There’s an important new release we have to discuss from the Vinegar Syndrome. It’s a limited release of only a thousand, and if you’re lucky you may just be able to get your hands on one at your local smut distributor. I’m talking about the double feature Blu-ray of Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio and A Clockwork Blue. This is a numbered set, and if you weren’t lucky enough to pick up one of the sacred thousand there’s a good chance you’ll be able to grab the DVD release as part of the Drive-In Collection series (one of my favorite on-going product lines from Vinegar Syndrome). The quality suffers somewhat, but it’s not like we’re asking you to break out a 35mm projector and watch an unrestored copy on a sheet on the backside of your house. It’s still very good.
Let’s talk about Eric Jeffrey Haims a little before we get into each feature. Haims only directed five features including our two movies of discussion. His first was Jekyll and Hyde followed by The Flanders and Alcott Report on Sexual Response also in 1971. 101 Acts of Love followed in 1971 and then Clockwork. He finished up his directorial efforts with The Mislayed Genie in 73 which features the tagline “See David’s magic… lamp? If you rub it LONG enough … If you rub it HARD enough… You’ll COME out smiling.” If that doesn’t tell you what you’re in for, I don’t know what can.
Make sure to hunt down the precious limited release Blu-ray (sold out at Vinegar Syndrome’s website). For those of you who need a less special edition, the DVD is available here. You’ll control 2/5th of Haim’s filmography with one reasonable purchase.
The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio
Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome - In this notorious mix of sexploitation and slasher, a mysterious murderer is terrorizing the patients and staff at a rural sanitarium. Who will be the killer’s next prey in the blood and sex soaked classic?
This is a grizzly grimy number that follows more like an adult slasher film than a true X rated feature. It’s actually quite entertaining with a story line worth following, a number of tremendous leading women and that feeling that Herschell Gordon Lewis himself must’ve been right around the corner instructing Holmes on the finer point of red Crayola gore. If you are a fan of the great H.G.L. than you will certainly love this. It’s really like an amalgam of his sexploitation efforts with a hint of Blood Feast of 2000 Maniacs to give it some color (that color being red of course). This is really a zodiac killer flick which, for 1971, should be considered fairly revolutionary.
Even some of the costuming feels H.G. Lewis and though I couldn’t find nearly enough info on Haims to remotely associate the two, I can’t help but feel like he’s taking notes on some of the early drive-in classics from Lewis’s 60’s smash hits. There’s moments that even feel a bit Pete Walker, but I’d most closely associate it with The Flesh and Blood Show or Frightmare, both released after The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio.
AR: 1.85:1 from a 35mm negative.
A Clockwork Blue
Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome – Hapless researcher Homer travels through history, discovering erotic secrets of the past in this lost screwball sexploitation gem.
This entry into the strange world of adult science fiction fantasy comes to you a year after The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio. Now you’re talking screwball comedy predecessor. While this little number sounds like it’s going to be one great big play for A Clockwork Orange gone puerno chic, it’s actually just a tale of time travel with healthy doses of humor built in. Of the two features I find this one to be a bit more gonzo, a little less watchable as a straight forward narrative, but with a healthy dose of birthday suits. Perhaps the biggest problem is that it doesn’t go for the full on XXX when it probably could do that very successfully. The gel that keeps the whole thing together does provide a nice segue in between ugly bumping, but the sex scenes are less mysterious erotic and more flaccid attempts at putting genitals on screen. That’s not to say that this release is without merit. It’s clearly funny and ahead of it’s time. Within the next ten years both the adult film industry and main stream Hollywood will figure out how to tell this story with ample boobage or penetration to get the appropriate audience in the seats. Definitely the godfather of Canadian sex comedy.
Perhaps this is the Odyssey we are supposed to attribute to the great Homer. The whole thing is a bit frustrating. The minute he tries to get his willy wet it seems his off, traveling through time. This is hardly the scientific method!
AR 1.85:1 from 35mm camera negative