Monday, September 16, 2019
John Christopher's SWEDISH SORORITY GIRLS (1978) is a movie I've been thinking about picking up for a long time. It has a cast of people I like, and the DVD was usually pretty cheap. Since I got a refund on something recently, I took the opportunity to add the film to my collection. I'm very pleased with the results!
However, this is not me saying SWEDISH SORORITY GIRLS is a great one because it's not. There's not really any plot beyond the erotic adventures of Ann (Erica Havens) in Sweden on a trip to visit her cousin Ingrid (Colleen Anderson, aka Heather Young). That's basically all there is as far as any substance in the abbreviated run time of just over an hour.
And you know what? That's perfectly fine. SWEDISH SORORITY GIRLS at least doesn't overstay its welcome with excessive padding, despite IMDB incorrectly insisting it runs a full 90 minutes. It also has a sense of humor about itself, which is always welcome. The funniest part is undoubtedly the fake Swedish accents affected by most of the main cast members. Those alone are worth the price of admission.
I can't exactly recommend SWEDISH SORORITY GIRLS since there's just not a whole lot there. However, I enjoyed it despite dragging my feet for a long time about seeing it. If it looks like your cup of tea, and it's cheap, I say give it a shot.
But wait, there's so much more!
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Part of me hopes against hope this movie is hiding in an unmarked film can. You see, though most Carlos Tobalina adult movies from the 1980s have either been re-released by Vinegar Syndrome or are at least available for release, SEXUAL ODYSSEY is missing in action as far as elements go. The other part of me wonders why I care as this is pretty uneven for even a Tobalina movie, which of course exist in some alternate universe.
The plot is admirably demented - Jerry Butler plays a confirmed homosexual (!!) who goes to Dr. Carlos (listed as "Dr. Karlof" in the pressbook but you're not fooling anyone Dr. Carlos) for conversion treatment. I wonder if Tobalina even realized this admittedly ridiculous idea actually existed? At least Dr. Carlos' method is more benign than the real thing. These parts are the source of much mirth, including both Tobalina and Butler attempting to pronounce the word "fecal." It's completely offensive but totally unaware of its offensiveness.
If you're wondering, hey, how do I know how Tobalina's character is listed in the pressbook, there's a reason and it's a doozy. It's because SEXUAL ODYSSEY credits most of its cast and crew by simply displaying the pressbook on-screen! What's more, the film's title is conveyed via the poster rather than, you know, actual titles. It makes you wonder if Carlos ran out of money in the budget, or if he changed things around at the very last minutes. With Tobalina, who can really know?
The cast is mostly amazing, with rare Tobalina appearances from Butler, Amber Lynn (wearing one of the CASANOVA 2 wigs for some reason), Nikki Charm, Rachel Ashley, Karen Summer, and Joanna Storm. Longtime Carlos favorite Mai Lin is also on-hand. Sadly, the sex scenes are soooo protracted that they get a bit tiresome. I would have liked a little more idiotic plot to balance things. I mean, Jerry never appears in the same scene with the guy playing his brother!
There are some creative touches though. The sex in front of a rear projection idea makes a return from THE ULTIMATE PLEASURE (I think it was that one). Very stirring to watch Nikki Charm climb on top of Jerry Butler with an image of the Statue of Liberty in the background. Ashley and Summer conclude their scene with Butler by clapping and chanting "Amen!" for reasons that are not entirely clear, but evidently indicate successful therapy. I dunno, it's Carlos.
Not an essential Tobalina by any means unless you're a completist for him or one of the stars. It still deserves to be rescued from obscurity, especially in light of recent events. Only time will tell!
Thursday, September 5, 2019
I didn't know diddly about director Duck Dumont prior to Vinegar Syndrome announcing the Peekarama release of PLEASURE MAZE/LOVERS LANE. I basically still don't, beyond some details in a short piece no longer online which reported his untimely death in 2005. So I had no preconceived notions of what to expect when I watched these films.
PLEASURE MAZE takes the same idea as SEX WORLD and makes it so much more misogynistic. I guess that's not surprising, but anyone expecting wry commentary of any kind is going to be mostly disappointed. Joanna Storm is winsome and sympathetic (to a point) and makes it a bit more tolerable. Every other woman in the movie isn't even playing a real person, though Amber Lynn is I guess the "star" (no matter that the credits topline Stacey Donovan for some reason). Joey Silvera is as good as always and tries to do something with this, but the script and the undersized budget for sci-fi spectacle make this mostly a miss for me.
LOVERS LANE, oddly, turned out to be somewhat more enjoyable. Credit to Tracey Adams and Barbara Dare for making their characters feel real, with actual lives beyond the scope of this limited story. The "gimmick" is that almost every sex scene takes place in a vehicle, and I assume getting them ate up most of the budget because this is cheap enough to pass for a video except that it's shot on film. I did like the little touches left in simply because they kept shooting, like Stacey Donovan's tongue getting bitten by her overly-amorous partner or Tracey being unable to pop the top on her generic "BEER." It's a less ambitious movie than PLEASURE MAZE, but somehow more likable.
My verdict is that I'm glad to have these two films and they were reasonably fun diversions. But I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to add any more Duck Dumont productions to my collection. I doubt there will be new releases anytime soon, so that would entail tracking them down. That sounds too much like work to me.
PLEASURE MAZE - IMDB / IAFD
LOVERS LANE - IMDB / IAFD
Buy this release directly from Vinegar Syndrome!
Tuesday, September 3, 2019
THE SEVEN SEDUCTIONS OF MADAME LAU (1981) Directed by Charles Webb (as Charles De Santos) and Christie MacDonald (aka Christy McCabe).
In light of the recent passing of Charles Webb, I decided to pick up a copy of this film during another order. I've always been curious about it, and it seems highly-regarded. Well, after a couple of weeks of trying to make sense out of contemporary adult releases, this was a breath of fresh air.
The opening sequence with an airplane flying over the water as a twangy theme song reminiscent of James Bond sets the tone that this will be a bit more ambitious in its aspirations. The pilot is Christopher Hamilton (Richard Pacheco) and he is journeying to meet with Madame Lau (Annette Haven) to find the answers that have long eluded him. But what exactly is his journey, and what exactly is reality?
Sometimes I finish these movies and cannot imagine them making the grade on Blu-Ray. THE SEVEN SEDUCTIONS (as it appears on-screen) is an exception. It has the atmosphere and the imagery and the engaging storyline to get people excited. Plus, it has some colorful performances from Haven and Pacheco and roles for faves Georgina Spelvin and Kay Parker. This is the kind of adult film which would find an audience even today.
It's not perfect. There are some plot holes and dangling threads if you pay close attention. Also, I'm not sure what Carol Doda added to the movie other than "a special appearance" but maybe her fame back in the day sold some tickets. It's just her screentime could have found better use in fleshing out the story.
I don't know if this is Charles Webb's adult masterpiece. I didn't know until today that credited co-director Christie MacDonald is his sister, though she's not listed in the databases as if they think she doesn't exist. All I do know is this is a fine adult film deserving of revival someday.