Director: Robert Steiner
Vinegar Syndrome

"How do THE FLYING ACQUAINTANCES find fun?" Vinegar Syndrome's DVD of this once lost bit of softcore sexploitation will answer the question, although perhaps not to everyone's satisfaction.

Max (Jamie Gills, billed as Jon Howard) is a bank teller who moonlights as a cab driver, driving people off the meter when he is unable to grab a stack of cash for himself as the victim of regular bank robberies (and yet he always has a few extra bucks to spare whenever socialite Sylvie [Susan Curtis] spreads to cover the rent). When he picks up a stewardess (Darby Lloyd Rains, ABDUCTION OF AN AMERICAN PLAYGIRL), she cannot pay the fare by conventional means and suggests other methods. Max is used to these kinds of exchanges, but it turns out that he is just another notch on the bedposts of a group of stewardesses who use sexual favors to move up or just get by. Barbara (Barbara Radall) wants to get into the movies – along with friends Sylvie and Betty – so she romances French filmmaker Pierre (who carries around phallic models of the Eiffel Tower to gift girls who kiss him on the street and Barbara wherever else she kisses him). Getting over-the-hill Betty likes a challenge so she takes on her butcher's request to seduce his son Michael who he is worried might be homosexual. Max's pure wife Patricia (Joy Campbell) cannot remember if she has slept with her boss Jack, but Max is about to find out that she is only as faithful to him as he is to her.

Hailed by the trailer as "The Comedy of the Year," THE FLYING ACQUAINTANCES is dull, dull, dull… as dreary as New York is in the film's few exterior shots. Gillis looks as bored as everyone else simulating sex in the same room redressed for different settings, and the filmmakers attempt to break up the monotony with a neighbor who dons several wigs and increasingly revealing outfits to seduce her disinterested TV-watching construction worker husband. It is uncertain if even hardcore sex could have made this more interesting. As it is, the sole quality that makes it worth a view is that it was thought lost until recently. Monarch Releasing's Allan Schackleton is listed among the cast at IMDb but not on the film itself, although the character names associated with some of the cast listed in the opening credits do no correspond to anyone onscreen.

Although the DVD cover and posters advertise the film as THE FLYING ACQUAINTANCES and lobby cards list the title THE SENSUOUS STEWARDESS, the onscreen title of the print and trailer is simply ACQUAINTANCES. A previously lost film (for good reason), ACQUAINTANCES is presented here in a progressive, anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen transfer from the original 35mm camera negatives that looks great considering the blandness of everything in front of the camera. The presumably 16mm stock footage of the airplanes, control towers, and airports is so grainy that the surrounding 35mm footage looks stunning in comparison. The only glaring instance of damage occurs during the last shot. The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track is in fair condition. Considering the film's obscurity, it is nice that Vinegar Syndrome has been able to also secure some outtakes (11:33) even though they are no more explicit than the feature, looking like more of the same from the same angles. The disc also includes the aforementioned theatrical trailer (3:45) and promo still gallery. (Eric Cotenas)