• Psychotronica Volume 1 (VCI Entertainment) DVD Review



    Released by: VCI Entertainment
    Released on: February 5th, 2008.
    Director: Gregory Corarito/John Hayes
    Cast: Michael Pataki, Bob Minor, Stephen Stucker, George 'Buck' Flower, Colleen Brennan, Edmond O'Brien, Brooke Mills, Paul Prokop
    Year: 1974/1972
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    Psychotronica Volume 1 – Movie Review:

    In 2008, VCI Entertainment and Kit Parker Films took a page out of Something Weird Video's book and opted to release a trio of trash film double features under their new Psychotronica imprint. Available individually or in a handy dandy boxed set that compiles all six films, these releases may not have been perfect on a technical level but they did prove to be a lot of fun and thee helped to ease the wound that Something Weird left when their agreement with Image Entertainment ended and they went direct order DVD-R only.

    Here's a look at the first volume, originally written for the long, gone AV Maniacs website back in 2008.

    DELINQUENT SCHOOLGIRLS (1975)

    Originally released as Carnal Madness, Greg Corarito's Delinquent Schoolgirls (the trailer for which is included on Synapse's 42nd St. Forever Vol. 2 - The Deuce DVD but which is conspicuously absent from this disc) plays like a tongue in cheek version of Fight For Your Life, with slapstick standing in for the race hate that made Robert A. Endelson's film so notorious. Co-written with John Lamb (he who worked on Mondo Keyhole with Jack Hill and who directed Mermaids Of Tiburon), this quirky and titty-filled film follows three men who escape from the State Asylum For The Criminally Insane - strange celebrity impersonator and rapist Carl C. Clooney (Michael Pataki), gay stereotype Bruce Wilson (Stephen Sucker) and the 'poontang' obsessed angry black archetype 'Big' Dick Peters (Bob Minor).

    Once this unlikely trio bust out of the big house they hole up in a home where a man named Earl (George 'Buck' Flower) laments the unrelenting horniness of his buxom wife. While Dick takes care of her, Bruce and Carl get him drunk and sing songs with him. Once that's out of the way with, they head over to the Oxford Corrective Institute For Young Women where a few trouble makers (Colleen Brennan - better known as porn star Sharon Kelly - Brenda Miller, Jane Steele, Zoe Grant, Debbie Raymond, Valeria Anderson, Kay Lange and the remarkably chesty Roberta Pedon to name a few) are being forced to spend their vacation time on campus. They're not alone, however, as Mr. Miller (Ralph Campbell) and Dr. Baxter (John Alderman) are on hand to watch out for the young ladies who seem intent to spend their time making it with whatever men are around and studying the martial arts.

    Chock full of completely gratuitous nudity from the sultry female cast members and ridiculous trash-talking dialogue from the three convicts, Delinquent Schoolgirls is a deliriously demented film that would probably be pretty offensive if it weren't so damn funny (the rape quotient is freakishly high in this film thanks to Big Dick's ongoing quest for 'snatch'). Full of plot holes the size of craters and head scratching WTF? moments, this is one of those films that you simply accept at face value. Trying to figure out its mysteries will only lead to a brain aneurysm, as quite frankly, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense in the first place. That said, if you're able to enjoy the movie on that base level and are able to essentially shut your brain off, you're sure to have a good time with the picture. At the very least, you'll be entertained.

    The film's finale is pretty insane, with the female kung-fu students squaring off against the three male oppressors (well, Bruce is more interested in hitting on the male instructor, who kind of looks like Ron Jeremy with an afro, than anything else) using some of the most unconvincing fight moves ever caught on film. It's almost like the martial arts aspect was thrown in as an afterthought to capitalize on the popularity of kung-fu movies in North America at the time. Either way, it’s a blast, and the game cast make it all the more entertaining.

    DREAM NO EVIL (1972):

    If Delinquent Schoolgirls wasn't batty enough for you, give John Hayes' Dream No Evil a shot. The film begins at a girls orphanage where a well to do woman adopts cute little Grace McDonald. While this subplot seems important, it's really not, we never hear about her adopted parents again. Instead we fast forward a good ten years and find that Grace is doing the Lord's work. The Reverend Jesse Bundy (Michael Pataki again!) drives around the mid-west with his shirt unbuttoned towing a trailer and at night, he and Grace set up revival tent meetings. Jesse does the fire and brimstone act while Grace dons a swimsuit and leaps off of a thirty foot tall ladder into a pile of cushions as some sort of strange proof God's existence. Complicating matters is the fact that Jesse has obviously got a holy hard on for Grace, but alas, their love is not to be for she is promised to another - Jesse's brother, a medical student named Patrick Bundy (Paul Prokop).

    Patrick cares for Grace, but her stoic religious beliefs won't allow her to give Patrick the good loving he so desperately craves. When Grace decides to go off and continue her ongoing quest to find her real father, Patrick decides to get a little closer to his foxy female study-buddy after getting a peek at her goods. You see, she overslept so he and the landlady decided to toss her in the shower. Yoink!

    At any rate, Grace eventually finds her father (played by none other than Academy Award winning actor Edmund O'Brien, who may very well be drunk the entire time he's onscreen) somehow. At first he's dead, or so we're lead to believe, as we see him on the slab in a local funeral home run by a man (Marc Lawrence) who pimps elderly whores in his spare time. Grace thinks nothing of it when dear old dad rises from the grave and kills the undertaker right in front of her. In fact, she moves in with him and together they care for a horse named Sultan. Reverend Jesse comes by for a visit and he and dad drink whiskey together while Grace does a ridiculous version of an Irish jig for their amusement, kicking up her heels and flashing her underwear at the camera. Later, however, Grace gives in to Jesse's lust and the two cavort in the barn only to be discovered by dad who, once again, commits the ultimate sin.

    Meanwhile, Patrick is slipping it to his roommate and decides that since he's had a taste of her forbidden fruit, he should give Grace the old heave-ho. After all, what good is having a hot piece like her on your arm if all you get is cuddle time? He decides he's going to do this when Grace shows up at the hospital where he's working alongside the other woman. Obviously distraught by what she sees, she nevertheless requests that Patrick come to the ranch where she and her father are living so that she can meet him. He's hesitant but finally agrees, not knowing that everyone who seems to come into contact with her dad winds up on the receiving end of nasty, burly murder!

    This movie is stupid beyond belief, but enjoyable enough as a drive-in oddity. If it weren't for the periodic interruptions from a nameless narrator it would be impossible to tell what was happening and even with his help, the film is still a big ol' mess. O'Brien, who was in the twilight of his career when this was shot, looks unhappy to be there while Pataki overacts and chews the scenery. Female lead Brooke Mills (probably best known for her work in The Big Doll House or maybe The Student Teachers) is absolutely beautiful and very easy on the eyes but it's really no wonder she didn't ever amount to much more than a bit part player. Her performance here pretty much redefines the term ‘wooden acting’ and while much of the responsibility lies with the script, or lack thereof, her non-performance really doesn't help things outside of the eye-candy department.

    Sub-plots go completely undeveloped, characters act completely illogically and the film jumps around enough to make you dizzy. An opening disclaimer alerts us to the fact that Dream No Evil was originally shot with an R rating but was trimmed down to a PG level. It's the PG cut of the film that is contained on this DVD, meaning the murders are pretty much bloodless.

    Psychotronica Volume 1 – DVD Review:

    Delinquent Schoolgirls is presented in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and the aspect ratio looks to be correct, or close enough. Expect to see some minor color fading and a noticeable coat of grain from start to finish. Minor print damage pops up here and there but isn't ever too distracting. Flesh tones are decent looking even if sometimes the naked ladies look a little pinkish. Detail is hit or miss, with some scenes looking crisper than others.

    Fear No Evil looks better than the first feature, presented here in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen as well, and appearing to be in its correct aspect ratio. There's considerably less print damage here and the colors are a little more vibrant despite the fact that they do fluctuate a few times during certain edits.

    Neither film has been flagged for progressive scan playback, which is irritating as there are some pretty obvious sawtooth artifacts present during both features.

    Both Delinquent Schoolgirls and Dream No Evil are presented in English language Dolby Digital Mono audio mixes. While neither mix is particularly good, neither is either mix particularly bad. Audio is easy enough to understand despite a bit of hiss here and there and while things are definitely a little on the flat side for both pictures, the levels are balanced properly. Subtitles or closed captions? Nope!

    The biggest and best of the extra features on this disc is an audio commentary for Delinquent Schoolgirls courtesy of Big Dick Peters himself, Bob Minor, joined here by Elijah Drenner who primarily serves as a moderator. While there are a few too many moments where we're left with nothing but dead air, this is still very much a worthwhile commentary as Minor remembers quite a bit about the production and his co-stars, both male and female. While Minor seems a little embarrassed by his work on the film, he's also a really good sport about it all and he tells some interesting stories about his work here as an actor and about his work as a stuntman on other pictures.

    VCI has also included trailers for the Mexican/Cuban 1957 exploitation oddity Yamboa (directed by Alfredo B. Crevenna), the 1965 nudist camp expose The Raw Ones (directed by Delinquent Schoolgirls scribe John Lamb) and 1968's She Did It His Way (which is apparently a trashy little sex film directed by Ronald Graham who produced Mondo Keyhole). Both Yamboa and The Raw Ones appear on Psychotronica Volume Two and Psychotronica Volume Three respectively while She Did It His Way remains absent on DVD.

    Both films on the disc also feature some nifty animated menus that tie in nicely to the cover art as well as chapter selection sub-menus.

    Psychotronica Volume 1 – The Final Word:

    VCI's Delinquent Schoolgirls/Dream No Evil double feature DVD isn't picture perfect but it sure is a lot of sleazy fun. Recommended!