Do I have a movie that is absolutely all over the place for you today! A Saint… A Woman… A Devil… from Vinegar Syndrome on DVD is a loose… very loose… sloppy, hardcore (if you choose the X-rated cut) sleazoid version of The Three Faces of Eve. That’s probably why it feels so completely messy with plot twists and cocks and balls and dicks being sucked on sight. Quite honestly, it’s tricky to watch because if you forget that there’s an actual plot beneath the sexual debauch you may loose track of which “Eve’ is which. In all other aspects you have an exceptional tantalizing morsel from 1976 completely with all the furry actors you’re fetish might desire and even an nod to the undergrads of The New York University Film School students who composed the crew. Talk about making a movie on the cheap.
Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:
Young Sylvia is a good, pure Christian, but her friends and family are noticing strange things happening to her. Sylvia is experiencing sudden transformations from a church going innocent into a sex-obsessed vixen, violently seducing every man (and woman) in sight!
Shocked by these episodes, her beautiful sister seeks help from a psychiatrist (played by director Peter Savage) and the two of them begin to explore the dark secrets in Sylvia’s past that have lead to her unnatural sexual awakening.
The first thing you should notice about the Vinegar Syndrome release is the Wanted caption on the cover of the disc. It states “WANTED Joanna Fields Escapee From New York State Hospital For Mentally Disturbed” with a semi-bug-eyed pic of Ms. Fields staring off into the really real world. On the reverse NEWS FLASH! (and in red) “Joanna Fields, star of “A Saint… A Woman… A Devil..: Has since completion of film been institutionalized… claims her involvement in role causative factor.” This is rich absolutely bonkers mondo schlock advertising. I love it. Sensationalism to sell a movie that is based around or at least in part on two separate over-sensationalized tales of dissociative disorder, Sybil and The Three Faces of Eve”. Of course the movie claims to go beyond either of these two literary works which is true in part. The movie is chock full of the kind of sexual promiscuity and dramatized transformations that are pure Hollywood (or the seedy underbelly there of). The result is rather entertaining if not somewhat difficult to follow dirt house picture.
There are two cuts on the DVD, the bonus feature cut included as an R rated pictures with 19 minutes removed! The only reason to watch it would be to figure out where the blow jobs end and the narrative begins. It wouldn’t be difficult to see why Ms. Fields ended up in a loony bin (or perhaps her career alone ended up in a looney bin). This is a 2k restoration from archival 35mm elemnts, 1.85:1 OAR and should also be noted that it was released as Sylvia (an obvious play on Sybil).
It’s exactly the kind of material that Vinegar Syndrome is successfully wielding on to us, performing strange excavations into a world of “the poster leads the plot” and sex sells but hardcore sex secures a cum stain on the walk of shame. The lead, Ms. Fields, the mental patient, the sick actually switches off between personalities and roles quite well offering slight variations in her speech and style to help illustrate transition. Let’s not call it good acting, but an appropriate level of subterfuge. I find this era in adult filmmaking exceptionally stunning. It’s when the filmmakers finally started to understand how to display sexual intercourse on camera correctly, where women and men understood how to act together carnally and where the sloppy mish-mashing of genitals had given way to focused penetration. Determined organs and digits and mouths on a path for the prize… and of course the story ain’t have bad.
You can order A Saint… A Woman… A Devil…” from Vinegar Syndrome now. It’s number 30 in the VS catalog.