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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

STOREFRONT THEATRE COLLECTION: VOLUME #1 – PO-NO [3-DISC DVD SET]

This is definitely a contender for best physical media packaging of the year. That's right. Some serious thought went into the Storefront Theater Collection from Vinegar Syndrome. This isn't your ordinary DVD case, plastic, boring... This is a 100% recycled card stock and features a heavy-duty slipcase. The colors, artwork, grindhouse cinema propaganda wording strewn about with scantily clad women on the cover. On the inside you have each of three discs labeled with the times that the features on that disc should be run. It's just clever. If you are not a fan of hardcore adult entertainment, you might still consider picking this release up to bathe in its pornographic, sexploitative glow. Let's talk about the release in general and then get into some of the titles on the release.

The features vary in length, some are fairly short but most are at least an hour. These are sourced from 16mm, so be prepared for the upright bars on your screen. These also come complete with scratches and are somewhat damaged prints, but a love of Po-No and the 42nd Street blue movies of yesteryear wouldn’t have it any other way. They are not faded, and are relatively clean save for the aforementioned imperfections. The quality of audio varies by title, but it’s really the original audio that was recorded badly and not necessarily the fault of VS.

There will be more in the series as the title suggests; this is volume one. I imagine that if this release isn't successful it might be tricky to get more out of VinSyn, but their audience is ready built for this kind of release. These are very similar to the 42nd Street Forever discs from Impulse, but have better packaging and the quality is better. The content is varied as are the titles. What's nice is actually getting titles for the features and having some title cards to let you know just what the Hell you're watching which is especially nice when you're dealing with a continuous show that plays each title back to back. Each feature is single track though, but I would imagine the way to enjoy it is in the stickiest seat possible on the continuous playback option. The discs start automatically, so be ready for the smut right off the bat. Clear the kiddies out of the room before you put the disc in the player or you'll have some explaining to do. The option to select titles individually comes afterward. There no extras on the disc save for the two short films. There's twelve hours worth of content in this set. You don't need no stinking extras.

Here's the full line up by disc:

DISC 1: 7PM - 11PM

GIRL ACROBATICS
HOMER, THE LATE COMER
EROTIC POINT OF VIEW
PORNO MONDO
SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE

DISC 2 : 11PM- 3AM

ORGY IN THE WOODS
SWINGING PLAYBOY
SUCKULA
THE BIG SNATCH
EROTIC ADVENTURES OF HERCULES

DISC 3 3AM-7AM

SHOT ON LOCATION
THE TOUCH
CARNAL-GO-ROUND
ALL AMERICAN HUSTLER

These movies are from the early 70’s which  means lack of solid story, lack of closeups and basically the true stag film experience. You'll be seeing plenty of ugly, overweight guys and “willing women”. Fuck scenes are longer than you might expect, but really that's because the filmmakers just threw it all in there and didn't really care about editing. More is better when it comes to the economics of naked flesh on screen.  Basically you see everything during the sex act. That means the uncomfortable repositioning and uncomfortable insertions that don't go exactly as planned. When you have to ask if that's shit on that girl’s asshole you know you're watching a special kind of porno. There's an emphasis on creampies rather than pulling out and cumming in plain sight.  Many of the men wear porn staches before porn staches were en vogue. Blow jobs that start at dead flaccid and look more like pulling pizza dough than a tonselectomy. Movies feature minimal dialogue though there is a plot surrounding adult scenes in most of the features. When you see a POV blow job with fish eye lens, you know you're in the bluest of blue movie eras. You'll notice candid interview sex reels with emphasis on the interview (there are actually a couple of these). History lesson porn that focuses on world history and then throws in adult elements to keep your hands busy. Hell, there's even a handwritten title card in there. The music is corny or exotic and definitely not the swagger, funktastic, composed tunes of the late 70s.

It's important to understand what you're going to be watching. This is the kind of stuff the Severin Sexploitation doc couldn’t quite get because it was sexploitation and not pure porn, but the time period is close and the lessons you learn in That's Sexploitation are proudly displayed in hardcore goodness here.

Here are my pure, slightly edited notes about some of the various movies on these discs that may help you to figure out if this right for you.

  • Woodpaneling, earth tones, bed with tons of pillows. Strange light fixtures. 
  • George Gentilia JR… is that a real name? A spinning globe with Porno Mondo written in front of it is iconic. This installment is filled with iconic images from the period that go beyond a fuck film. Pro Porn advocacy.
  • “Let me fuck your mouth” while she licks his balls with this shriveled small cock that isn’t even hard! Tthe instructions from the guy… wow! Pure misogyny comedy. Sex Before Marriage is a must watch. 
  • 18 min sex scene with some dude talking over it the whole time giving instructions. No audio syncing.
  • Suckula… intertitle cards are hilarious. This guy is in a Halloween costume cape. Made to look like classic Horror. Bad announcer type fellow in between sponsor breaks. Drac makes some funny faces getting head. Bad teeth. Modern day tie with "classic" vamp costume. Los Angelina Vampire. “Stay Tuned for The Mad Motorcycle Monster that Ate Naked Hippies”!
  • Big Snatch.. What a misnomer. Wait until you hear the gun go off (spoiler: you don’t)
  • The Hercules one actually had some production value and felt more cinematic.
  • On the set of a movie with “squaws” and the proverbial pool boy. Ends with a crazy Tobalina esque orgy.

You can order your copy of the Storefront Theatre Collection Volume 1 from Vinegar Syndrome now: https://vinegarsyndrome.com/shop/storefront-theatre-collection-1/

This release is also available at DiabolikDVD:
http://www.diabolikdvd.com/category/Adult-(Browse-All)/Storefront-Theatre-Collection:-Volume-#1-PO~NO-(Vinegar-Syndrome)-(DVD-All-Region).html

From Vinegar Syndrome:

Vinegar Syndrome presents its new ‘Storefront Theatre Collection’, which celebrates both the strange and often homegrown productions that played in ‘mini-theatres’ of the 70s. This special-edition 3-disc set is uniquely packaged in 100% recycled card stock and features a heavy-duty slipcase.

Throughout the early to mid 1970s, the most common way to see underground feature films was to visit a ‘storefront theatre.’ Sometimes referred to as ‘mini-theatres’ or ‘shoebox theatres,’ these small venues were often converted retail stores armed with nothing more than a couple projectors and nailed down folding chairs. And, unlike larger houses like the Pussycat chain, the films screened in these small and cozy spaces were low-budget 16mm efforts, affectionately known as one-day-wonders.

Hundreds of these theatres dotted the American landscape, and with them, the most truly independent and underground filmmakers found a place to exhibit their work.

In this first volume we focus on Los Angeles’ PO-NO Theatre with 12 examples of LA made films, produced between 1970 and 1973. Included titles are Huck Walker’s unrelentingly ALL AMERICAN HUSTLER, Anthony Spinelli’s bizarre vampire comedy SUCKULA, Rik Tazi’ner’s low rent costume saga, THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF HERCULES, as well as anonymously directed efforts like CARNAL-GO-ROUND, SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE, HOMER THE LATE COMER, and the experimental subjective-camera feature, EROTIC POINT OF VIEW, in addition to five more surprise feature films featuring early genre stars like Rene Bond, Sandy Dempsey, John Holmes, and more. All films have been scanned in 2k from rare original theatrical prints to re-create the experience of stumbling into the PO-NO late one evening and not leaving until dawn the next day.

Directed by: Various
1970-1973 / 740 minutes / Color / 1.33:1
Actors: Rene Bond, John Holmes, Sandy Dempsey, etc, etc…

Features Include:
• All films scanned and restored in 2k from ultra-rare 16mm prints
• Features two bonus short films

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