Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PRETTY PEACHES TRILOGY [BLU-RAY SET] (Vinegar Syndrome) - From Water Sports to Dr. Thunderpussy

This is the Alex DeRenzy triple feature that starts with a very powerful adult feature and ends in a slow dissent in quality of movie but with an increase in the star power in the picture. It's almost the opposite of what you might think would happen when you add big names to a movie. I adore Pretty Peaches, but by the time we get to the all out gonzo of Pretty Peaches 3, I wonder what went missing from the original production to create such a separation of quality and sense of enjoyment. The answer is simple. Peaches herself lost her innocence. That's all it took. From the initial roughie rape to the incestuous orgy in the finale, Pretty Peaches shows itself to be the most complete picture with a variety of scenes, but still focused on the cinematic evolution of a character. The sequels are just mad dash collections of very interesting fuck scenes with stars and cross dressing and a whole lot of head scratching. Still fun mind you, always fun. 

This set shows the evolution of the trilogy, of DeRenzy and the adult film industry itself all provided on very handsome Blu-rays. The original film is given the most stellar treatment and looks the best which is mostly due to the source material being ins excellent condition. The sequels have suffered some wear, but the overall presentation is strong with good blacks, grain and being very watchable. While the disc doesn't come with a whole lot in the extra department, the set is priced nicely for a three film set.

Let's go through each film from some previous reviews of the content of the movies themselves. 


After having seen the Peekarama double feature of Pretty Peaches 2 and 3 from Vinegar Syndrome initial release prior to this Blu-ray set, 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 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.


The main thing I want to tell you about this entry in the Peaches series is that it's star studded. Fuck-a-doodle-doo! Ron Jeremy. Peter North. Jamie Gillis! If there's one thing I friggin' love about Vinegar Syndrome's obsession with creating unsightly pants bulges it's putting one of my heroes in all of the movies they feature for distribution. Jamie Gillis is the king of the strange and unusual. The roughie. The bad boy who makes you laugh before spit lubing you. In Pretty Peaches 2, Jamie Gillis dresses up in drag and then has a nice romp in a fairly classy manor house. It's absolutely worth the price of admission.

Pretty Peaches 2 came in 1987, nearly ten years after the original movie. I'm sure that there's minimal plot continuation and this feels like merely an attempt to cash in on the Emmanuelle female performer focused adult feature. This is one zany movie perfect for 1987 though you can tell that our once limber and studly performers have let themselves go some. By 1989, when Pretty Peaches 3 comes about the porn industry will begin to take a turn for less plot driven features on an even lower budget with a failure to support the star system. 


Then there's Pretty Peaches 3. Now I'm glad Vinegar Syndrome gave us a double feature with both entries because I'm not a huge fan of the third installment in the Peaches series. It continues the wild education and sexual enlightening of Peaches but it's not nearly as fun or funny and the cast isn't quite as strong though it features the return of Tracey Adams and Jamie Gillis. There's also nuns and a character by the name of Dr. Thunderpussy... suck on that for awhile! I wish the over the top antics of this feature could have been presented in a more entertaining way. Porn has this habit of sticking scenes together in a haphazard way. They art is to make the audience not realize that's all there doing trying to get the next shtoop.

This 1989 feature also comes as a 2k transfer from the original camera negative. No extras. At least it's subtitle is THE QUEST! I suppose it still embodies the same 80's porn sensibilities that I've always loved, but when put up against Pretty Peaches 2 there's no contest.

You can order this triple feature exploration into a strange sexual world with plenty of star and water power now from Vinegar Syndrome:

You can also purchase the entire January package available now here and save a few bucks while getting a bunch of really fun flicks with amazing transfers: 

From Vinegar Syndrome:

This is a region free 2-disc Blu-ray set. Master of underground cinema, Alex deRenzy, created a classic with his 1978 film, PRETTY PEACHES. A decade later, he made two sequels, each with its own unique take on ‘Peaches.’ Now, enjoy all three films in the trilogy fully uncut, uncensored, widescreen and restored on Blu-ray for the first time!

PRETTY PEACHES: After attending her father’s wedding, Peaches crashes her jeep in the forest only to wake up with complete amnesia. She is quickly rescued by two manipulative men who hope to sell her back to her family for a hefty ransom. Alex deRenzy’s acclaimed classic stars Desiree Cousteau and Juliet Anderson in their screen debuts, along with Joey Silvera, John Leslie, and Paul Thomas. Vinegar Syndrome presents PRETTY PEACHES, completely uncut and restored in 2k.

PRETTY PEACHES 2: Young Peaches is curious about sex. Her boyfriend can’t teach her and her mother won’t so, on the advice of her father, she hits the road to visit crazy uncle Howard and his most peculiar family…

PRETTY PEACHES 3: Peaches is feeling that her life in the trailer park is empty. On the advice of her lesbian doctor, she travels to San Francisco seeking spiritual enlightenment but soon finds herself engulfed in the bizarre world of a sex obsessed traveling Evangelist.

Director: Alex deRenzy
1978,1987,1989 / 267min (combined) / English / Color / 1.85:1

Features Include:

+ 2-disc Blu-ray Set | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
+ Scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm & 16mm vault elements
+ Original theatrical trailer for Pretty Peaches 2

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