The most striking thing for me about watching pre-Tobalina, Tobalina is that it feels like a slightly higher quality Herschell Gordon Lewis picture complete with narration, naked hotties on screen, perhaps a bit more hardcore at times than H.G. Lewis and even a bit of gore, though not as much gore as you'd find a movie like Blood Feast. We follow the exploits of a man trying to regain his sex drive which really just sets in motion a sequence of scenes that are moderately gratuitous. The audience is different for this release. You almost want to send your dad to see this movie and let him know that it's all going to be fine... all he's gotta do is listen to cool jazz music with naked young women and hope to avoid the occasional maniac with a penchant for dismembering his lovers. There's a little gore in this one which is very unlike our friend Carlos who is a lover, not a murderer.
If you've seen non-gore/Horror Lewis movies then you know that they can slither along between sexual scenes, almost finding plot a necessary evil that should really be discarded in favor of more action. You get a bit of that here. Your simply waiting for the next naked body on screen. Fortunately for you they come along with great regularity and are exceptionally attractive. I'm a nut for that 60's style.
The 2k scan of the 35mm original camera negative looks good. It's a clean print, minimal dirt or scratches, plenty of find detail and good black levels. Not much for extras on this one; only a trailer to keep you warm at night. The cover features the original poster art and really pops with a whole lotta bright pink to keep your eye firmly attached to the DVD packaging. That DVD menu has that same pink in it and jumps clear off your screen.
Fans of later Tobalina work will be upset at the lack of orgies and Frisco, but will enjoy the shots of Vegas. This is less a Tobalina picture and more a 60's sexploitation gem that could easily belong to the H.G. Lewis catalog though it is a better quality production than Lewis' efforts. Historically, it's the one that start Tobalina swinging for the group sex record and made a large part of the Vinegar Syndrome catalog possible.
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From Vinegar Syndrome:
A middle-aged man is having problems trying to regain his sexual drive. He leaves behind his old life and tries to discover a simpler happiness through painting and meeting new friends. Wanting to save him from a sexless fate, his friend (director Carlos Tobalina in a supporting role) attempts to solve the mystery of his sexual shortcomings, through any means possible.
Filled with incredible footage of Las Vegas, the Sierra Nevada and elsewhere, as well as subplots involving kidnapping, and even a bit of unexpected gore, filmmaker Carlos Tobalina’s debut feature is a totally unique sexploitation experiment that showcases many of the stylistic touches that would become his trademarks, along with a cast of beautiful starlets, including Sharon Matt and Marsha Jordan.
Vinegar Syndrome proudly presents this sexploitation obscurity on DVD for the very first time.
Director: Carlos Tobalina
1969 / 87min / English / Color / 1.85:1
• DVD | Region Free | 1.85:1 OAR
• Newly scanned and restored in 2k from 35mm original camera negative
• Original theatrical trailer