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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Dixie Ray Hollywood Star (Vinegar Syndrome DVD)

Dixie Ray Hollywood Star is another production from Anthony Spinelli, one of the biggies in porn during the golden age. It doesn't feel like a porno, and that may be why there's an R rated cut of the movie included called It's Called Murder, Baby. There's a story here told in True Crime fashion with competent actors John Leslie and Cameron Mitchell. There are gumshoe elements and exploitation digs, but at the end of the day this is a rather unique take on a Bogart esque picture from the 40s... with lots of blow jobs. Vinegar Syndrome brings you a DVD to further expand upon their line of Spinelli movies.

John Leslie almost looks sickly and pale during the movie. I suppose its no surprise that he's drained of all energy; you could pretty much call this picture John Leslie Gets Blown. I mean it's every... other... scene. I like a good blow job scene as much as the next adult feature viewer, but variety is in important. There's plenty of talented and attractive female leads perhaps the focus was on their face rather than the rest of their bodies. The hardcore moments feel disjointed and almost unformulaic. Now I know that originality and novelty are fun, but sometimes we just want the four basic positions, some foreplay and a cum shot.  

Dixie Ray Hollywood Star suffers from an issue common to horror comedies. Not funny enough to be a comedy. Not scary enough to be a horror picture. Only it's not dramatic enough to be a thriller and it's not hardcore enough to be a porno flick. It is a very theatrical picture, but it tends to rely on dialogue to move the story along as a segue between modest hardcore. 

I don't know whether they had lighting issues on set or simply filmed the whole thing in soft focus to get a dreamlike quality out of the picture, but it makes the movie look washed out, mostly background and shots that aren't in focus. The grain is thick. This release feature both cuts of the movie; the X rated version called Dixie Ray Hollywood Star and the R rated cut It's Called Murder Baby.

You can order Dixie Ray Hollywood Star now from Vinegar Syndrome:

Private investigator Nick Popodopolis (John Leslie) has a problem: there’s a corpse of a beautiful woman (Juliet Anderson) on the floor of his office. As he explains his case to an alcoholic lieutenant (Cameron Mitchell), a strange story of blackmail, mystery and murder unfolds, all centered on an enigmatic movie star, Dixie Ray (Lisa Deleeuw).

Anthony Spinelli’s big budget WWII era set noir ranks as one of the last truly ambitious X rated movies ever made. With an all star cast that also features Kelly Nichols, Veronica Hart and Samantha Fox, the film was released in both X and R rated versions, both of which are presented here fully restored from their original 35mm negatives.

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