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Monday, April 7, 2014

Lust for Freedom (Vinegar Syndrome DVD) - Troma Lives in Vinegar

I'm a Troma fan. Saying this can often seem like one is confessing to be an alcoholic or a chronic masturbator, but I take pride in supporting and enjoying independent cinema that comes straight out of New York City as created by folks who like to challenge the status quo and who can't stand the MPAA as much as I can't. Their releases give me a cause to celebrate freedom. You might even say it gives me an erotic feeling of freedom or perhaps even a "lust for freedom".  They understand what we want to see in movies. Sex. Blood. Gore. Latex. Comedy. Sex. Boobs. Their on-a-tight-budget film style and production often leads to some unintentional comedy that helps to bolster their well thought out visual laughs. With the release of Lust for Freedom from 1987, we are treated to a somewhat lighter side of Troma's history; it's not a gory or visually effected as some of their more popular releases. It is however a laugh machine with moments of pure sexy. These things do not surprise me. What did surprise me and should you as well is that Vinegar Syndrome is the one distributing this classic and not Troma. It's like watching and outsider looking in with a different releases style and fresh, albeit familiar perspective.

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

After her boyfriend is brutally murdered in a sting operation, special agent Gillian Kaites is implicated in the slaying and is sentenced to prison. While behind bars, she discovers a shocking web of corruption and begins to plot a bloody revenge in this action and T & A filled Troma classic from director by Eric Louzil (CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH Pts. 2 & 3) and producer by Lloyd Kaufman (THE TOXIC AVENGER)! Trailer:


Director Eric Louzil was the force behind Class of Nuke 'Em High 2 and 3 though these two features would come later in his career. For those of you familiar with those two releases you know that yes, they are sexy, but they have a creative gore/mutant aspect that ultimately appeals to most Troma fans. Lust for Freedom is less visually explosive and relies more on an entirely American feeling women in prison movie. This isn't the Big Bird Cage. No one is stuck in a jungle hell hole. What is most strange is that it almost feels cleaner than most movies in the subgenre. The prison itself isn't a filth ridden pit of despair but a cleaner, white-washed cage. The naughty bits come at the hands of some charismatic figures driving the torture and desecration  of an innocent's body. Ah, the joys of independent cinema.

The whole thing is riddled with humor from some atrocious but appropriate performances by the police and prisoners alike. There's plenty of skin, perfectly 80's softcore sexy. This is a solid first effort from Louzil that displayed that he had all the hallmarks of the quintessential Troma director. His brief directorial career, making 13 films is stocked with the same type of sexploits and over the top gonzo effects fests mentioned here though his later works focus on what's beneath the clothes. And um... plot... who needs plot! You'll be familiar with the formula if you enjoy WIP movies, and you won't care. What makes it stand out is its intentional laughs as opposed to the unintentional ones of older releases in the subgenre.

This release is loaded with extras. There's a newly recorded commentary track with Louzil, video interview with Llloyd Kaufman and a theaterical trailer. Perhaps the only strike against one of my favorite Vinegar Syndrome releases of the year is the picture quality. I imagine that the original print wasn't a beautiful one seeing as it is a Troma release, but despite it's 2k scan, you feel like your watching a DVD that might be only somewhat better than a VHS release. It comes from a blow-up negative (I'm not entirely certain if that would play into the quality).  It is the original negative, and as such this keeps in line with the overall production line from Vinegar Syndrome. This is the first time I've mentioned the quality of a V.S. release in the negative. I'm glad that the content of the disc and film itself more than makes up for it. I suppose you cannot correct flawed source material. The film is definitely worth preserving, and for that we are grateful.

You can order your copy from DiabolikDVD now. 

-Doc Terror

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