The Candidate with Johnny Gunman from the Vinegar Syndrome is not a Drive-In double feature. If I had to describe this two movie set briefly it would be high-brow exploitation. That means the production quality, shooting style and even star system are close to a B+ rather than a B or C. The overall tone of both of these features is more in keeping with cautionary tales of the 50’s and 60’s. The boobies stay in their holsters and you’ll have to pay attention to two things: the plot (dear god) and the one liners (because you’ll want to quote these like you’re MacCaulay Culkin in Home Alone quoting Angels with Filthy Souls.
The Candidate (1964)
Synopsis from V.S. – stars Mamie Van Doren and June Wilkinson in a salacious political satire involving the sexcapades of an up and coming politician (Ted Knight)
This is the more watchable of the two movies. It has a solid plot, and a storyline with which we have all become familiar with in modern political news reporting. In that, it’s somewhat dated. You can understand how this movie may have been controversial. It’s surprisingly well-acted, but may not appease the Vinegar Syndrome sleaze hounds. Hello Mamie van Doren!
Johnny Gunman (1957)
Synopsis from V.S. - Set over the course of one night in New York, Johnny Gunman is a lost late period noir following a tense battle between two mob boss hopefuls.
Classic film noir gangster, and while this is not necessarily my genre of choice I can appreciate looking at shots of 50’s New York, the style of acting and storytelling. This is a head scratcher. You’ve seen this type of movie before, but just not this particular movie.
Each movie is a 2k transfer from 35 film elements in tradition of most Vinegar Syndrome releases. They look great and are kept to look like you are watching a proper piece of celluloid rather than a cleansed, homogenized edition. This is to each of these films benefit as they have a bit of grit, especially Johnny Gunman.
This double feature is available now.