Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Oriental Hawaii (1982)


A fellow reviewer (he knows who he is, haha) once said that he was disappointed because the Tobalina movies he watched were not as bad as he had been led to believe. Or something like that. Anyway, it struck me as really funny, but I wasn't laughing at him. We've kind of built Carlos into something, and it doesn't always quite fit.

Case in point - ORIENTAL HAWAII. Now, I'm not saying this film is any great shakes. The razor-thin plot (overextended family takes on boarders) is just an excuse for the ensuing sexual hijinks. It's pretty pedestrian as stories go with only Carlos' infatuation with that damn kaleidoscope effect and his laissez faire attitude towards incest distinguishing it. But the thing is this - if you're in the market for 80 minutes of hardcore action and nothing more sophisticated, it's....well, it's perfectly serviceable.

You can credit the cast, which is largely name talent who then basically hang out in one house for the whole movie. This one caught my eye originally because of the performer billed as "Lisa Priest" in the movie and "Linda Priest" in the trailer. She plays "the Hooker" but is best-known for being in LITTLE GIRLS BLUE PART 2. As a result, she's usually known by her LGB credit of Shirly Duke, but I wonder if Lisa Priest might be more appropriate. Anyway, when you take a shine to obscure performers, you suck it up and take what you can get. That's why I was an early adapter for this movie in my Tobalina Odyssey.

I've posited that Carlos Tobalina's inexplicable latter-day sales strength might be partially due to his prefiguring more contemporary porn. ORIENTAL HAWAII is a classic example of this. It pales next to classic Spinelli or DeRenzy from this era, even when they were doing all-sex films, too. But by today's standards? Carlos Tobalina would probably be up for an award for this, and he might even win.

ORIENTAL HAWAII is no masterpiece of filmmaking by any means. But if what you want is "wall-to-wall sex" (as promised in one HIFCOA trailer), well, it delivers with a powerhouse line-up of sex stars. Oh, and as a bonus for you long-suffering Tobalina watchers, I think I spotted the legendary Fernando Fortes in a cameo!

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Buy direct from Vinegar Syndrome!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Where Did You Come From? Where Did You Go?

Just a note to acknowledge the fact that yes, this blog was inactive for 6 months. Stuff happened. I'm not even going to promise that it won't happen again. It probably will.

I'd like to raise the profile of this blog a bit, since it seems like literally no one is reading unless I post links to it and that's not always feasible. I'm not sure what the solution is, especially since I can't guarantee regular updates. I guess I'll just play it by ear and keep working until one presents itself.

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Chameleon (1989)


THE CHAMELEON (1989) Directed by John Leslie.

I usually am not a fan of 1980s shot on video productions as far as interesting movies. The sex can be good, but the plots are often perfunctory and the production values (especially music) are depressingly cheap. Still, this movie had a good reputation, and I am a fan of Tori Welles going way, way back. I figured I should give it a shot.

Consider me suitably impressed. The sex was red hot (how could it be anything else with Tori Welles involved?), but the story from John Leslie and Nick Hunter held my interest and kept me guessing. Even better, the original music score (!) made me forget at times this had many of the same budgetary limitations of other productions of its time. That and some clever set-ups proved to me you could make something that felt at least close to a real movie under those constraints.

My DVD was a bit screwy, but THE CHAMELEON was so much fun I got a new copy. It is worth your time if you've never seen it. And if you have it, why not watch it again? You'll enjoy it!

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Undulations (1981)


I hope I didn't get anyone's hopes up with SEXUAL HEIGHTS, because its DVD co-feature UNDULATIONS is not quite in the same league. The basic premise is we are watching a TV show called "Undulations" which would never pass FCC decency standards. There's an ad-libbed (?) remark that it's on "pubic television" if you need an explanation. Anyway, there's an idea here about gender role-reversal, but it's almost incidental.

The film's highlight is probably the scene where all the main players except Jamie Gillis snort cocaine on-screen during the supposed show. Jamie declines when offered, which I found interesting. There's more outtakes from SENSUAL FIRE (this makes two movies where Serena has a credited role despite not being part of the shoot) and some incredibly rare footage of a Gay Pride parade probably shot by Carlos himself. There's even a small role for Maria Pia, aka Mrs. Carlos Tobalina. The doctor himself is absent for some reason.

As is often the case, this is kind of a mess. Suzanne French is billed as "Georgia Drugg" and her character is named that too - but then Brooke West (as "Mariz Cruz" in a blonde wig) calls her Suzanne. The end credits are those for SEXUAL HEIGHTS, so we're left with a lot of mystery as to whether those people were involved or not. Kitty Shayne is billed as Kitty Shine in the opening, Lindy MacGrace in the closing, and Lindy McPearson on the poster. It's this kind of care which is the hallmark of Tobalina movies.

Definitely a lesser Tobalina - inept but not certifiably nuts enough. I do have a crush on the German (?) girl with an accent thick enough they felt it needed to be mentioned, and this from the man who gave us Iris Medina.

For reference:

IMDB page

IAFD page

Buy direct from Vinegar Syndrome!