• Avon Triple Feature (Massacre Video) Blu-ray Review



    Released by: Massacre Video
    Released on: October, 2020.
    Director: Phil Prince
    Cast: George Payne. Dave Ruby, David Christopher, Martin Patton, Ron Jeremy, Ambrosia Fox, Dixie Dew, Cheri Champagne, Jade East
    Year: 1983/1981/1982
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    Avon Triple Feature – Movie Review:

    Massacre Video bring together three features from the infamous Avon Films library, debuting here in high definition for the first time.

    FORGIVE ME, I HAVE SINNED (1983):

    The first feature on this disc, directed in 1983 by Phil Prince (credited as Phil Prinz ,who also wrote the film as Mea Culpa!), opens with a weird synth score playing over the opening credits (where Ron Jeremy is credited as Ronald Jeremy, you know, to class things up a bit), all done in red text over a basic black background.

    Two-minutes later and we see a man looking through a book of names (some of which we should not take seriously), checking two of them off as he goes. This man, known only as The Confessor (George Payne), drops a few letters in a USPS mailbox a short time later and then heads back to his abode as we hear strange cackling on the soundtrack. A young blonde woman, clad in a schoolgirl outfit, runs through a park and a guy named Jason Burke (Ronald Jeremy) stops his car. She makes it to a big white house, the same house The Confessor calls home. She comes into the room where he holds court, dimly lit by yellow lights and candles with some dry ice working overtime to smog things up. Our heroine, Ingrid Swenson (Ambrosia Fox), is instructed to confess to her sins. She does so with a thick New York accent, telling him about how Serena (Jade East – probably not this Asian actress’ real name!) touched her and they had rad lesbian sex at camp. We see this play out in a flashback that leaves nothing to the imagination. After the confession/flashback, Ingrid is told she has to bring Serena back to be forgiven.

    From there, we meet Brad Martin (Martin Patton). After opening his letter (which invites him to the ‘black room for tea and toast’), he sits in the same room with the Confessor and tells him how he had physical relations with his sister, Marie (Cheri Champagne), another sex scene that we see play out in flashback as he confesses to his misgivings – it turns out she’s got a thing for whips, leather, punishment and bootlicking!

    Moving right along, Vicki Jones (Niko) is invited into the room to confess, which she does as we learn how she was hired as a secretary to Mr. Burke, taking the job thinking it would be her big break only to have everything go wrong. As she breaks into tears The Confessor asks for more details, we see and hear how she got coerced into sex with that same man was saw driving his car earlier – he’s got some private letters he wants to dictate to her to people like ‘John Cocknballs’ that detail his sexual exploits. He roughs her up a bit and, shockingly, she submits (visibly giggling as she does). After her diatribe, The Confessor binds her to a stockade and tells her he is going to cleanse her, at which point he suggests she taste the purity of his rod to be cleansed. Vicki is into this idea and obliges him and when they finish he instructs her to bring Jason Burke to him for cleansing and revenge….

    “Lookit that, you’re hung lime a hamster!”

    We’ll leave it at that so as not spoil anything but let it suffice to say that Forgive Me, I Have Sinned, has a few unexpected and interesting twists in its final half. At sixty-seven-minutes in length, the film moves pretty quickly and while there are quite a few sex scenes in the movie, they never feel like padding. Oddly enough, the best bits in the movie are when Payne is alone in the black room, clad in his gowns and ranting to himself about cleaning sinners and what not. It’s a great role for him and he makes the most of it. He never goes as over the top as he does in something like The Taming Of Rebecca, but he definitely gives it his all and he’s pretty fun to watch in the role.

    The rest of the cast are fine here as well. Fox can’t act worth a damn but she looks good and suits the part perfectly. Jade East is fine here as well. Cheri Champagne steals a few scenes as rough and tumble Marie and Patton is amusing as her dimwitted brother. Niko isn’t particularly believable in her role, she seems to have trouble staying in character, but it’s amusing to see her try, while Jeremy is pretty solid as the boss who is all too comfortable getting physical with his employees (given his predicament at the time of this writing it’s possible he was just playing himself!).

    Like all the Avon movies, this was obviously made fast and cheap but Prince makes the most of the minimalist sets. The lighting is moody and atmospheric and the set decoration is close enough to a church-style building that we can buy Payne’s position as ‘The Confessor.’ The odd score works really well, though the occasional comedic sound effect can take you out of the movie when it happens. Either way, this is solid sleaze. There are no real redeeming values here at all, but that’s not a bad thing, it’s pure exploitation in every way you’d expect and the occasional artistic flourish on the part of its director make for some interesting visuals.

    STORY OF PRUNELLA (1982):

    When this second film, directed by Phil Price in 1982, begins, the immortal George Payne/ along with David Christopher and Martin Patton/ are a trio of prisoners who break out of the big house much to the dismay of the prison warden. While these three are running around in the ‘woods’ of New York City, a young cop (played by Ron Jeremy) shows up at his fiancé’s house where she’s lying in bed wearing nothing but a towel. This scrawny looking junkie of a girl, named Prunella (Ambrosia Fox), doesn’t want to screw Ron until they get married but he wants her so bad and whines so much that she just can’t say no. Before you know it, he’s eating her out. One thing leads to another and a few minutes later she’s spread in the bed and he’s telling her ‘You’re the one I’ve always wanted! It’s always been you!’ while the camera zooms in way too close to his face.

    Once Ron’s blown his slow-mo load and the pair has put their clothes back on, Ron gets a call from the office. It seems that he’s needed to help catch those three nasty crooks that have escaped from the prison that is run by, get this, Prunella’s old man. Shortly after Ron splits, Prunella’s mom (Dixie Dew) shows up and tells her daughter to get ready so that they can head out to the wedding shower that’s being held in her honor. While Prunella gets ready, mom fantasizes about blowing Ron and then getting fucked by him while he tells ‘You’re the one I’ve always wanted! It’s always been you!’ and the camera once again zooms way too close to his face. When her fantasy ends, the two ladies get into the car and head to Staten Island, home of The Wu-Tang Clan, for the shindig.

    Meanwhile, Payne and his cronies have met up with his girlfriend (Cheri Champagne). As he tells the story of how he met her (she called about an ad he places in SCREW Magazine!), we see via flashback exhibiting how he showed up at her apartment, put clothespins on her nipples and labia, and had rough, degrading sex with her. Obviously it was love at first sight, as she stuck with him and has since managed to find him with his pals in the middle of the woods. He’s none too pleased that she showed up without a car, however, so they decide to carjack the next ride that comes along… and who should be in that car? Why Prunella and her cock craving mother! The thugs make the girls take them to the apartment where Prunella’s wedding shower is to be held (note the ‘Congratulations’ banner made out of a bed sheet and black spray paint to mark the occasion) where Payne, Christopher and Patton are happy to find Joey Karson and Niko waiting there, proceeding to rape and degrade each one of the ladies while Champagne and Dixie Dew get it on in the background. All hope is not lost, however, as officer Ron and his flatulent partner are on the case and hoping to make it to the apartment before it’s all too late…

    Aside from the rough sex and paper thin plot, there are a few qualities worth noting in this odd (even by seventies porn standards) Avon roughie. Ron’s partner farts in the car – a lot, and quite loudly, for no reason whatsoever other than possibly to provide some comic relief in between the rape? During the end of the movie, you can music from Pac-Man over the film’s score, and then, well, then there’s Payne’s make up. Stealing every scene he’s in, George Payne is a Kinski to Prince’s Herzog, channeling the ‘what do you want to do with your life?’ guy from the Twisted Sister videos, all snarling, perverse menace in each one of his scenes. He makes the movie work and turns in a truly memorable and wonderfully filthy performance, uttering some rather unsettling lines with complete and utter conviction.

    The rest of the cast fare far better than usual here as well. Ron Jeremy proves he’s a better actor than most people ever really give him credit for while Ambrosia Fox does a pretty convincing job of playing the victim and looking suitably uncomfortable during the film’s big finale. There are a few odd twists that also make the film stand out from a sexual angle as well. On top of the rough stuff, there’s implied incest and forced lesbianism and some really rather freaky camera angles giving the film’s last hurrah an appropriately claustrophobic feel.

    Payne and Prince (the director pops up in an uncredited cameo as a prison guard) definitely made better movies together. The Taming Of Rebecca is probably their finest collaborative moment and a highpoint of seventies porno movie depravity, but The Story Of Prunella is definitely in the upper echelon of the Avon cannon. Prince obviously had some personal demons, possibly the result of his strict Catholic upbringing (we see this here and in the first movie!), and in most of his films he seemed to be making some sort of attempt at exorcising them. His films, as twisted as they can often times be, have a strange personal slant to them, making them ripe for introspection. Some may not get as much out of the film as others, and dismiss it as simply another ‘degrading mix of sex and violence’ but if you scratch just a little deeper than the surface, the film’s morality isn’t that hard to uncover.

    PAIN MANIA (1981):

    Can you guess who directed this one? Phil Prince? That's right. Know who stars in it? George Payne? Surprisingly, no. They made a lot of movies together, but he doesn't show up here. Dave Ruby does though, as do David Christopher, Mistress Candice and Victoria Sands. This one was supposedly shot entirely inside the Paris Theater right in the heart of it all, and after watching it you won't doubt it for a second, as this one is chock full of legitimate, vintage Times Square sleaze appeal. Melissa, the granddaughter of the theater's owner, Murray, also has non-sex appearance in the movie, adding to its novelty value.

    The film posits itself as a legitimate documentary out to explore the live sex shows and BDSM lifestyles that were on display during Times Square’s sleaziest years. Melissa is Nina Nookie, a DJ from WCUM (get it?) who interviews the sex performers both in the theater and in the dressing rooms where they get prepared for their acts. Through the interviews we learn about why they do what they do for a living (money seems to be the prime motivator), their personal kinks, what gets them off, what they like to do in bed when they're fucking for pleasure and not for pay, and generally get to know them a little bit. From there, we see them get down and dirty on the runway of the theater where they act out some BDSM scenes for the camera.

    This is time well-spent if you’re into the grubbiest of the grubby. Appearing in the feature, basically as themselves, are such luminaries as Dave Ruby, David Christopher and Robin Thorn and also pay attention to some of the clips that are used throughout the movie (conveniently taken from earlier Avon movies) to spot Annie Sprinkle, Marlene Willoughby, Mistress Candice and a few others!

    The fact that we get to see some of the performers in a rather candid environment and the fact that we get a glimpse into a grindhouse that no longer exists make this one a fun diversion, even if it mostly plays out as an Avon Greatest Hits reel in a lot of ways, the documentary setup adding an element of humor to the proceedings that is quite welcome.

    Avon Triple Feature – Blu-ray Review:

    All three films are presented in a 50GB disc in AVC encode 1080p high definition, each framed in their proper 1.33.1 aspect ratio and taken from 2k scans of ‘original 16mm elements.’ As these really only run about an hour a piece and are therefore pretty short, there aren’t’ any compression issues. Mild print damage shows up here and there but overall this is a very substantial improvement over past home video releases – you can actually see what’s going on in the darker scenes now! Colors look good, detail is about as strong as you can expect given the films’ origins and skin tones look fine. There are no issues with any noise reduction or edge enhancement to gripe about, this always looks like film. Honestly, these transfers turned out quite a bit better than most will probably have ever expected.

    Each film on the disc gets an LPCM 2.0 Mono option, in English. There are no alternate language options or subtitles of any kind provided on the disc. Limitations of the source are obvious but dialogue is generally pretty easy to understand and the levels are balanced well enough. There’s a bit of hiss in a couple of spots but its minor. Same with the snaps, crackles and pops that you here in spots. Overall these sound fine given their history and, again, are big improvements over what we’ve seen (or heard) before.

    Extras are limited to trailers for American Rampage, The Underground, Mr. No Legs and Andrey Iskanov's Visions Of Suffering as well as menus and chapter selection. This release also comes with a limited edition slipcover, for all those cardboard festishists out there.

    Avon Triple Feature – The Final Word:

    Massacre Video’s Blu-ray release of their Avon Triple Feature collection might be light on extra features but the presentations are strong for all three films and the movies themselves hold up as excellent examples of XXX-rated early eighties sleaze!

    Click on the images below for full sized Avon Triple Feature Blu-ray screen caps!