Tuesday, December 31, 2013

JUDY!/The Night Hustlers (Vinegar Syndrome) - An Adults Only Double Feature

Sometimes I'm compelled to rush to my keyboard and write a review, praising and exhorting and pretty much worshiping a movie's golden goose egg fed ass until it's almost unwatchable because I've hyped the thing into a new constellation. Neither of the movies in this Drive-In Collection double feature from Vinegar Syndrome grabbed me in quite the same way as previous entries in this collection (though I assure you there were more than a few girlies in each movie that I wouldn't mind being grabbed by). So I let these two movies ferment. I took some time away from my keyboard and lived a day in my life, and though I can safely say that these were not my two favorite films in the Drive-In collection, they left a lasting impact. I have though about several of the sequences over the last 24 hours, and no, not just the bits o' sexy on the other side of the 2k scan. While these adult features may be light on plot, they're heavy on defining the sexploitation heavy 70's whether by direct influence or just by being a sign of the times. Let's talk about JUDY!. Let's talk about The Night Hustlers. 


Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome - (1969)A sex killer is on the loose, terrorizing working girls in Boston’s seedy ‘combat zone.’ Will a rogue ex-detective solve the mystery before more buxom beauties meet an unfortunate demise?
Director: David W. Hanson
75 minutes / Color / AR: 1.33:1

For a movie from 1969, this one sure feels like a film from the mid-70's and certainly not from the good ol' U.S. of A. Judy! feels like an Italian movie; to be more specific a Giallo picture. That means you can expect high sexualized and stylized attractive women and murder. It's first and foremost a detective picture that tries to figure out who is terrorizing and killing a bunch of wholesome young women... which is really my way of saying that Judy! is about watching hotties take off their close while some guy points a camera at them and makes an attempt at killing each one of them off in just about the most unbelievable way one can. You only see the killer from the neck down. The killer wears gloves. This thing might as well be directed by Umberto Lenzi or better yet, an Italian director you've never heard of who is trying to make a Lira off the bare back of a once respectable actress. 

Judy! is filled with moments that are unintentionally funny, substandard acting but exceptionally attractive women (and tastes may vary). It's everything you'd hope for in a 1960's sexploitation film and looks surprisingly good given its age. The Vinegar Syndrome guys care and put together a nice presentation with this release.

The Night Hustlers

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome -  (1968) In this Florida lensed sexploitation oddity, a group of Vice cops trade stories of their sleazy, sex-filled busts.
Director: Bobby O’Donald
57 minutes / Color / AR: 1.85:1

The Night Hustlers is just weird. When you think of cops sitting around doughnut shop bitching about their day jobs, I'm pretty sure this isn't what they're discussing, but I bet you'd wish they were. I like to think of this picture as portmanteau of sorts. Each cop gets to tell his own story about how he made a bust. Each one includes some questionable and lewd activities in which we are treated to the skin of some rather perverse perps. There's belly dancing of a sort, some groovy music including a live music break and bits and pieces of strange sexual encounters. I like to think of The Night Hustlers as a parade of nipples, all shapes, all types. 

It's a nice compliment to the kill by numbers (or maybe it's nude by numbers) Judy! Each movie actually has a similar feel; a bit of narrative followed by naked people followed by bad acting followed by naked people.

Vinegar Syndrome doesn't always bring you the mark of quality which is to say that they are proficient at finding the dregs and drugs because that's what we want them to find. In this double feature it is clear that they have found exactly what we were looking for and what we needed to see from them. Sex. Exploited. Women naked. Strange acts of cruelty. Trash. Art. I mean what did you expect from these two features based on the poster art that adorns the cover or maybe even the names alone? This ain't Christian Bale with a bad comb over, and we certainly are not in Kansas any more. 

Both films were scanned in 2k from 16mm A-B rolls (in the case of Judy) and 35mm blow-up negative (for The Night Hustlers). Vinegar Syndrome defines them as regional sexploitation rarities. I want to know more about directors David W. Hanson and Bobby O'Donald. I want to know their regions better. These 1960's classics are unforgettable.

You can stop by the Vinegar Syndrome and order this double feature and make sure to browse all the titles in this series. Hot? Bothered? Maybe this will both you more or get your pipes whistlin'. Remember that these look great on DVD, but that this isn't one of their amazing masterwork Blu-rays. It's priced accordingly and very affordable. 

-Doc Terror

Keep your eyes open for the bottle of J&B. 

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