Monday, August 31, 2015

Wes Craven: In Rememberance

Since the news broke last night that Wes Craven had passed away from a battle with brain cancer I have been debating back and forth if I wanted to write anything about him here as I have done in the past when someone notable to genre film or someone notable to me personally passes on. It isn't that I don't feel Wes Craven is notable enough to deserve my words, in fact it is quite the opposite and the reason which I have decided to post something. My hesitance was because I didn't want this to turn into something where I break down his films and in turn, whether intentionally or not, attack his legacy. It is no secret that I didn't find Wes Craven to be an "elite" director all things considered, but I did respect the hell out of his work and his legacy and am a huge fan of many of his films.

Wes Craven forever changed the landscape of exploitation with 1972's The Last House On The Left. This cold, pessimistic and downright mean film spawned dozens of copy cat films throughout the decade. From its impossible to forget tagline to showing us some of the most depraved acts Craven would ever film, The Last House On The Left is forever embedded in American film culture for better or worse.

Craven would similarly change the landscape of horror forever when he introduced Freddy Kruger to the world in 1984. By no means a forefather to the slasher genre, Freddy gave the body count film a face, a personality and an attitude that may have needed to come a bit later in the cycle to really work. The film was downright terrifying, featured incredible special effects and in later sequels would give us arguably the downright coolest and most beloved monster in horror history. And maybe the timing was perfect as the amount of masked, silent and nameless killers that had come in the 6 years or so between Halloween really popularizing the genre and Freddy's debut left the audience ready for a hero to latch on to that they could quote and talk about with friends. The discussion of a hockey mask and machete can only go so far, but quoting Freddy and talking about all the dream scenarios could last forever.

Then a decade later Craven would do it again with Scream. The self referential, meta horror film from 1996 poked fun at the money making machines of the decade before it, where teens were killed off in a world full of cliches. Craven dipped his toes in the idea a couple years before Scream with New Nightmare, another Freddy Kruger film before nailing the idea with Scream. Scream was a smart film, and very well made. It had been long enough since the slasher craze died down that horror fans could begin to poke fun at themselves with the ideas Scream presented, perhaps something they weren't willing to do with Freddy on screen just two years earlier.

Wes Craven created two cultural icons in the horror genre, Scream's Ghostface remains a popular Halloween costume and is instantly recognizable and Freddy is the pop culture phenomenon he was in the late 80s. Not too many people can claim that sort of success and Craven didn't rest his hat on those two franchises as he made the brilliant The Serpent And The Rainbow which to this day I hold as one of the most underrated (in the sense that it doesn't get brought up in discussion very often) horror movie of all time and made a fantastic horror/exploitation film with The Hills Have Eyes.

When Craven succeeded on a film he really succeeded. He was able to bring these fictional stories and characters to life that resonated on a level of realism that terrified audiences and created nightmares.

It is those nightmares that we'll always have and remember, Wes. And it's the reason we'll always have that thought buried in the back of our minds that we shouldn't fall asleep.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

FLESH AND BULLETS (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Carlos Tobalina
Written By: Carlos Tobalina
Starring: Glen McKay, Mic Morrow, Cydney Hill
Color/85 Minutes/R
Region FREE
Release Date: August, 18 2015

The Film
A pair of divorced men fed up with their ex-wives bleeding them dry meet in Las Vegas and make a plan to kill each other's wife. The catch? If they fail to do so they're fair game to be killed as well. The plans get tangled when each man begins to fall in love with their respective target.

Carlos Tobalina is known for his extensive work directing X rated films in the '70s and '80s, plenty of which have been covered here on Celluloid Terror. He's no stranger to creating entertaining films and this rare venture outside of the X rating finds him creating a sexy thriller based on Alfred Hitchock's Strangers On A Train.

While the film doesn't have the budget, beautiful camerawork, top notch performances or signature Hitchcock moments, FLESH AND BULLETS does have well, flesh and bullets. The artistry of Hitchcock's classic is replaced with lots of nudity and sex (no hardcore shots), including scenes with adult stars Mai Lin and Sharon Kelly and some tense action scenes.

Is it fair to really compare the two films? No, probably not. There's no way FLESH AND BULLETS could live up to the film it is mimicking but Carlos Tobalina works within his limits and makes a largely successful skin and guns thriller that will appeal to a wider audience than his normal output.

The Audio & Video
It's immediately apparent that the film elements for FLESH AND BULLETS have been kept in pretty good condition because this DVD from Vinegar Syndrome is nice. The 16x9 transfer has a nice sharpness for a standard definition release along with an overall clean presentation and nice colors. There's some speckling and minor damage but nothing major or distracting. The mono audio sounds good with about as much wrong with it as the picture quality, that's to say nothing much.

The Extras
-Alternate cut of the film under the title "Wife Contract" sourced from a VHS
-Theatrical trailer

The Bottom Line
Sexually charged but not reliant on being hardcore, FLESH AND BULLETS is a fun, tense and seductive thriller that takes Hitchcock on a cab ride through 42nd street. Recommended!


Monday, August 24, 2015

RUN, HIDE, DIE (DVD Review) - Image/RLJ Entertainment

Directed By: Collin Joseph Neal
Written By: Allison Monda
Starring: Allison Monda, Alicia Mendez, Ivey Bronwen
Color/75 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: September 1, 2015

The Film
A year after the tragic death of her husband, Addison and four of her friends get away from the real world with a trip to her in-laws cabin for a brief moment of peace and fun however one of the girls is hiding a secret and they're not alone as their trip quickly turns into a night of terror.

The best thing about RUN, HIDE, DIE, originally titled "The Anniversary" which I feel is a far better fit and doesn't have the cheap direct to video feel than the title it has been released under does, is that it knows when to end. The film is a quick 75 minutes, it doesn't linger around like that last late night guest at a party who refuses to leave. The script which was written by star Allison Monda gets us where we need to be and tells us what we need to know without as much as pumping the brakes. This is like riding in the carpool lane to splatter town.

The main draw of the film will be for slasher and torture fans as that makes up almost the entire second half of the film. There's no shortage of bloody violence and the gore is on display here. There's no real surprises here and the film is quite predictable but it doesn't make it any less enjoyable. This is popcorn horror through and through. The real downfall of the film is Addison's friends being quite the annoying and/or entirely too Plain Jane bunch. The supporting girls are plain and bland. I'm not expecting Shakespeare or anything, after all this is popcorn horror driven by bloody torture, but the attempts at creating interesting and developed friends for our lead are weak and half-assed.

The film feels that it could have been made at any time between the 1980s and today and I love that fact. No it isn't amazing and the characters are thin and the script isn't amazing but sometimes being average is good enough for a night's viewing.

The Audio & Video
The DVD from RLJ Entertainment looks okay but for a film shot digitally I expect better. There's a lot of compression issues and pixelation even in scenes without rapid motion or that are particularly dark which are usually the problem areas. When these issues aren't present the 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer has a neutral color palette, and moderately sharp detail level. A 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound audio track is more than capable of handling the English dialogue and score. The mix is well done and the track is free of damage or distortions.

The Extras
Extras? What extras?

The Bottom Line
It's predictable, you've seen it before and the DVD release isn't the best and somehow I still can't knock it too hard. RUN, HIDE, DIE knows what it is and despite its shortcomings it isn't the worst film of the type I've seen recently. Or maybe I'm just in a good mood today.

RUN, HIDE, DIE is available HERE

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I-LIVED (DVD Review) - XLRator Media

Directed By: Franck Khalfoun
Written By: Franck Khalfoun, Brian Breiter
Starring: Jeremiah Watkins, Sarah Power, Nic D'Avirro
Color/96 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: August 11, 2015

The Film
I won't go into great depth on the film itself as our previous review perfectly sums up my feelings toward the film and nothing changed on a 2nd viewing. It's a rather unspectacular let down from a director I had hoped would continue making great movies after his remake of Maniac.

The Audio & Video
XLRator Media gives us a nice DVD for the film however with an anamorphic widescreen transfer that has good sharpness for a standard definition release. Detail is decent and the picture is quite clean and attractive overall. The English audio is handled with a 5.1 Dolby Digital track and sounds very clear and crisp and has a well done mix with the score. There's no damage or distracting background noise present.

The Extras
Aside from a trailer the lone special feature is a downloadable app second screen experience that syncs up with the film's dialogue and soundtrack to offer a unique viewing experience. Unfortunately my phone doesn't have a current enough operating system (and my phone is not particularly old) to try it out.

The Bottom Line
I'm not a fan of the film but the DVD is solid and though I'm not a fan of gimmicks that take the viewer's attention away from the film itself I must admit that the app download feature fits very well with the theme of the film and is an interesting idea.

I-LIVED is available HERE

Friday, August 21, 2015

EXTREME JUKEBOX (Blu-ray Review) - Troma

Directed By: Alberto Bogo
Written By: Andrea Lionetti, Alberto Bogo
Starring: Alessio Cherubini, Elisabetta Loi, Guglielmo Favilla
Color/80 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: August 18, 2015

The Film
The town of Nova Springs is a hotbed of musical talent and fandom. Hard rock and metal rule and you're either a star on stage or a groupie or fan hanging out at the local record store or nightclub. Unfortunately a masked killer known as Naughty Rocky Boy is butchering people with a variety of instruments turned weapons. Naughty Rocky Boy isn't the only killer though, as one of the local hands has unearthed a cursed record of a deceased rock legend unleashing the mythical Killer Of The Woods on the town.

EXTREME JUKEBOX is Italy's answer to heavy metal horror. This slasher has a bodycount that Jason Voorhees wouldn't snicker at and a good bit of blood to go with it. It also feels like it should have been made around the time Jason was found on the silver screen on an annual basis. The film so badly wants to be cool but it feels like a middle school student in a rock band t-shirt awkwardly standing against the wall at a school dance all alone. The music references and styles are so far out of date that it is almost embarrassing. I was ready for an Axl Rose cameo, really. Both killers have a goofy get up that look silly and one reminded me of the DVD artwork from Full Moon's The Dead Hate The Living. Intentionally cheesy doesn't have to equal stupidly bad.

Watching the film is awkward, as it is choppy and at times all over the place jumping back and forth between storylines that hardly intersect. It isn't that the film is difficult to follow, and it shouldn't be, it is after all a slasher film, but the editing makes the film feel all over the place. It's one of several big problems that plague this movie.

What I had hoped would be a great addition to rock 'n roll horror movies such as Rock 'N Roll Nightmare, Hard Rock Zombies and Black Roses, all of which use their scripted music to add to the genuinely cool vibe of the film and are campy in the best of ways, EXTREME JUKEBOX is the exact opposite. It tries to force itself in to being cool and is low quality cheese instead of being that expensive imported stinky stuff it could have been. I hate to use the word but EXTREME JUKEBOX is a "poser" of what it longs to be.

The Audio & Video
Troma releases this Italian production on Blu-ray with a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer and things looks good with a nice sharp picture and a strong color palette. Detail levels are high while black levels are good but suffer a little bit from crush. The Italian audio features English subtitles that are timed perfectly and are usually translated very well, only occasionally suffering from the odd awkward translation. The audio is well mixed and levels are steady with no signs of damage and no background noise.

The Extras
-Behind the scenes documentary
-Slide show

The Bottom Line
I wish EXTREME JUKEBOX lived up to the quote on the back cover of the Blu-ray that reads "The most brilliantly demented Italian film since Argento's Deep Red." but unfortunately it is far from brilliant and in absolutely no way, shape or form in the same league as even Argento's worst efforts.


Friday, August 14, 2015


Directed By: Claudio Fah
Written By: Bastian Zach, Matthias Bauer
Starring: Ed Skrein, Ryan Kwanten, James Norton
Color/97 Minutes/R
Region 1
Release Date: August 11, 2015

The Film
A group of vikings wash ashore in Scotland after their longship sinks in rough waters. Immediately having to fight the group is able to capture the king's daughter and plans to hold her ransom to buy their freedom. After learning that the warriors the king sent out to retrieve his daughter may have other motives than retrieving his daughter, the vikings, a christian monk and the princess have to fight their way across the land for their escape and survival.

I'm a sucker for any sort of viking or middle ages knight and king fantasy adventure and NORTHMEN: A VIKING SAGA is one of the better ones I've seen in recent years. Director Claudio Fah really captures the intensely violent and beautifully choreographed action with skill and without a heavy hand towards annoying slow motion. The movie was filmed on location in South Africa and Ireland and the settings are expansive and gorgeous. I never once questioned that this was Scotland around the time of the Dark Ages.

NORTHMEN is filled with all of the pre-requisites in a viking movie- talk of Valhalla, debates with Christians over religion, burning their fallen comrade and so on. There's no raping or pillaging here. Our protagonists' valor and honor is never in question and it is a refreshing change to see the vikings presented in a positive light instead of the typical story of a Christian army battling the invading viking savages.

I can't overstate how violent and purely brutal this film is. It never enters the realm of corny or cheesy which plagues many fantasy films of the ilk. There's a bit of CGI used for bigger scale moments but it is rendered decently and doesn't stick out too bad. There's also a decent story here but not one that we haven't seen a hundred times and not one that needs digging into too deeply.

NORTHMEN is credits to credits fantasy action not for the faint of heart and is more entertaining and better made than many similar films.

The Audio & Video
Anchor Bay gives NORTHMEN its home video release in the USA with a 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks quite good. The film has an intentional cold look and tone and the color palette backs that up. You won't see lush greens and bright vibrant yellows here, instead you get cold hard grays and dirty browns. The film has a great look and the disc represents that nicely. The English audio is handled with 5.1 Dolby Digital track and sounds very good. There's no damage or background noise and the track is crisp and clear.

The Extras
-Northmen: A Look Inside A Viking Saga - A 12 minute behind the scenes featurette

The Bottom Line
Awesome, entertaining fantasy adventure packed with epic violence and good performances top to bottom. Get the popcorn and the beer stein out, blow your viking horn to call your friends over and have fun with this one.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

CUB (Blu-ray Review) - Artsploitation Films

Directed By: Jonas Govaerts
Written By: Jonas Govaerts, Roel Mondelaers
Starring: Maurice Luijten, Evelien Bosmans, Titus De Voogdt
Color/85 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: August 18, 2015

The Film
A cub scout troop takes a weekend camping trip to the forest where things take a turn for the worse when Sam who believes in the scary stories his troop leaders have told. After encountering a feral boy and his brutally psychotic father Sam's fears of the supernatural have become frighteningly real and the whole troop is in danger.

CUB touches on themes of fairy tales, ghost stories, urban legends and fantasy stories. It is a killer in the woods style slasher film without the campiness of many slashers. CUB is a mean film and it doesn't take more than a single look at how Sam is treated by just about everyone or the scene with Baloo's dog. Director Jonas Govaerts wasn't interested in making a horror film that plays nice with its audience. This is a visceral viewing experience.

The acting is quite good, especially for a cast made up mostly of young teens. There's never a single moment where I think that a character is acting or that any performance takes me out of the movie. It's all very natural and organic feeling in front of the camera. The great performances are aided by wonderful direction and cinematography by Nicolas Karakatsanis. But perhaps the best part of the film's visual look and soundscape is the score by Steve Moore of the synth rock band Zombi. Moore is no stranger to scoring films as he is responsible for the scores for The Guest and Gutterballs among other horror films. The electronic score perfectly adds to the emotion and feeling being visually expressed on screen without forcing itself upon the audience. It is perfectly melded into the movie so you pay just enough attention to the score itself to enhance the rest of the film.

The action in CUB starts a bit slow but the film never drags because of it. The characters are developed nicely so we learn enough about the handful of main characters so that we develop the proper feelings toward them without slowing down the entire film because of it. There's no shortage of horror and action in CUB even if it takes a bit to kick in to full gear and nobody and no thing is off limits. CUB has some excellent special effects on display with a mix of practical and mostly very well rendered CGI.

I can't speak highly enough of CUB. From viewing the trailer months ago I was anxious to see it but leery that I'd be let down as I frequently am from films that look promising from their trailer. Finding new high quality horror isn't as easy as it may have been at one time but the quality stuff is still out there and CUB is proof of that.

The Audio & Video
Artsploitation Films delivers CUB on Blu-ray in a beautiful full HD 1080p anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 scope transfer where colors are vibrant and skin tones are fleshy and natural. There's no signs of waxiness from excessive DNR or any signs of edge enhancement. Black levels are deep and inky and artifact and compression issue free. Detail level is strong and the picture is quite sharp. The Flemish and French audio track is handled by a very crisp and crystal clear 5.1 HD track with optional English subtitles. The audio is free of any distortions or background noise and sounds really nice and has a fantastic mix between dialogue and the score. The subtitles are timed perfectly and translated perfectly.

The Extras
-"Of Cats & Women" short film
-Deleted scenes
-Special effects reel
-Music Video

The Bottom Line
CUB is one of the best all around horror productions I've seen in the last five years and is five years from now we'll still be talking about it as one of the best horror films of the decade.

CUB is available HERE

Sunday, August 9, 2015

PHANTOM HALO (DVD Review) - Arc Entertainment

Directed By: Antonia Bogdanovich
Written By: Antonia Bogdanovich, Anne Heffron
Starring: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Luke Kleintank, Rebecca Romijn
Color/87 Minutes/R
Region 1
Release Date: August 4, 2015

The Film
Samuel and Beckett are brothers who work the streets with their scam of Samuel performing Shakespeare while Beckett pickpockets the onlookers for their deadbeat father who is in debt to just about everyone. Samuel spends his free time escaping reality in his favorite comic book Phantom Halo while Beckett has hooked up with an old friend in a counterfeit money operation. The entire family quickly finds out that they're in over their head as every creditor they know comes for them and they're packing heat.

PHANTOM HALO could be just another direct to video thriller destined to be lost among the oceans of similar movies with nondescript artwork, a cast of unknowns and a plot that is far from new. I hope that isn't this film's destiny though. The script is solid and develops our main characters quite a bit, bringing them from petty street criminals to well rounded, interesting characters. It is this character development that really makes our brothers quite a likable duo. I think that is the biggest factor in what sets PHANTOM HALO apart from the pack - the characters are believable and the characters we're supposed to care about are extremely likable.

It wouldn't be without great acting that these characters would be both believable and likable. Thomas Brodie-Sangster is fantastic as Samuel, his Shakespeare scenes are brilliant while his longing to have a more normal life shines through. He learned the best of what his dad had to offer, which wasn't much and was able to overcome the rest even if it wasn't in the prettiest way. The supporting cast features a few bigger names than our leads and they really help give the picture a solid foundation. Tobin Bell of Saw and Rebecca Romijn bring the fear of organized crime and the emotional side of things to the movie respectively while Gbenga Akinnagbe adds a bit of comedic relief to being a badass.

There's quite a few scenes of violence here, it's something the film definitely doesn't shy away from and while it adds that form of entertainment it also helps us sympathize with the brothers. There's only one scene in the film that doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the film and it has to do with Samuel's comic book love. Fortunately it comes and goes and you don't think of it again.

Is PHANTOM HALO perfect? No, the film progresses too quickly. One moment the brothers are bringing in a few hundred dollars picking pockets and in the blink of an eye they're buying Bentleys and hookers with counterfeit bills building a reputation. A slower build would have made this movie feel more substantial and seeing more of the trouble Samuel could get into while Beckett is getting into big money trouble would have definitely been welcomed.

I can't knock the movie too much for what it didn't do because PHANTOM HALO and its director Antonia Bogdanovich deserve a lot of credit for what they did do.

The Audio & Video
Arc Entertainment delivers PHANTOM HALO on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen 2.35:1 transfer keeping the film's original aspect ratio in tact. All things considered this is a standard and acceptable A/V job. The picture is clean, with average sharpness and a good color palette. The English audio is handled through a clear 5.1 Dolby Digital mix that is damage free.

The Extras
A trailer is included but nothing else

The Bottom Line
PHANTOM HALO rises above the droves of indie thrillers that flood store shelves on a weekly basis with its solid writing, great acting and likable characters. A very entertaining 89 minutes.

PHANTOM HALO is available HERE

Friday, August 7, 2015

SOME CALL IT LOVING (Blu-ray Review) - Etiquette Pictures

Directed By: James B. Harris
Written By: James B. Harris, John Collier
Starring: Zalman King, Carol White, Tisa Farrow
Color/103 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: July 14, 2015

The Film
A beautiful young woman is kept in a perpetual sleeping state so a seedy carny can profit off the $1 kisses he sells in a "Sleeping Beauty" sideshow. A weird musician buys the girl from the carny for $20,000 and brings her to his castle where he awakens her and introduces her to his existence of lovers, music, and things. As their relationship grows it becomes painfully clear to both the girl and her former Prince Charming that she longs for a life far more fulfilling and free than anything he will offer.

I want to call SOME CALL IT LOVING a minor masterpiece. I think it just might be, but I just can't quite pin it down. It is a bizarre film, an odd viewing experience that is in a dreamlike state from start to finish. Though they share many similar qualities and a few major plot points I wouldn't call this film a fairy tale by any means. There's no happily ever after. Instead there's a somber and sad mix of disappointment, longing and letting go.

The performances are restrained, especially from Zalman King as Robert, the musician. He is wooden for much of the picture, offering little in the way of expressive emotion. I found his performance to suit his character and the picture itself quite well however. Holding himself back as this mysterious, introverted, almost shy man more than satisfied with the secluded life he leads is almost entrancing to watch. King has a presence in this film without doing much of anything.

The atmosphere lends itself to a dreamy, story book tale, though one could argue it is more of a nightmare to wake up after years of slumber only to an existence that you would rather return to your world of dreams than to actually live in. This sleepy atmosphere pulls the entire picture together, without it this film would be lost and quite frankly would have been a bore. Instead I loved what I saw, the atmosphere making the way the film plays out to be quite interesting and I found myself fully invested in the characters and their small part of the world that they occupied.

The film has layers and levels that need to be seen to appreciate in ways a review simply can't sum up. Richard Pryor's supporting character Jeff adds another dimension to the film, that gives Robert his only reprieve from his otherwise bizarre existence and gives us a taste of the real world version of Robert.

The Audio & Video
The first release from the Vinegar Syndrome label imprint Etiquette Pictures is a winner and I'd expect no less. The Blu-ray features a new 2K scan of the 35mm negative which looks quite good in its 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The film has an intentionally soft look to add to that dreamy and airy atmosphere which keeps colors and overall sharpness a bit subdued but don't be fooled, it is a very nice looking disc. Skin tones are natural and there is a nice sharpness to the film despite the softer than usual photography. And the overall film like quality and grain structure this transfer has lends itself to aid in the film's overall look and feel.

The English audio is handled with a Mono HD track that sounds quite good. There's no need for a new remix track to add multiple channels when the audio is this crisp. There's no damage or distortions evident and the track is free of background noise.

The Extras
-Audio commentary with Director James B. Harris and Sam Prime
-"Some Call It History" - featurette with James B. Harris
-"A Dream So Real" - featurette with cinematographer Mario Tosi
-Outtakes with commentary by James B. Harris and Sam Prime
-Booklet written by Kevin John Bozelka
-DVD copy of the film

The Bottom Line
Is this film a minor masterpiece? I think it may be. I can see how the film would divide audiences as it is a slow moving script with a monotone delivery but I think this film is truly fantastic.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MY SINFUL LIFE/ LAS VEGAS GIRLS Peekarama Double Feature (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Carlos Tobalina
Starring: Danielle, Karen Hall, Tom Byron
Color/164 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: July 21, 2015

The Films
Taboo reigns supreme in the first title on this double bill of smut from famed adult filmmaker Carlos Tobalina. MY SINFUL LIFE follows Danielle as she recounts the stories of her adoptive parents constantly having sex with her and then her leaving home to live with an aunt to go to college and do something for herself. She ends up working in a high end brothel where the kink factor is upped ten fold.

There's nothing to complain about here as the 83 minute runtime is filled with skin, sex and $$$ shots. The little twist at the end makes the entire thing feel even dirtier. Having sex with your adoptive parents is one thing but MY SINFUL LIFE goes beyond the beyond! It's amazing how these stag films take the raunchiest material and manage to make it hot and interesting without a second thought of how morally wrong it may be! Oh and I can't forget to mention how fantastic the opening and closing songs are in this, pure gold!

The great theme songs continue in LAS VEGAS GIRLS where a rich Texas oil tycoon hires a pair of private investigators to find his daughter who has runaway to turn tricks in Sin City. While there the detectives talk to every prostitute they can find and usually end up in some sort of sexual encounter, an orgy more often than not, or at least watching what is going on. Do they find the girl? Or do they find each other? Do we really care about anything other than the damn near endless group scenes filled with gorgeous people? No not really, but it's an interesting little flick with fun inserts of early 80s Vegas in all of its colorful neon glory and then there's the countless other... ahem... inserts.

LAS VEGAS GIRLS doesn't have the raunch factor that MY SINFUL LIFE has but it doesn't need it. If you want your sex free of any awkward dinner time conversations LAS VEGAS GIRLS will be the title for you.

The Audio & Video
A really nice DVD presentation from Vinegar Syndrome as they continue to prove themselves to be exploitation royalty. The 16x9 widescreen transfers maintain both films' original aspect ratios and have really good PQ for 30+ year old pornos. Colors are vibrant and there's a nice sharpness to the picture while there's only minimal wear to the source material with a bit of speckling as well but I am fully satisfied with how these movies look. The audio is in great shape with both films using English mono tracks that sound full and clear. There's no distracting background noise or any damage such as crackling or popping to speak of.

The Extras
A trailer for each film is included as the lone extras

The Bottom Line
This is yet another winning double feature from VinSyn and has a little bit of something for everyone.


Monday, August 3, 2015


USA/1980, 1983
Directed By: Phil Prince
Starring: Nicole Bernard, David Christopher, Martin Patton
Color/117 Minutes/X
Region FREE
Release Date: July 21, 2015

The Films
This triple feature of shorts from Avon Productions features some seriously rough and raunchy material from director Phil Prince. The first short, SAVAGE SADISTS features a porn distributor, his wife and a couple of employees being raped to pay off a debt he owes in his home and his office. Then in DEN OF DOMINANCE a man discovers the bar he has visited in Times Square is actually a front for a seedy S&M club which he willingly participates in. And finally a couple of young women find porno mags in their parents bedroom and begin to act out their fantasies on each other until they're interrupted by their parents who teach them a lesson they'll never forget in DAUGHTERS OF DISCIPLINE!

SAVAGE SADISTS lives up to its name as not only are the rapists vile but the savage nature even extends to two of the victims in the cheating husband and his mistress that works for him. A simple production that is just the right size to accomplish what it set out to do. I particularly loved the porn distributor asking his clients if they wanted their films on Beta or VHS.

DEN OF DOMINANCE would be the last picture shown on a triple bill, only for the last remaining heads awake at the midnight showing. That isn't to say it's a bad picture, simply the least interesting of the bunch but not short on the sex as once it gets going it doesn't stop until the film is over. If you're into leather and chains and like it just a little rough you'll be at home here.

They saved the best for last as DAUGHTERS OF DISCIPLINE is easily the kinkiest, dirtiest and least apologetic film of the bunch. From lesbian scenes, to bondage and incestuous group action there's no limits and nothing is out of bounds. It's so wrong but you can't look away. It's like a naked porno car crash... or something. There's even a surprise appearance from Natassia Kinski and a bizarre ending that feels like something out of a drug induced nightmare.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome delivers this trio on DVD with full frame transfers as they were originally filmed. The picture quality is good throughout and it is obvious the source material had been kept in nice condition. Colors and clarity are quite good and I'm very satisfied with this release. The audio is a bit muddy at moments due to the original production of these films but the mono track sounds decent on each film.

The Extras
Bare boners.

The Bottom Line
These three shorts from Avon Productions is a wildly entertaining romp through sexy roughy territory and will undoubtedly please fans of vintage adult cinema.