Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sweet Trash and The Hang Up (Drive-In Collection Vinegar Syndome DVD)

As many of you know, The Drive-In series is one of my favorite offerings made by any distro company out there. It’s a chance to become educated in offbeat titles that have varying genre, style and origin while somehow finding connective tissue between unrelated releases. This month Sweet Trash and The Hang Up are on display. While I truly find the Peekarama series to be necessary, the preservation of adult entertainment isn’t being tackled wholesale, I am glad VS was able to release this one to break up Tobalina fest 2015 (and 2014 for that matter… Hell we need to refrain from calling it Tobalina Syndrome at times).

D: John Hayes / 1970 / 164 min (combined) / Color / 1.85:1

Features Include:

+ DVD | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
+ Restored in 2k from 35mm negatives
+ Original theatricals for both films
Sweet Trash

From Vinegar Syndrome:

In Sweet Trash, an alcoholic longshoreman, deep in debt to the mob, is forced into an increasingly debauched nightmare as he tries to avoid the thugs out to get him. Along the way, he meets local oddballs, violent criminals, and lusty women. With a mysterious computer controlling everyone’s actions this grimy artistic film with almost science fiction-esque fear of future mind control was made well before it’s time.

If True Crime and Pulp stories tickle your pickle you might enjoy Sweet Trash. This is a rather out-there movie with hints of Sci-Fi, some sludgy blasts of fun gore and a computer that seems to control the fate everyone.  While it’s a down and dirty tale that is very characteristic of the work of John Hayes, I can’t help but feel like we are simply be introduced to a cast of characters we’ve seen in countless True Crime pictures.

Sweet Trash is gritty and the picture quality is perfectly unkempt with the all the grindhouse goodness that the brand survives on. The music is all over the place bordering on inappropriately happy at times. There are some strong faces among the actors if you take out the heinously hairy fellow in the opening who ends up with the nice looking redhead. Overall the movie comes to a screeching halt, simply ending, dumping you off into the Hudson River.

This is most likely a matter of taste, but Sweet Trash is not my favorite sleaze fest.

The Hang Up

From Vinegar Syndrome:

The Hang Up follows the forbidden affair between a tempted LAPD vice cop and a beautiful, but mysterious, young prostitute. Set against a world of pimps, pushers and sexual deviates, The Hang Up is a powerful indictment of law-enforcement hypocrisy. With a wonderful mix of love ins and sleazy betrayal The Hang Up is a creative commentary on the sexual revolution and human nature.

Now The Hang Up continues to maintain that True Crime/Pulp style, but definitely wins my heart for this double feature. Perhaps it’s the Gentleman’s club turned tranny bar with guys in drag everywhere all the time vice squad looking on. This is the kind of shock that 70’s pictures loved to create. Yes, this is the American you live in and this is its underbelly! Take that establishment.

Of course the actual story shows one of the cops falling for a prostitute at the club that leads to some very strange settings not limited to but including an orgry at a monastery. This isn’t a hardcore picture, but the subject matter is very sexual. The balance between love story and sexual escapades is touching at times and needing to be touched between the legs at others. It’s a cautionary tale in part with exploitation elements straight out of the late 60’s.

The feature looks good albeit with some dust. It’s all grind and at least with this Hayes entry the music matches the mood with appropriate drama.

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