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Synapse Films

Changing direction from cult films from the 1960s through the 1980s, Synapse’s series of 42ND STREET FOREVER discs takes a detour into the grungy porno houses of Times Square for a XXX-Treme Special Edition trailer compilation. While it’s always great to have a collection of vintage trailers from the days when adult films were substantially better-made and more memorable, it should be noted that most of the trailers included here are from the dying days of the “Golden Age”, the period between 1984 and 1986 when movies were still being shot on film, but their excellence was rapidly dwindling. This is in fact better viewed as a sampler for the “Transition Period” between film and video. Ban 1 Productions, the originator of the 42ND STREET FOREVER line, produced a far superior disc in their release of last year, SMUT PALACE INSANITY, a more comprehensive and varied look at the true Golden Age of adult films (1975-1981). Rest assured, there are still some gems here well worth viewing for fans of the genre!

DIRTY GIRLS (1984) – One of few Golden Age directors to continue delivering wonderful films well into the 1980s, San Francisco sex guru Alex de Renzy was behind this loop-carrier film overflowing with raw sexuality as only de Renzy could bring out of his actresses. The series of isolated scenes, viewed by cupie-doll sexpot Jacqueline Lorians and her companion Jamie Gillis (who screw by film’s end), include: comedienne Kelly Nichols engaging in a threeway with Rocky and boyfriend Billy Dee for her birthday; blonde bombshell Joanna Storm, miffed at her boyfriend Christian’s adulterous ways, seducing her personal trainer Francois Papillon and inducing a threeway including the “other woman”, Kitten; a lesbian scene between house hunter Stacey Donovan (Seventeen model turned porn star turned anti-industry crusader) and realtor Cody Nicole; masturbating red-haired MILF Colleen Brennan taking on voyeurs Tom Byron and his friend; and aunt Helga Sven (resembling Zsa Zsa Gabor) entertaining her visiting horny nephew Christian and his pal. Every single sex scene is scorching, and for those who don’t care for plot with their vintage porn, this remains a masterpiece (unfortunately unavailable on DVD). For some reason, the trailer says the film is called “Alex De Renzy’s NASTY GIRLS”, which is in fact an excellent Henri Pachard film from 1983.

COMING TOGETHER (1984) – Paul Vatelli (an early AIDS casualty) never made a great film, though he came close with a few. This is not one of those, a boring retread of similar territory with unhappily married Colleen Brennan discovering her husband Herschel Savage is cheating on her (with future Mrs. Eric Edwards, Renee Summers). Naturally, she decides to lez it up with best friend Kimberly Carson (with an unfortunate frizzy hairdo) and soon finds herself intertwined in the world of shot-on-video porn. Also featuring unsung 80s studs Craig Roberts and Marc Wallice, and available on DVD from Caballero, but who cares? A true stinker. For a better matching of Colleen Brennan and Herschel Savage, check out Henri Pachard’s funny and bittersweet GETTING PERSONAL, pairing the two as mismatched con artists.

ALEXANDRA (1983) – While hailed as one of the best and most professional adult films of all time, this David F. Friedman-produced take-off of Joseph Mankiewicz’s Hollywood classic A LETTER TO THREE WIVES has a draggy pace and unsympathetic characters aplenty. Three pairs of couples (Joanna Storm and Doug Rossi/Steve Douglas, Rachel Ashley and Eric Edwards, Robert Kerman and the late Laurien Wilde) find their marriages in trouble after a mysterious audio message from old friend Alexandra promises to reveal one of the wives’ sinister secrets to her husband. It’s not as exciting as it sounds. Some of the sex scenes are marvelous, with exceptional lighting and cinematography, but the script is lackluster and you simply don’t care what happens to any of these characters (save perhaps poor little Joanna Storm). Featuring Veronica Hart in a non-sex role, Michael Gaunt as Ashley’s secret lover, and Sharon Kane in a totally out-of-place kink scene, as well as Don Fernando and Ashley Moore as further men in the women’s pasts. The VCA DVD features an interesting commentary from co-stars Edwards and Kerman, but the film itself is a curio and nothing more.

HEART THROBS (1985) – A silly, disposable shot-in-Hawaii comedy skinflick. Ron Jeremy, Sasha Gabor, Harry Reems, and Miles Long are cosmetics salesmen marketing their new brand of aphrodisiac lipstick to the beauties of Hawaii, including Raven, Susan Hart (who resembles Tiffany Clark), Gina Valentino, Chrissy Beauchamp, and Laurie Smith. Some great outdoor sex scenes and trademark Ron Jeremy cunnilingus perk things up a bit. On DVD double-featured with the truly terrible UP, UP AND AWAY.

NOTHING TO HIDE (1981) – One of many great classics to come out of 1981, this Anthony Spinelli sequel to TALK DIRTY TO ME stars John Leslie and Richard Pacheco, returning as best friends Jack and Lenny. Spinelli’s excellent script introduces Chelsea Manchester as Karen, Lenny’s equally mentally challenged love interest, and maturely tackles the subject of marriage and true love, while Jack continues banging everything that moves, including Erica Boyer, Misty Regan, Elizabeth Randolph, and Raven Turner. Spinelli himself returns as a wise hot dog vendor and Holly McCall reprises her role as loud-mouthed Patty, his large-breasted employee who has a bitchfit after Jack cums in her face! McCall won a well-deserved AFAA Best Supporting Actress Award for her work here. Every single performance is perfect, even the usually talent-less Boyer, and the subject of an alpha male being transformed by his best friend leaving him for the love of a woman is a brilliant and heady topic for an adult film. As with most adult features of the time, this is a great crossover film that would appeal to both fans of and newcomers to the genre. Available on DVD from NuTech, and a mandatory purchase for any self-respecting classic porn fan!

SLIP INTO SILK (1985) – One of Kelly Nichols’ later films before retirement, she plays a popular radio talk show host whose career is threatened by scheming bitch Janey Robbins. Nichols is at the top of her game, and so is Robbins (her deep-throat skills are awe-inspiring), but the film itself is pretty cut-and-paste. Laurie Smith makes an impression as a horny secretary in two scenes, with Tom Byron and with Nichols. Male co-stars include Jamie Gillis, Mike Horner, and Eric Edwards. Thoroughly average film, OK trailer.

ORIENTAL JADE (1985) – Shot at the same time as the earlier HEART THROBS, with the exact same cast, plus new addition Kristara Barrington, this is actually a much hotter film, with beautiful outdoor sex and location photography. The pseudonymous director “G.W. Hunter” was obviously a Hollywood director moonlighting to make a quick buck in the adult film world. Look at the lighting throughout the film; simply gorgeous! You can buy it on DVD double-featured with the equally erotic ALL AMERICAN GIRLS!

DEBBIE DOES DALLAS 3 (1985) – Don’t be fooled by the brief appearance of a 1985 Bambi Woods intro in this trailer; she also appears in the film (looking the best she ever did), and rides a horse topless in the woods, but her sex scene is a replay from the original DEBBIE. Granted, the cast is great (Joanna Storm, Kristara Barrington, Jerry Butler, Ashley Welles, Ron Jeremy, Jay Serling), and some of the sex is well-shot and erotic, but it’s your average fuck flick and fans of the original have every reason to feel cheated by the link to the first two films. Directed by “Adele Robbins”, in actuality Joseph F. Robertson, the man responsible for 1960s trash like THE SLIME PEOPLE and other silly porn like NASTY NURSES. Available on DVD, naturally, but why bother?

DEBBIE DOES ‘EM ALL (1984) – Obviously cashing in on the DEBBIE DOES DALLAS craze, this flick has nothing to do with the series, but is actually very erotic and memorable. Be warned, however, as it’s directed by Swedish Erotica president Bob Vosse, it’s merely a collection of scenes from the popular series linked together by a stewardess theme. Fans of 1980s starlet Angel will be in heaven, as she’s featured in four scenes, including a raunchy scene with Jamie Gillis, a great bar scene with unsung stud Rod Grant, and an opening threeway with Shanna McCullough. One incredible scene finds Cory Marjon deep-throating rare black porn stud Jonathan Younger in a cockpit. Available on DVD from NuTech.

I WANT TO BE BAD (1984) – For anyone who thinks that the late Gary Graver only made excellent porn as “Robert McCallum”, look here. This plotless Kay Parker star vehicle has some fine sex scenes, but is no classic. Parker’s husband, Jon Martin, is cheating on her, so she decides to fuck any man she meets, including mutual friend Paul Thomas and delivery boy (and secret porn star) Marc Wallice. The only good sex scenes are Parker’s, as she jumps into the fucking with primo passion, and the film really has nothing else to offer. Available on DVD from NuTech.

SENSATIONS (1976) – The only 1970s film represented on the disc, this Lasse Braun import was a huge success in its original release and has been hailed as a classic ever since. It’s not that great, but is certainly a trendsetter. European loops were known as being filled with kinky surprises that only foreign filmmakers could offer, and Braun brings this sensibility to feature films for those in search of classy perversion. The cinematography is spell-binding and a great indicator of Braun’s talent; Brigitte Maier was made into a superstar overnight after her tour de force performance here. Braun’s best films are BODY LOVE and AMERICAN DESIRE, so be sure to check those out as well as this one. Available (cut) from Caballero, but European DVD versions are reportedly uncensored.

G-STRINGS (1984) – Henri Pachard, known for throwing a little bit of kink into his films (threesomes, sex toys, bathroom sex), pulls out all the stops for his most bizarre film of the 80s! Released by Cecil Howard’s Command Cinema, this essentially plotless feature follows an important business day in the lives of those who work at a successful lingerie company. I love it simply because it features Sue Nero in one of her best roles, as a model who has sex with company vice pres Robert Kerman! The models include sleazy Nicole Bernard (from Avon films) and lovely Kelly Nichols, and boyishly handsome Alan Adrian and accomplished comedienne Sharon Kane work behind-the-scenes. Look fast for senior citizen slut Dixie Dew as a hooker! Noteworthy for featuring George Payne’s most unhinged performance outside of an Avon film (watch him transform into a woman by applying makeup and cackling like a maniac), a threeway featuring a male transvestite hooker, and Alan Adrian fucking Sharon Kane with his testicles. A consistently surprising little gem, also filled with Pachard’s typical witty humor and outrageous characters. Command Cinema’s library is in the air at the moment, and copies of this film are scarce, so look hard for it.

FOR SERVICES RENDERED (1985) – Another terrible Swedish Erotica feature with elderly British Ian McGregor playing spy in this Bond spoof. Some of the sex is great, but the plot is goofy and the whole thing doesn’t work. One of the only good sex scenes finds 1970s mainstays Rick Cassidy and Cyndee Summers (both performing since at least 1972!!) in a scene in a bathtub (they both look great for their age at the time), and David Cannon and Bridgette Monet, a real-life couple still married to this day, also co-star. Cannon’s scene with British Heather Thomas is the only other highlight. Available on DVD from Caballero (with Carol Connors on the cover, for some reason).

BLONDE HEAT (1985) – Oh boy what a piece of shit! Seka returned to the screens after four years, but don’t get too excited (she never made a great film, despite her superstar status). Director Tim McDonald made a bunch of unrewarding porn films around this same time, and this is, I guess, the best of a very sorry lot. In this spoof of MALTESE FALCON, John Leslie is Rob Lowe (yes, that’s the character’s name), a private investigator hired by Seka to find the Maltese Dildo. Hardy-har-har. He fucks all the women who get in his way of finding the mystery object. That’s it. A real snoozer. McDonald would reunite with Leslie, Seka, and the ‘Rob Lowe’ character in the next year’s BEYOND DESIRE, which is even worse if that’s possible. Seka’s sex scene is just as boring as in her previous films, with much posing. The Ice Queen retains her title. None of the other sex scenes register, even with lovely Angel in the cast (she would perform a better scene with Leslie in the same year’s TOWER OF POWER). For a much better porn noir, watch Anthony Spinelli’s brilliant IT’S CALLED MURDER, BABY.

BLONDE AMBITION (1981) – The trailer for this Amero Brothers film claims it’s the next big film of the 1980s!! It’s definitely a funny, well-written little movie, following a pair of untalented singing sisters on their quest for superstardom, from the Tumbleweed Café in Bumfuck, Egypt, to the nightclubs of New York City. “Benny Hill” girl Suzy Mandel used a body double with an obvious wig for the sex scenes, but her opening scene with hunk David Morris is still memorable. As the Amero Brothers were gay, the film itself feels aimed more at gay men (including a fantasy scene with one of the sisters imagining Eric Edwards masturbating to orgasm), or even those who don’t like porn, as there is more emphasis on the comedy than the sex. Many of the jokes are funny, the comic timing works, and it’s simply one of the best adult films of 1981. Roberta Findlay was the cinematographer and lighting director, and recalls it was as much wild fun making the film as it looks on-screen. Available on DVD from Video-X-Pix, and highly recommended!

BURLEXXX (1984) – Director Vince Benedetti (who also did the sleaziest non-Avon film of the early 1980s, PEEPHOLES) has continued working into contemporary porn, but this early effort doesn’t display any indication of longevity in the industry. It’s an interesting premise, presenting the film as being performed on-stage at a burlesque club, but, despite a duo of pulse-pounding erotic scenes, isn’t executed that well (Chuck Vincent did a better job earlier in 1975 with a similar concept, BANG BANG). The stage performers include Samantha Fox, Gloria Leonard, Joanna Storm, Annette Heinz, Sharon Kane, Honey Wilder, Bobby Astyr, Jerry Butler, Robert Kerman, Renee Summers (billed as Cherri Summers), Ron Jeremy, and George Payne. You also get to see geriatric pornster Dixie Dew masturbating. Try to find PEEPHOLES instead, it’s simply incredible!

SHOWGIRLS (1986) – One of Gary Graver/Robert McCallum’s last good films, this save-the-stripclub flick features a number of memorable sex scenes and high production value. Joanna Storm became the director’s personal fetish figure around this time, as she starred in this, EROTIC CITY, JOANNA STORM ON FIRE, CRAZY WITH THE HEAT, and ECSTASY GIRLS 2 within the space of two years. The controversial Stacey Donovan, cult icon Misty Regan, and sex-obsessed superstar Nina Hartley co-star. No classic, but worth checking out if you can find it. As with many Graver films of the late 80s, it’s not easily available for purchase.

SURRENDER IN PARADISE (1984) – One of several films female directress Svetlana directed shot on location in Hawaii, this is Jerry Butler’s show all the way! In much the same manner that John Leslie was often the only male sex performer in his films, Butler is the only male in the cast, washing ashore a deserted island where he is bonked regularly by shipwrecked cuties like Ginger Lynn (in her first film), Stacey Donovan (another debut performance, billed as Ashly Britton), and Crystal Holland. Beautifully photographed and once again featuring picturesque outdoor sex scenes, this is an easily recommended film . In fact, all of Svetlana’s films shot in Hawaii (including PINK LAGOON, PANTY RAID, and HANKY PANKY) are some of the last great films of the Golden Age. Available on DVD from VCX.

1001 EROTIC NIGHTS (1982) – One of the most overrated adult films ever made, this overproduced, lavish-looking period piece is both boring and unerotic. Annette Haven plays Scheherezade, the Arabian Nights storyteller forced to tell sheik John Leslie erotic tales to allow her to live one more night. Leslie’s wife, Lisa de Leeuw, cheats on him with guards Herschel Savage and Joey Silvera, and some of the stories find sisters Lysa Thatcher and Chelsea Manchester (who really look related) learning the art of love from peasant-posing-as-a-doctor Jon Martin after he pleasures their mother, sultry brunette Nicole Noir. Director Edwin Brown specialized in couples films like this, but this simply doesn’t live up to the legendary status it has attained over the years. Brown’s IRRESISTIBLE is his best film. Even Annette Haven fans will be lulled to sleep by this disappointment.

MATINEE IDOL (1984) – The last film from legendary producer David F. Friedman, Henri Pachard directed this excellent peek into the seamy world of show business, essentially a mix of 42ND STREET and A STAR IS BORN. Jessie St. James, looking much different from her TALK DIRTY TO ME days, stars with John Leslie, Angel, Kay Parker, Colleen Brennan, Herschel Savage, Chelsea Manchester, and Laurie Smith. One wonders what the off-screen relationship between St. James and Leslie was, as they made so many films together and not one of them is anything less than a classic. This trailer is a great tease, showing St. James and Leslie masturbating separately before they eventually collide in an embrace of passion. That’s the whole trailer, no fucking, no flying jizz, just a tease of what to expect in the film. A highly recommended film, if you can find it!!

TRASHY LADY (1985) – Believe it or not, this one is directed by a gay porn director! The late Steve Scott (real name: Sal Grasso) made some of the best gay porn of the early 1980s, including GAMES, A FEW GOOD MEN, GOLD RUSH BOYS, and DOING IT. Why he decided to go straight for a pair of films (this and CHINA SILK, both starring Ginger Lynn) is beyond me, but like the Amero brothers' straight films, it seems more aimed at gay men. This 1930s period piece is extravagantly shot and very professional-looking, and stars Harry Reems as a gangster who seeks to replace his girlfriend with cigarette girl Ginger Lynn, who he has to teach to act like a “trashy lady”. If that sounds a bit like “My Fair Lady”, remember: this was made by a gay man. This was one of several films Reems and Lynn made together, including the abysmal TEN LITTLE MAIDENS and THE GRAFENBERG SPOT Considering only a few of the people in this movie can actually act, everyone in the cast does a fine job, and Scott pulls off the period setting beautifully. TRASHY LADY is funny, erotic, and a great latter-day offering of the Golden Age. Available on DVD from TVX, and a highly recommended purchase!

ALL AMERICAN GIRLS (1982) – Producer Bobby Bouschard and director Bill Eagle had a huge hit with this globe-trotting fuckfest starring a gaggle of adorable starlets, including the doomed Shauna Grant, cult star Jacqueline Lorians, soon-to-be-a-superstar Joanna Storm, and striking brunette Starr Wood. There’s hardly a plot, but the exceptional photography and mostly unknown female cast give it an exotic flair that still succeeds 25 years later. Worth checking out, but no classic. Director Craig Ashwood made only this one film, so it is, again, most likely a Hollywood director going XXX for a paycheck. Available on DVD with the much better ORIENTAL JADE.

THE RIBALD TALES OF CANTERBURY – Hyapatia Lee introduces this trailer for another period piece (she also wrote the adapted screenplay and her husband, Bud Lee, directed). It has nice production values, and some very funny moments, but is more miss than hit. One good double oral scene finds Hyapatia servicing both Marc Wallice and Tony Martino, and Colleen Brennan is memorable as the Lady of Bath. The trailer’s better than the movie, believe me.

“F” (1981) – Svetlana’s all-time best film, and one of the true masterpieces of adult cinema! John Leslie stars as Cannonball, who storms out on his wife and is lured by the mysterious voice of Annette Haven on his transistor radio to an isolated mansion, where he is greeted by butler Little Oral Annie (who has a tuxedo painted onto her topless body!). That’s only the beginning of this imaginative, sexy, and monumentally entertaining classic! Cannonball finds himself trapped in the house, and as he stumbles from room to room, encounters such wild fantasies as a room of wind-up dolls (including Kandi Barbour and Piper Smith), a group of gangster’s molls (including Seka and Rhonda Jo Petty), an insatiable cavegirl (Laurie Smith), and The Golden Girl, whose pussy turns anything that enters it into gold! Parts will remind you of Ronald Victor Garcia’s THE TOY BOX or THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, but it comes with my highest recommendation; buy this now on DVD from VCX!

NAKED SCENTS (1985) – Tish Ambrose, one of the most underrated actresses in the industry, stars as the president of a perfume company engaged to bumbling Robert Kerman, but their marriage comes into question when both can’t stop sleeping with others behind each other’s back! Simply put, this is a seriously overlooked film, reminiscent of Henri Pachard’s wonderful SHE’S SO FINE, and just as funny in some spots. The cast is great, including Sharon Kane (looking like Aunt Peg here), Jerry Butler, the outrageous Tasha Voux, and adorable Taija Rae, and the majority of the sex scenes deliver the goods. Unfortunately, as this one’s with Hustler, the chances of it coming out on DVD are slim to none, but be sure to look for this one wherever you can!

SUPERGIRLS DO THE NAVY (1984) – Henri Pachard’s SUPERGIRLS films are without a doubt some of the worst adult films I’ve ever seen. At least this one has Pachard in a cameo role, but otherwise, it’s terribly written and unfunny, none of the sex scenes are erotic, and it feels like Pachard in autopilot, in-between better films. If you care, the SUPERGIRLS are played by Taija Rae, Kristara Barrington, and Raven, who all have done better work elsewhere.

TIGHT AND TENDER (1985) – Another atrocious Paul Vatelli film, following a bunch of female realtors screwing their way across town. Ron Jeremy is their boss, who they tagteam for the finale. The trailer shows nothing but the girls undressing and pretending to look sexily as their audience. A real snoozefest.

PASSAGE THRU PAMELA (1985) – Now here’s a doozy from the dying days of the Golden Age! Rumored to have been directed by Tom DeSimone as “Leslie Brooks” (which I don’t buy, as he was working in legitimate films out in California while this was shot in New York), this features an unbelievable premise for a straight adult film: Pamela, a pre-op transsexual, treks to New York from Argentina to complete her operation, but becomes a supermodel along the way. Will her secret be exposed? Portrayed by an actual transsexual, credited only as “Pamela” and performing hardcore sex scenes to boot (with Sharon Kane no less!), this is surely one of the wildest curios of the era, well-written and superbly photographed, and not to mention, it’s actually pretty erotic. The presence of several Chuck Vincent non-sex repertory players (Kurt Mann and Patricia Dale) makes me wonder if Vincent was involved, or with Lem Amero serving as editor, was his brother John in the fact the director? VCA/Hustler has this one locked away, but adventurous viewers can find it if they look hard enough.

SKINTIGHT (1981) – The last great year in classic adult cinema, 1981 saw the release of many marvelous films, but this one always manages to slip under the radar. It’s an excellent film well worth rediscovering! Annette Haven is a therapist at a human sexuality institute run by Paul Thomas, who assigns her the more bizarre psychological cases, including R.J. Reynolds (a bisexual performer who was the off-screen lover of gay adult superstar J.W. King at the time) and Michael Morrison/Milton Ingley (a pudgy performer who somehow got to have sex with some of the hottest women of the day). Lee Carroll is Annette’s assistant, who introduces her to lesbian love in a hot tub, and Connie Peterson, the West Coast anal queen (to Vanessa Del Rio’s East Coast title), is Thomas’ fiancée who keeps her virginity intact by having anal sex with Thomas. Personal faves Chris Cassidy and Lisa de Leeuw appear in a leather-bound dream sequence, and alluring Mai Lin tag-teams dirty old man Aaron Stuart with Maria Tortuga. This features two of the only truly erotic sex scenes I’ve ever seen featuring Miss Haven (usually, like Seka, rather unenthusiastic in the sack), and Paul Thomas stretches his impressive thespian skills as his obsession with Annette grows. Something Weird offers it on VHS and DVD-R, so I suggest picking it up pronto! Highly recommended!

HOT BLOODED (1985) – Before becoming a successful Hollywood producer, Stu Segall was “Godfrey Daniels”, the man behind a number of popular Golden Age adult titles, the most memorable of which is certainly INSATIABLE. This later offering looks to be imitating the style of that Marilyn Chambers classic, but with Angel in her place. It doesn’t work that well, unfortunately, but at least Angel is a vision of loveliness, as always, and is at her vivacious best in her sex scenes. Kay Parker is her mother, Robert Kerman her incestuous stepfather, and Harry Reems her uncle she is sent to stay with for the summer. This is mandatory viewing for Angel fans, but is otherwise pretty disposable. Unavailable for the time being, but looking on eBay should do the trick.

DESIRE (1984) – This Kay Parker star vehicle co-stars William Margold as a man consumed by the memory of his departed wife who enlists the aid of psychiatrist Parker to help him decipher her parting word of “Desire”. Unfortunately, though the trailer features some erotic moments, the film itself is completely forgettable and one of Parker’s worst. The highlight of the film is her sex scene with Jerry Davis, included in the trailer.

BEYOND DESIRE (1986) – Skip this trailer immediately, and don’t even think about watching the film itself!! Easily on my list of top 10 worst vintage adult films, this is one of the reasons why film switched to video: why waste a large budget on shitty films when you can make cheap shit on video? Seka and Vanessa Del Rio are completely wasted in one scene apiece, and John Leslie’s ‘Rob Lowe’ character only appears in a few scenes, as he stays at a whorehouse and merely watches the girls fuck their clients. To make matters worse, this was during Del Rio’s steroids period, when her clit looked like a tiny penis.

HOT LIPS (1984) – An enjoyable little sex comedy in which Tish Ambrose leads a girl rock group called The Hot Lips who collide with a horny housewife, two bumbling cops, an angry neighbor, and a virgin teen in one apartment building. It’s unavailable at the moment, but the trailer sells it as a great sex film with some hot scenes feature mustachioed Joe Santini, excellent actor Michael Gaunt, the always reliable Ambrose, and kinky Sandy King (who would later be a regular in fetish videotapes). Director “Robert Michaels” is in fact David Darby, the producer of Roberta Findlay’s classic ANYONE BUT MY HUSBAND. Wanna know why this trailer/film is a must? It stars Bobby Spector…aka Bill Landis, Mr. “Sleazoid Express” himself! See the skinny guy demand a blowjob, get jerked off, and have sex in this trailer!! A little piece of history, this one.

AROUSED (1985) – When I saw this on the trailer listings, I started to wonder if this was a preview for the shot-on-video Traci Lords flick (directed by Gary Graver!!). However, this is better known as the Amber Lynn star vehicle AMBER AROUSED, also starring underrated breasty starlet Mindy Rae, Tracy Duzit (the oddly-named starlet is plugged by a robot with a dildo attached to it!), hairy sex robot Jay Serling, brunette spitfire Crystal Breeze, and reliable superstuds Ron Jeremy, Sasha Gabor, Herschel Savage, Billy Dee, and Buck Adams (Amber Lynn’s brother!). The trailer will most likely put you to sleep, though, regardless of how hot the movie is.

FASCINATION (1980) – Finally! A Chuck Vincent film! Vincent’s classic comedies and dramas are truly some of the cream of the crop of the genre, and Ron Jeremy naysayers will be surprised to see how funny, talented, and what a great sex performer he is! He was a relative newcomer when he starred in this film, but would soon be one of the mainstays of both East and West Coast porn. Jeremy stars as Ernie, a bumbling virgin who just can’t seem to have sex with the many girls he propositions until he finds a “how-to” book on how to seduce women, which he attempts to do with equally hilarious results. Candida Royalle is memorable as Ernie’s bitchy sister Victoria, as are Christie Ford as an orally-inclined date and Merle Michaels as a date who has to cover her face while Ernie screws her. Watch also for Veronica Hart (billed as “Randee Styles”), Samantha Fox, the East Coast’s single most underrated male performer, Ron Hudd, Eric Edwards, Sharon Mitchell, Arcadia Lake, Marlene Willoughby, and frequent Vincent non-sex actress Molly Malone! While technically Vincent cinematographer Larry Revene directed this one, Vincent wrote and produced, and his influence is greatly felt (much like Spielberg over Tobe Hooper’s POLTERGEIST). Video-X-Pix offers this on DVD, and this is one you must purchase immediately! Highly recommended!!

SCANDALOUS SIMONE (1985) – Cult director Peter Balakoff made some of the worst adult films ever made, boring and unsexy, and usually co-starring himself so he could get laid on-camera. Thankfully he stays off-camera for this one, but it’s still not very good. Apparently attempting to ape the humor of a Chuck Vincent film (like DIRTY LILLY or BAD PENNY), Kimberly Carson stars as Simone, a dimbulb of a woman who is pursued by two best friends and becomes the talk of the town. It tries to be sophisticated, but fails, and all of the sex scenes are plagued with wood problems.

GIRLS ON FIRE (1984) – As Larry Revene was a protégée of Chuck Vincent, cinematographer Jack Remy was tutored under Anthony Spinelli. Revene directed a handful of films, all of which were professional-looking and quite good. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Remy; the majority of his output was uneven and he was never able to deliver a true classic. This one comes the closest, thanks to its superstar cast and surprisingly funny premise. Jamie Gillis (displaying comic chops that he rarely got to show) and Robert Bullock (who looked geared to take over Richard Pacheco’s character actor slot for a while) are two insurance men who go undercover as female models to hide out from gangster Frank Hollowell (aka exploitation favorite John Alderman). Yeah, it’s a remake of SOME LIKE IT HOT, but it works beautifully, is genuinely funny, and features consistently hot sex scenes. Seeing John Holmes in undercover drag as a mob hitman before sticking it to Ginger Lynn is a highlight! It’s also great to see Harry Reems back in front of the camera (during his coke binge/bodybuilder days), and Angel with Bullock. The current VCX DVD of this title is edited, and looks terrible.

BEVERLY HILLS COX (1986) – Ginger Lynn as private detective? Believe it or not, yeah! Dressed in a tacky neon pink plastic jumpsuit, walking the streets of L.A., one can easily mistake Miss Ginger for a particularly cheap hooker in the opening scene of the film, though. The stand-out scene from this one is her garage encounter with Jerry Butler, a personal favorite of the actor himself. The incredibly talented Tantala Ray, an older actress with acting talent to spare, co-stars as an informant, and Lisa de Leeuw and Sharon Mitchell put in appearances, too. Real-life couple Bridgette Monet and David Cannon appears, but this was at the tail-end of both of their careers, so Monet only has a lesbian scene and Cannon has no sex at all. Paul Vatelli directed this one, which surprised me because he is generally known for shitty product. This one’s no classic, but it gets bonus points for outrageous casting choices and top production values. Available on DVD from Caballero.

TICKLED PINK (1985) – This is an uproarious comedy from “David Darby”/Robert Michaels well worth tracking down! It’s been out of print for years, but it is a rare classic from the later days of the era. Eric Edwards and Taija Rae are a married couple with sexual problems; Rae keeps falling asleep as they have sex! The two decide to start swinging, with Edwards taking after his secretary Melanie Scott and Rae enjoying a threesome with two black guys! Rhonda Jo Petty is Rae’s office mate, who takes on Saudi Iblis (in reality black character actor John Canada Terrell!!) in a bathroom stall! The couples’ encounter with Sharon Kane and Johnny Nineteen is both funny and erotic! The adult film Rae watches on TV is the late Roger Watkins’ HER NAME WAS LISA, in particular the scene of gargantuan Vanessa Del Rio brandishing her whip!! A funny script, excellent performances, and sizzling sex combine to make this one of the best unsung adult films of the Golden Age! Track this one down!

MAKING IT BIG (1984) – Completely forgettable fluff with an ace cast (Jacqueline Lorians, Craig Roberts, Herschel Savage). ‘Nuff said.

DRACULA EXOTICA (1980) – Director/performer Shaun Costello dug into the horror genre with this take on the Bram Stoker legend. Released soon after LUST AT FIRST BITE, this is the better of the two hardcore Dracula films, but is still a confusing mess, apparently because of editing issues that took the film out of Costello’s hands. Jamie Gillis is Count Dracula, who in a drunken rage, rapes his love Samantha Fox, who soon after kills herself. Centuries later, she is reincarnated as a spy who is soon targeted again by Dracula, who in the meantime recruits a vampire bride in the shape of giantess Vanessa Del Rio. The Sloan Twins appear as his original brides, who indulge in lesbian incest (!!) before being destroyed by holy water, and Del Rio incites a gang bang with Ron Hudd, Dave Ruby, and Ashley Moore. Fox sucks off Eric Edwards in a porno theater and appears in a comic sex scene with Bobby Astyr before shooting him! Guests at Dracula’s flashback party include Christine de Shaffer, Randy West, Ron Jeremy, Marlene Willoughby, Tony Mansfield, Robin Sane, and Marc Valentine! Morgue attendant Herschel Savage screws Del Rio’s corpse before she bites him, and she later seduces detective Roger Caine! It’s a star-studded sextravaganza that unfortunately falls just short of being a classic, but is still a noteworthy mix of horror and sex. In fact, other than THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, it’s the best adult horror film ever made. Well worth tracking down, though the current TVX DVD is atrocious.

ULTRA FLESH (1980) – OK, this is Seka’s crowning achievement. She never made a better film, and this is the ultimate star vehicle, casting her as Ultra Flesh, an intergalactic space queen sent to Earth to cure mankind of impotency caused by evil alien leader Jamie Gillis, who has poisoned the planet’s sugar supply from his headquarters in Mexico! You think that’s whacky? You get Louis de Jesus, the BLOODSUCKING FREAKS midget, in a love scene with breasty monster Lisa de Leeuw! John Leslie is Ultra Flesh’s Dream Lover! Tyler Horne is the President, and Angel Cash is his First Lady! John Seeman is blown by Serena and another girl while he plays with model trains! This is one of Svetlana’s finest, a funny, sexy comedy that must be seen to be believed! It was photographed by the late Gary Graver! Kelly Nichols’ scene with Ron Jeremy appears to have been tacked in to lengthen the running time, but is still great. Be warned: this trailer is incomplete, missing the scene of Seka with John Leslie. You can see the full-length trailer at the conclusion of BAD GIRLS on the VCX DVD of that title. Pick it up pronto, as well as the VCX disc of ULTRA FLESH!

THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES 3 & 4 (1986) – This visually stunning two-part New Wave hardcore masterpiece is the best thing the Dark Brothers ever did, and when combined, is the last great West Coast film before the genre became video-controlled! Gregory Dark, who has since gone on to mainstream work with SEE NO EVIL, wrote a consistently hilarious script, and brought it to life by casting punk princess Lois Ayres, in the role of a lifetime as a bitchy Justine Jones, and character actor Jack Baker, as her guide through Hell, and letting them verbally spar as they make their way through the various sexual shenanigans in the netherworld. The sex scenes are all volcanic, human sexuality taken to the extreme, and feature multiple gang bangs, double penetrations, facials, anal scenes, and all manner of depravity. It’s one wild ride! The denizens of Hell include Amber Lynn, Careena Collins, Marc Wallice, Peter North, Tony Martino, Steve Powers, Erica Boyer, Kristara Barrington, Purple Passion, Patti Petite, Tamara Longley, Kari Foxx, Kevin James, Ron Jeremy, and Maggie Randall! Non-sex roles are filled by Robert Bullock and Tantala Ray, as well as CAFÉ FLESH’s Andy Nichols, and Tom Byron is Justine’s boyfriend who screws around behind her back. Paul Thomas is the bloke who takes Justine home from a bar and accidentally kills her during sex, sending her down to the underworld. Vanessa Del Rio’s single scene, a gang bang, is marred by her penis-like clitoris, which I’m sure is a grossout to many. Am I the only person who demands a soundtrack album to the Dark Brothers’ oeuvre of work? The music in MISS JONES 3 & 4 is all marvelous! You can get both films combined on a VCA DVD! Do yourself a favor and add this to your collection!

SUPERGIRLS DO GENERAL HOSPITAL (1984) – A slight improvement over the painfully bad SUPERGIRLS DO THE NAVY, only because of Paul Thomas’ hilarious turn as an oblivious doctor and a handful of scenes featuring Asian sexpot Kristara Barrington at her very best. Kelly Nichols has a non-sex role, and Ginger Lynn is wasted and boring in her one scene. Otherwise an infuriating and lame viewing experience.

THE ODDEST COUPLE (1985) – Here’s an odd one to cap off the collection, from the most consistently excellent director of the Golden Age, Henri Pachard: blonde bombshell Danielle (from the wonderful BLONDE NEXT DOOR) and her boyfriend David Christopher (familiar as a rough dominant/submissive in Avon films) leave a slutty, slummy life, having angry sex on the kitchen table, before he kicks her out on her ass. She finds herself with a new roommate, prim and proper Siobhan Hunter, memorable from PRETTY PEACHES 2, who is taught the ways of sluttiness by Danielle and with help from Paul Thomas, Tasha Voux, David Morris, and Joey Silvera. Hunter somehow manages to take an entire set of cock and balls into her mouth in an astounding oral scene. This one’s tough to find, as are many of Pachard’s films from the mid-1980s, but looks well worth the effort of looking!

Presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, and enhanced for 16x9 TV's, most of these trailers look better than any previous home video incarnation! Other than a few green emulsion scars and a few print jumps here and there, the colors are generally bold and beautiful, and the mono audio is loud and clear, bringing all the moaning, groaning, groovy music, and wild dialogue to your speakers superbly. Some trailers are windowboxed.

While it’s no SMUT PALACE INSANITY, the 42ND STREET FOREVER XXX-TREME SPECIAL EDITION is a decent mix of the good, the bad, and the truly abysmal output of the 1980s, and a worthy addition to the library of classic porn aficionados. (Casey Scott )