• I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: June 30th, 2020.
    Director: Paul Vatelli
    Cast: Bridgette Monet, Mike Horner, Little Oral Annie, Linda Shaw, Lisa De Leeuw, Herschel Savage, Pat Manning
    Year: 1982
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    I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters – Movie Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome offers up two of Paul Vatelli’s early feature films, made back to back in 1982 and featuring many of the same cast members.

    I Like To Watch:

    The first feature opens with a scene where a young woman named Laura (Bridgette Monet) peeps in on her oddly coiffed aunt Leticia (Pat Manning) as she has sex with her boyfriend, Phillip (Herschel Savage). Laura lives with Leticia in a massive old stately manor, her aunt making quite a good living for herself as a fashion designer. Laura is also dating a man named Michael (Mike Horner), though she has yet to sleep with him and he’s understandably (though incorrectly) going under the assumption that she’s waiting until marriage to give up the goods.

    The next day, Leticia asks her employee, Kim (Little Oral Annie), to call a plumber for her. Kim obliges, of course, and soon enough, a plumber named Mark (Kevin James) shows up at the house, greeted by Leticia’s lovely maid, Gretchen (Ann Pierece). Kim, of course, promptly has sex with the new arrival, while Gretchen watches, after which she and Kim have rad lesbian sex while Laura, who is becoming increasingly sexually frustrated, watches them. When Laura doesn’t get the satisfaction she wants from Mike, her aunt’s latest client, Linda (Lisa De Leeuw), manages to fill the gap for him while Linda’s husband, Montag (David Cannon), watches them and then later joins in. Michael, meanwhile, winds up in a three-way with two models, Honey (Eleyna Desantis) and Cinnamon (Linda Shaw), while Leticia watches.

    While all of this is going on, Leticia is trying to prepare for an upcoming fashion show, and Michael decides that maybe, just maybe, he’ll do what he can to ensure this his girlfriend’s sexual needs are properly taken care of after all…

    I Like To Watch is pretty light on plot but there’s enough of a story here to hold your attention. The movie benefits from some unusual production design – the use of mannequins being an odd but obvious example - and really strong camerawork and lighting. If the story is nothing to write home about, the movie looks fantastic from start to finish, so full marks to Vatelli for this, as he also shot the film, in addition to directing and producing the picture. This is quite an atmospheric picture, and the score works quite well here too.

    A top notch cast also helps here. The women are all very attractive, save for Pat Manning who has a terrible poodle perm look going on here that really does not flatter her at all, and they turn in solid performances in and out of the bed. Little Oral Annie and Bridgette Monet really shine here, and while Lisa De Leeuw is underused she makes the most of her screen time. Herschel Savage, Mike Horner and Kevin James are also all very good in their respective parts as well.

    All in all, this one comes together nicely, using the aspect of the voyeurism as presented in the film to reflect back on the viewer in interesting ways (after all, clearly we like to watch too or this movie wouldn’t exist) and without condemnation or judgement of any kind. The artistic aspects of the production, combined with the rather celebratory sexual happenings, make it a lot of fun.

    Sorority Sisters:

    The second feature introduces us to Jean (Lisa De Leeuw), the woman in charge of the sorority house where virginal Cindy (Bridgette Monet) resides. Not so virginal, however, is Sugar (Linda Shaw), who, early on in the film, gets it on with boy toy Jim (Mark Wallice). Sugar also has no problem introducing Cindy to the ways of womanly love – she gets around, this gal, but Cindy doesn’t seem to mind so much.

    At any rate, Cindy’s sorority sisters decide to take it upon themselves to get their new friend laid, and they figure that the best way to do this is to go ahead and throw a part and invite a bunch of guys over to see if there are any sparks. It isn’t the worst idea in the world, when you think about it. While all of this is going on, sorority girl Bobby Jo (Angel Burgeon) makes time with Andy (Richard Reynolds), but eventually Cindy hooks up with Mark (David Cannon) and gets to have her own sexual awakening of sorts, all while Jean, who clearly has needs of her own, hits it off with a guy named Jack (Mike Horner).

    As it was with the first feature, the plot here is pretty sparse but Sorority Sisters works on many of the same levels. It is, once again, very nicely shot by Vatelli who employs some nice angles and strong lighting throughout. The whole thing is very nicely framed and takes advantage of some good location work, giving things a reasonably classy veneer that goes a long way in feature style adult films from decades past. The score is also pretty decent, and the movie goes at a good pace, mixing in a bit of comedy and drama to keep things amusing.

    As the case is more or less the same as the first film, it probably doesn’t need to be said that they all look great and perform well. De Leeuw is quite good as the matron of the house, using her rather stern persona effectively to steal a few scenes. Monet, once again, is a legitimate beauty and a solid choice as the film’s lead actress. The guys also handle themselves well enough, and hey, Herschel Savage pops up in this one as well, but he keeps his clothes on the entire time.

    I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings I Like To Watch and Sorority Sisters to Blu-ray “newly scanned & restored in 2k from their 35mm original camera negatives” with both films framed at 1.85.1 widescreen in AVC encoded 1080p high definition, each feature taking up just under 23GBs of space on the 50GB disc. Both movies look very good, showing very little print damage at all. Colors are reproduced really nicely and black levels are strong and deep. There are no noticeable issues with any compression artifacts or edge enhancement and detail is very strong throughout each picture. No complaints here at all, the two movies look great.

    The English language 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono tracks are also quite good. Optional closed captioning is provided in English only and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono tracks, also in English, are also included on the disc. The lossless tracks sound fine. You might pick up on some mild hiss here and there but that’s about it, otherwise they are, for the most part, very clean and properly balanced.

    Aside from menus and chapter selection, the disc also contains a trailer for I Like To Watch. As this is a combo pack release, the Blu-ray case also contains a DVD that features standard definition presentations of the two features taken from the same restorations.

    As to the packaging, Vinegar Syndrome supplies some nice reversible cover sleeve artwork and, if you buy the film directly from their website, with an embossed, spot varnished slipcover designed by Earl Kessler Jr. and limited to 2,500 pieces.

    I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters – The Final Word Review:

    I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters are both really solid vintage adult features made with care and featuring great casts. If their stories aren’t all that remarkable, there’s still enough going on in that department to easily hold our attention. The disc is light on extras, but the two films are presented in great shape, making this a release that fans of early eighties smut films should certainly appreciate.

    Click on the images below for full sized I Like To Watch / Sorority Sisters Blu-ray screen caps!