Friday, November 28, 2014

Midnight Review: Pretty Peaches (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray) and the Carlos Tobalina Double Feature Peekarama!

After having seen the Peekarama double feature of Pretty Peaches 2 and 3 from Vinegar Syndrome I felt like I was missing something. I had not as of yet seen the original that started it all. What did it start? I didn’t even understand the importance of it. While Water Power may have been an early innovator in the pioneer or enema cinematography, Pretty Peaches excels at providing a punchline to this seemingly filth act. Not only is Pretty Peaches a funny movie that deals with some very serious subjects and maybe even usurps a line of good taste, it makes acceptable what may previously have been taboo though the adult film industry had covered much ground by 1978. I can say without a doubt that I have never enjoyed watching enema bag related smut nearly as much as with Pretty Peaches. Actually, I have never enjoyed it or tolerated it. Don’t call me a prude. The fail is on the filmmakers who saw to making these movies feel dirty… as in unclean… unsanitary… as in you might get shit in your moth while watching it. Of course there’s more to Pretty Peaches than just the infamous bathroom scene. Vinegar Syndrome gave the trilogy new life and has given us the first and most important feature the royal treatment. When Vinegar Syndrome does Blu-ray, you buy it. After reading this review, make it your mission to pick them all up. If you need convincing, the Pretty Peaches disc should suffice as an example worthy release.

Not into water sports because you think the butt is a “naughty area”? Well I promise there’s more to Pretty Peaches than meets the brown eye. The opening is funny with a strong set up that is very cinematic. Remember that movies like Pretty Peaches came about during an era when pornos told a story and were as much for the mind as they’re for squeezing the libido. You’ll get a kick out of the actors and actresses right from the start in some pretty strange costuming and in some unique situations.

I want to be completely honest and let you know that just by looking the cover, I wasn’t entirely interested in Pretty Peaches save for my experience with the sequels. This is actually one of the few times that this has happened. Usually, even with the double feature releases, the Vinegar Syndrome releases entrance me and play upon some childlike, sneak peak at the “back room” at the video store nostalgia. The lead actress’ haircut actually turns me off completely… that is of course until her sense of humor and acting wowed me. Even at it’s most debauched Pretty Peaches tries to keep things fun. One of the openings scenes features our heroine getting into a car accident, being saved by two passerby and then, innocently of course, watching the two men take advantage of her unconscious, scantily clad self. Last time I checked… that was rape. No consent. That would put it on par with a roughie in my mind and later scenes in the movie that explore bondage and S&M seem to have that same un-PC feel. I welcome it, and think it was done in both instances as a humorous device and to explore different fetishes. It made me moderately uncomfortable at first. In fact the whole picture kind of does that even through the incestuous end (just wait to see how that happens).  Granted Pretty Peaches is tame by most standards, but that’s part of its charm. It allows you to enjoy the forbidden safely without feeling like a sex criminal. Consider it the gateway drug of a harder XXX.

I like to think of Pretty Peaches an adult film that can challenge its audience rather than simply a spank movie or a sexy comedy with hardcore action. It’s daring (the sequels are much less daring). Alex deRenzy has a long history peddling dirty movies. He started in 1970 and we’ve reviewed his movies before, but it is clear that Pretty Peaches is his masterpiece. That being said, he has 190 films in his arsenal (per IMDB) which leaves us with so many gems to uncover. We hope to see more from Vinegar Syndrome in the future. DeRenzy knows how to tell a story while telling your body how to respond with his expert casting and craftsmanship. This is a new 2K restoration from 35mm elements. It includes an interview with director deRenzy himself and with film historian, ted Mcilvenna to put the whole thing into context. The disc also includes three bonus trailers.

Note: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono, 1.85:1 OAR

This is a limited edition of 1,500 (so act fast)

Extra includes:

+ Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack | Region Free | DTS-HD Master Audio
+ Restored in 2k from 35mm archival elements
+ Archival interview with Alex deRenzy
+ Interview with film historian Ted Mcilvenna
+ Multiple deRenzy theatrical trailers

You can order Pretty Peaches now from Vinegar Syndrome.

and also available through DiabolikDVD:

Synopsis from Vinegar Syndrome:

After attending her father’s wedding, innocent Peaches crashes her jeep in the forest only to awake with complete amnesia. She is quickly rescued by two manipulative men who hope to sell her back to her family for a hefty ransom. Their adventures introduce Peaches to a crazy doctor with very unusual treatment methods, a sleazy sex show promoter and more, but nothing helps. Poor Peaches doesn’t know what to do…until she remembers Daddy!

But wait… there’s more!


I also want to spend some time talking about the latest Peekarama double feature. I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time about it, but rather want to introduce it to you so you can assess whether it’s your cup of semen. It features two orgy pictures from Carlos Tobalina. When I say orgy pictures, I mean that they are nearly completely entombed with elaborate groups sex scenes that go on forever, involve minimal plot and offer little variety save for a host of ladies and gents in what might be thought of as a pre-MTV music video editing job of uglies bumping away fiercely. Do not mistake this quick mention as a condemnation, but it simply isn’t my style. I prefer long drawn out humorous storylines that involve the complete removal of all taste.

Fantastic Orgy and Champagne Orgy could be interchangeable in story, look and actors. Fantastic Orgy is more like a best of reel though it is lovingly restored in 2K from camera negatives  by Vinegar Syndrome. Champagne Orgy is a rather long orgy that seems to cover much ground. I suppose the names say it all. It’s quite clear what you’re getting yourself into with this double feature.  All performances are standard, the look for both movies is good but it lacks the depth or humor that you might find in other similar pictures of the period. That’s not Tobalina’s style really so I’ll chock my lack of enthusiasm for this release up to a differing of tastes. 

Champagne Orgy does have a remarkable ginger that I found completely entrancing and may actually take the whole value of the disc square on her shoulders. Fantastic Orgy will have plenty of familiar faces for you to ogle. This double feature is available now from Vinegar Syndrome. Both are from 1978 and presented in 1.85:1 OAR.  As always the Peekarama series includes the traditional cover/poster art on in a double feature format on the cover. It’s one of my favorite package designs. The value of this disc is archival as much as it is essential for the collector of Tobalina’s work.

Synopsis Fantastic Orgy from Vinegar Syndrome – A young female sex filmmaker collects the best erotic moments from Carlos Tobalina’s films. Featuring the hottest stars of the 70’s

Synopsis Champagne Orgy from Vinegar Syndrome – After a long day’s shoot, Carlos Tobalina invites his friends over for a champagne party, only to find them engaged in the most extensive orgy ever filmed.

Peekarama available now:

or from DiabolikDVD:

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