, Ian. I shall have to wait till I can afford this but will definitely be buying it at some point.