Sunday, September 11, 2016

TABOO (Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray/DVD) - Put Your Mother to the Test

I saw Taboo before I fully understood what "taboo" meant. I managed to sneak it from my father's private stash, and it was quite impressive. While it wouldn't be my favorite adult feature, it certainly had memorable moments. It would be years before I would give it a rewatch and fully understand the premise, the great big pink elephant on the tape, that made theater audiences squeamish and sexed up. Incest folks. Incest is just as taboo as ever, and yet it's astounding as to the great frequency with which is is used in both short and full length porn features. Further more, it does not offend its audiences or at least it doesn't only offend audiences; folks get off to this stuff with great frequency. When used properly, incest seems like a device that yields some of the most humorous moments in all of adult cinema while some how playfully offering a strange release to an audience with mores stacked up like Encyclopedia volumes. I'm not going to get into the whys or the psychoanalytic babble surrounding this controversial plot vehicle, but Vinegar Syndrome has put it on the screen in HD for all of us to enjoy. I think we owe it to ourselves to wrap our libidos around the kind of love only a mother and son can share, simulated, on screen on Blu-ray.

First off, I love the classic art on the reverse, but the mondo front cover is outstanding. I love releases where everything is sooooo shocking you just can't stand NOT to watch it. Taboo has that in both a historical sense, in terms of the content itself and with the artwork on the cover. It screams naughty. It is naughty. Job well done. The transfer is truly special with an outstanding restoration and transfer in 2k from original 35mm vault elements. It has crisp blacks and the colors are rich. This is the kind of release for which VS is known, even more so when it comes to adult features that often don't get this kind of special treatment. The original film does show some age at times, but the important thing here is that Vinegar Syndrome didn't DNR the crap out of it to cover up flaws in the original material. Taboo has been respected in this 2k offering.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about the release besides the inevitable mother/son fuckfest is the presence of four commentary tracks, two archival and two new. It would seem that the folks behind this film absolutely love to talk about it, and the truth is we love to hear them talk about this groundbreaking release. There are two separate Kay Parker commentaries, an older one and a brand new one. She also gives an interview. The disc also features promo art from the original release.

The son's scenes with assorted girls are incredibly hot with some absolutely stunning women in their birthday suits. Folks will often ask if reviewing porn means that I'm watching with one hand on the keyboard and one hand in the tissue box. The answer is no. Both hands are in the tissue box, and I use a voice recorder for notes (that's a lie too... I don't record notes). Never is that statement more true than while watching Mike Ranger go to town on a bunch of young hotties in Taboo. Of course our star is incredible as well; Kay Parker is amazingly hot as always and even more so because of her couger-eseque, mom-tastic performance. If you haven't noticed lately, Kay has some exceptionally large breasts. They are worth pointing out or rather, they refuse to be ignored. All in all we have some fantastic bodies in front of the camera throughout the entire picture.

The good news is that incest definitely doesn’t feel real to the audience. I think that's important to the enjoyment of the picture. You can't feel as though you're doing anything too wrong while watching a movie, but you also have to feel as though your not playing by all the rules. If the taboo in question were to feel too real, you might be sickened at the movie or yourself. Instead, there's an element of humor in it that takes you past what you are supposed to be fictitiously watching. You can think it's hot without feeling like that "bad" kind of perve.  Beyond the obvious taboo there are some threesomes, plenty of funny dialogue, men trying to take advantage of women with shitty pickup lines, one swinger party and seashell bedroom furniture. As with any move from this period, you have to pay attention to the decor and fashion to get a few chuckles.

Remember, you're allowed to enjoy the movie. It's just a fantasy, and there's no real taboo to feel ashamed for watching. Just Kay Parker and Mike Ranger celebrating mother's day, but not in May.

By the By, the "ultimate sin" will always be my second favorite Ozzy Osbourne album behind Diary of Madman (to reference the tag line).

You can order your copy of Taboo from Vinegar Syndrome now:

From Vinegar Syndrome:

When Barbara Scott’s (Kay Parker) husband leaves her, blaming her frigidity for destroying their marriage, she’s left alone, without a source of income, and charged with taking care of their teenage son, Paul (Mike Ranger). Feeling vulnerable, she turns to her friend Gina (Juliet Anderson) who opens Barbara’s eyes to the secret world of suburban swingers. But as erotic tension grows, Barbara begins to fantasize about her handsome son…

One of the most significant and controversial X rated films ever made, Kirdy Stevens’ TABOO became one of the biggest hits of the 80s, catapulting its star, Kay Parker, to international fame. Newly restored from rare 35mm vault elements, Vinegar Syndrome presents this landmark piece of underground cinema on Blu-ray for the first time anywhere in the world.

Directed by: Kirdy Stevens
1980 / 86 minutes / Color / 1.85:1
Actors: Kay Parker, Mike Ranger, Juliet Anderson, Dorothy LeMay, Tawny Pearl, Turk Lyon

Features Include:
• All extras on both formats
• Region free Blu-ray and DVD combo pack
• Scanned & restored in 2k from 35mm original vault elements.
• Brand new audio commentary with: Kay Parker (lead actress)
• Brand new audio commentary with: Helene Terrie (writer/producer)
• Archival audio commentary with: Kay Parker (lead actress)
• Archival audio commentary with: Kirdy Stevens (director), Helene Terrie (writer/producer)
• Archival video interview with: Kay Parker (lead actress)
• Promotional image gallery
• Reversible cover artwork

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