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Vinegar Syndrome continues to work their way through the Carlos Tobalina library with four more minimally budgeted, cocktail napkin-scripted efforts from the amusing, seemingly likeable if decidedly workmanlike adult film impresario.

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First up, a pair of films centered around the allure of younger ladies, both starring the semi-attractive if somewhat hard bitten redhead Dorothy LeMay.

Three Ripening Cherries features Kitty Shayne as mother to four stoned girls of different races, none of whom bear the slightest resemblance to her or each other (one is very obviously South American – Rosa Lee as “Claudia”).
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Shayne relates her first somewhat traumatic experience where she was dumb enough to accept a rather blatant invitation to her professor’s home (screaming tastelessly fills the soundtrack long after he cuts back to the conversation), then proceeds to relate how she thereafter become an absolute slut with every guy in town before meeting her husband, a dirty looking, balding bearded guy who is apparently “the first man I ever enjoyed completely…when he’s home, we enjoy each other immensely.”

“That’s really beautiful, mom, but you know, to…to…today times really have changed, and…you know, girls have a lot more freedom, to…do what they wanna do, and…there’s no sexual hangups, and…you know, there’s a lot of really neat guys around, you can just…go around and have fun!”
“Sure, that’s…the way it is.”

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After this ridiculous conversation (which the girls seem a bit too curious about – one actually blurts out the jaw dropper “so was papa good?”), our Latina (who of course is very religious) heads back to her bedroom for a quick prayer before pulling out a vibrator, while the other three go for some “if you can’t keep it in your pants, keep it in the family” lesbo lovin’ with each other.  Yeah, the setup on this one is disgusting on so many levels…

The only thing this one has going for it are two of the “daughters”, a sorta cute but rough looking Jodie Foster type (Misty Regan) and the middling attractive redhead LeMay.  Unfortunately, the better part of their screentime is spent in a crosscut sequence where half the time is that weird “sisterly” 3 way, and the other half involves the 3 of them and that nasty, abusive shithead Jon Martin.  Your call which of the two fates is less appealing…

Belushi, like anyone watching this film, looks on in disbelief

Belushi, like anyone watching this film, looks on in disbelief

Late in the film, the girls try to pick up two guys in a deserted dirt driveway (right next to a very corporate looking entrance gate that long since fell into disrepair), but “(they) dig each other, if you know what I mean.” Of course, that didn’t stop them both from having their way with Les jeune filles in the prior scene…oh, that must have been a fantasy.  Clever, these porn directors.  Not.

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Eventually Ryan gets it on with her gym coach (Mick South) at a sleazy motel (for which she dons ridiculous turnoff old lady pantyhose – nothing beats a great pear of L’eggs, right? – and little girl polka dot panties), but she spends most of the time looking bored.  Apparently he’s “all muscle…nothing down here where it counts”…

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Then that John Cooper Clarke lookalike from Champagne Orgy (‘Joe Elliot’, doubtless between tours with Def Leppard) gets an open invitation from LeMay which he uses to tie her to the bed and pretend to hit her with a leather whip handle (without a whip, and very obviously coming nowhere near her) in slo-mo.  As in his prior filmic appearance, he never disrobes, which means he’s likely a business partner to Tobalina rather than a “proper star”.  The girls make another line-hesitant “joke” and roll credits.

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Next up, Jamie Gillis gets busy with that same old lady blonde as he was with in Oriental Hawaii (Jesie St. James) until her (comparatively) hot daughter arrives (our redheaded pal Dorothy LeMay again) in Sensual Fire.

Gillis peeps on LeMay in the shower and when she diddles her twaddle, which is a cue for one or both to ‘fantasize’ a long sex scene between the two of them.  Rinse, repeat.

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After going through this moebius strip of a scenario a few times, Gillis goes to see his shrink (John Seeman), who unethically advises him to go see a young hooker to relieve his Lolita fixation.  There’s a fat Mexican girl with a mustachio licking her porcine lips repulsively, a Christie Todd Whitman lookalike and three other fuglies (the last of whom looks like a redheaded Ann Coulter).  Thankfully, he chooses Serena instead, and the fact that we’re grateful for that says a lot…

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Filmed in the most inaesthetic locations possible, Tobalina appears to be positioning himself as the anti-Radley Metzger here.  I know, let’s find the ugliest women possible, and put the action against the most hideous wallpaper, bedspreads and furnishings ever produced!  I mean, there was some of this scum city bottom scraping going on in Three Ripening Cherries, but this one takes the cake.  What the fuck were you thinking, man?

As if in apology, Tobalina himself shows up onscreen as a “liberal priest” to meet with Gillis for a confessional ride on the ferry.  The view’s not particularly picturesque, but at this point, we’re grasping at straws: please, Carlos, please stop the pain!  What’s next, mohair and saddle shoes?

Well, not quite, but Madame Rose’s establishment is decorated in the most hideous, clashing patterns and colors imaginable.  Who did the interior design on this place, Ray Charles?  Elvis?  Only some oak flooring keeps this place from getting slapped with a city condemnation sticker…

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Anyway, Gillis’ obsession with LeMay apparently stems from some unconsummated high school crush he had on an older girl she resembles.  So when the priest recommends he head back to the same whorehouse (!) he magically discovers one of the girls made up exactly like this girl he never knew and had no name for or pictures of…it’s magic!*.  At least this sequence provides us with LeMay looking resplendent with her hair up in a lacy cocktail dress, dinner gloves, thigh highs and a pair of horn rimmed glasses, which significantly changes her looks for the better…

* OK, OK, Tobalina told him to give the whores a photo of LeMay as St. James’ daughter, but still.

Despite all this, he heads back home to peep on LeMay getting into a lesbo thing with a friend, so he’s right back to fantasizing his way into a three way with them.  Back to Seeman, who gives him the bright idea to hold a costume party and not tell the ladies who he’s coming as.  So of course, being easy AND stupid, LeMay doesn’t recognize him and heads off to a bedroom with him about a minute after he arrives in a Zorro outfit.  He finishes intercut with footage of the atomic bomb going off (seriously).  Problem solved!

Sheesh, Carlos…

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Next, a drunken helicopter shot over San Francisco kicks off the proceedings in a what turns out to be a very literal interpretation of the film’s eventual title.  But first, a pudgy Kitty Shayne overstuffs her way into a nice corset which is promptly doffed by John Holmes.  A few minutes with Big John is enough to prompt her to blurt out, rather stagily, “John, you were wonderful.  You brought me to…Sexual Heights.”

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Apparently Tobalina was a big Odd Couple fan, as he takes the premise of two divorced guys living together and ups it to four.  In Frisco.  Oh, and there’s even a line that “we’re supposed to know each other’s cunts, remember?”  Nah, nothing even a bit “off” about that arrangement…

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Anyway, Herschel Savage relates the cause of his divorce, a weird looking Bunny Bleu type going by the pseudonym of “Tawny Pearl” whom he assaults when she comes around to babysit.  Assistant director Jamie Gillis(!) has a “really hot plan” to get “Tawny” over to babysit both Herschel and Jesse Adams in drag (“you be the mother, you be the maid”), while Adams’ Fantasy World cohort Michael Morrison gets to be the husband.  Gillis will be the chauffeur…yeah, it’s all some wild plan to get some young girl over to “babysit” so they can gang bang her, but you have to notice there’s a very blunt undertone to all of this…

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Holmes drops by to get in on it, but Gillis “doesn’t want to scare her off” since they have too many guys already (!), so instead we get Savage crooning “Summertime” and Adams asking “well…so d’you think I look good as a woman?” in a more pointedly fey manner than even RuPaul could’ve pulled off…

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“Tawny” shows up, and being a responsible babysitter, promptly smokes dope, watches a video of another girl diddling herself, then accepts a dildo from Savage which she proceeds to make use of.  Then the guys show up, drag and all, and she gives them what they wanted.

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We’re running short, though, so back to John Holmes meeting up with pretty Mai Lin, who brings a vial of blow and wears Japanese style chopsticks in her hair.  They do their business, and damn, it’s still barely past the hour mark, so “Tawny” invites Neon Nights’ Lysa Thatcher, a beefy amazon (Holly McCall) and someone named Lolita Grant over for a floorshow with participation.  Herschell finally gets to have his way with “Tawny”, roll credits.

Whew.

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After three films pushing the boundaries of taste, we come to the last of this month’s seemingly endless Tobalina fest with Undulations, which features most of the same cast.  This one’s about an Attitudes-style feminist talk show run by “Georgia Drugg” (Suzanne French) and Mai Lin.  They interview Holmes, Gillis and Kitty Shayne while talking about female homosexuality and how porn stars are “sexual athletes”…”it’s not only a hobby, but a lifestyle.”

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Cut to French at home with her fat, stoned Marilyn Monroe wannabe girlfriend (Brooke West) for an endless lesbi-scene.  Then Gillis drops by, apropos of nothing, and makes it a menage a trois.  Back to the show, which cuts from interviewing Holmes to a skit about sexual harassment in the workplace…but with the guy (Billy Dee) on the receiving end of a female boss (Juliet Anderson)’s advances.  Only problem is, how many guys would actually complain about that situation?

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Then a nerdy customer (Eric Stein) gets a taste of modern women “who know just what to do to get pleasure themselves” when Lolita Grant drags him to the back room of an art gallery.  Jon Martin shows up again as a married guy whose wife just had his kid, so he’s getting desperate for some action.  So rather than giving him some alternate favors, the wife sends him to her pretty but obnoxious friend as a surrogate!  Since they’re both assholes, she and Martin are actually a good match…

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Finally, Holmes shares some nose candy with the entire cast of the television show, and after everyone has a toot, they start having an orgy on air.  Intercut shots of goofy viewers freaking out about this, and roll credits.

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This really was a head shakingly bizarre batch of films from Tobalina, whose particular obsessions and weird setups really left my head spinning.  There are a few semi-cuties running around (Thatcher, Regan, Grant, Mai Lin), but these films are predicated on viewers having a particular fetish or unrecognized gender orientation issue rather than on any sort of aesthetic considerations or even marquee star value (the only consistent exceptions coming on the male end of that equation – Gillis, Holmes, Savage).

In point of fact, the only film I can say I truly enjoyed or felt comfortable with was the last one, Undulations.  At least it had a clear target (cheesy daytime feminist talk shows) and an amusing plot, with a few attractive ladies to boot.

The other three…I’m shaking my head and sighing while writing this, so you figure it out.

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