Is there a better pseudo-holiday for vidiots to go berserk on than BLACK FRIDAY? Not from where I was sitting. And when I saw an amazing deal from VINEGAR SYNDROME I snapped up some titles and found myself wishing I'd grabbed them all. So for the next few weeks I will be covering the films I find from this company that is admirably digging through vaults to bring some really groovy films into the safety of our living rooms.
Hey, I'm up to my Balsamics in Vinegar Syndrome...I better empty 'em somewhere! And some of these flicks will fill you up right quick...
In my typical fashion, these aren't really disc reviews since I am randomly skipping around to watch whatever appeals to me at the moment, but perhaps when it is all said and spewed they can be pieced together. Here is my easy disc review for those that need it that way. They are all interesting and at the prices set you can't really go wrong! Besides, if you kinda want them, I think you are going to enjoy the hell out of 'em.
My primary interest in starting here was knowing that all around great guy, genre student and man whose friendship I hold dear (even though he will one day get a supersonic nutshot for his words about Jess Franco) recently had a new book released entitled THE MOST DANGEROUS CINEMA: PEOPLE HUNTING PEOPLE ON SCREEN via McFarland. I really wish I could have watched this with him, it's a trashy use of the classic story, loaded with groovy apparel, an epic comb over and sexy and unsexy sex! Heck, his take on this film alone has me wanting that book!
How can you beat anything called AN E.V.I. "REAR WINDOW SERIES" PRODUCTION?
"Just how dangerous is your game out there, Mr. Vandeemeer?"
Well, it's pretty damned dangerous if you are Barbara and Joanne, 2 sexy models (and sapphic pals of course) and you've been brought out to a mysterious hunting reservation by George and his sexy wife Carol! The aloof hunter, Steve Vandeemer, is obviously up to something by bringing the girls out for his "new gimmick" hunt! After an awkward dinner party of grumbly agents, one big suspicious big game hunter that is obviously here to save the day even though he has been hired by Vandeemeer and an unexplained door knob turning spooky bit on Carol's room as she reminisces about having sex with her hubby (for a long time, he even pokes her with his obviously soft penis below her entryway of lust on screen!)-we are off to the races. Well...sort of.
"The old days are finished George, only the appetite remains..."
The main appetite here, and the films reason for existing, is obviously the sex scenes and they are fairly long and munch up the films running time in fairly admirable fashion. We have 3 major interludes before the hunt begins featuring the married couple (dig that loving 70s music vibe!), the big game hunter shares his Vietnam story and motivations for hunting ("I enjoy the excitement of the chase." "But do you always have to kill?" "No...No..." *SMOOCHSLURPSQUISHPOKEaahhh*) and finally a little tub action for the ladies that love ladies and the gentlemen who love watching. Look for one sudsy brillo pad of sexy in that scene!
Also worth noting is that the director of photography was DEFINITELY giving us an early glimpse at POV porn. Holy FEEL-A-ROUND-A-RAMA!!
So, all that bumpin' n' gridin' is out of the way, it's time for Vandeemeer to hunt. And hey, he brought along some nasty guards that have bad intentions. It's early 70s grindhouse cinema, and this film packs one mean rape scene, not so much done with skill, but for length and intensity, it's pretty nasty. I should have known it was coming when Vandeemeer explains that, "rape and slaughter go hand in hand when one is hunting human beings!" to his prey. It's unsettling and we are far from the cinema of subtlety as you can see...
The hunt proper doesn't begin until after the 50 minute mark, but it's well handled with an Ex-Green Beret and fashion models duking it out with the mad hunter and his goons! Fist fights, rope traps and a tied up damsel in distress all add up to the square up reel we know is coming. But not everyone can survive this most dangerous (and hump happy) game!
THE SUCKERS is an interesting watch, using bits of a very familiar scenario that promise action but doesn't let you forget it's main thrust is as a sex flick, but manages to pay out as promised from the poster. Steve Vincent is good as Vandeemeer, optimizing his limited onscreen time and delivering some wonderfully MwahAHAHAHtastic dialog with a straight face. I wouldn't have minded seeing him just a bit more and a bit less of George and Carol's surprisingly athletic sex life, but that was never the point I guess. The hunt itself doesn't fall flat, so take that as a positive rating from me, and it's worth watching for those of us fascinated by Most Dangerous Game styled films. This one comes a few years prior to Jess Franco's THE PERVERSE COUNTESS (one of my favorites), and shows off the differences between American Grindhouse and European Trash Cinema quite neatly and would be a nice back to back night for any trash hunting cineaste if you ask me.
The print of the film looks nice to me, though it certainly has had better days. The flashback sex scene feels almost like a misplaced reel, though the way it is placed it seems like a memory to pass some time as Carol drinks alone in her room, suspicious of the set up. Is it so wrong I feel like they missed a little solo Barbara Mills time with this one? There is a skip ahead at one point where the girls and the stalked big game hunter might of had a little strategy session, but it may just have been dropped for running time. It matters little, because at the end of the day, you'll be sucked dry from the sex scenes and had your appetite for action moderately quenched.
But just when you think it is over...BAM, they re-run the opening credits for your head scratching pleasure!
My first viewing from Vinegar Syndrome, and an auspicious start at that. These suckers may have played a dangerous game, but it isn't me that felt taken!