Director: Leonard Kirtman (as Leon Gucci)
Vinegar Syndrome

"Hot flashes" might be unpleasant for women of a certain age but HOT FLASHES the movie is painful for everyone involved, as proven by Vinegar Syndrome's restored DVD release.

The news on station WSEX on Channel 69 is hosted nightly by "anchorperson" Rebecca Wallflower (Nicole Blanc, UP IN THE AIR), "roving reporter" Rosie Raindrop (Dorothy Onan, HEAD WAITRESS), and weather reporter Justine Juicyfruit (Karen Summer, TABOO IV). Rebecca does a "man on a the street" piece on oral sex on Rocky Balboa's piece (although it is another passerby in the scene who does a Stallone impression) while Rosie finds out that European men prefer American women "two to one" in a threesome with Francois Papillon (TRASHY LADY) and Shone Taylor (LADY DYNAMITE). The station experiences technical difficulties when Justine blows the sound guy (Jimmy Star, SIZZLING SUMMER) before giving her report on precipitation in the valleys and bush of Lisa Lake (EVERY MAN'S FANTASY) and a mudslide in the hilly country of Dan T. Mann's (RAMBONE DOES HOLLYWOOD) buttocks. Athlete Jock Strap (Nick Niter, LITTLE OFTEN ANNIE) demonstrates his special brand of pushups on Rebecca while Justine goes from testing vibrators to doing a commercial for pussy cream that will "turn your genitals into a fruit salad" with Katarina Barrington (BROADCAST NUDES) and Don Fernando (JUGSY).

Lacking even the bottom of the barrel technical proficiency of Carlos Tobalina (BOILING DESIRES), director Leonard Kirtman – whose first directorial effort was the passable gorefest CARNIVAL OF BLOOD – seems to have no idea how to direct comedy, much less pornography. The one-take-only approach leads to tons of blown line-readings from actors who are already quite terrible by porn film standards (particularly Onan), who are all but unlistenable due to some of the worst sound recording that is either mixed too low as to be indistinct or buzzes into distortion when Summer gets too close to the microphone. At one point when the audio drops out, the audience could easily be forgiven for thinking it was the fault of the filmmakers rather than an intentional "technical difficulty." The combination of nearly twenty short sex scenes in a seventy-five minute running time with the need to repeatedly double actors as other characters leads to confusion (Lake and Fernando also play a couple at home in bed inexplicably turned on by the show, sound guy Starr pops up in an erectile dysfunction commercial with Onan in a different wig, and several of the performers appear in the orgy scenes as seemingly different people) and suggests that the film might have been better off focusing on fewer, longer sex scenes (if they were not so badly shot). One leaves the film feeling sorry for almost everyone involved onscreen (at least for Summer after her fun turn in TABOO IV). Possibly lifted from other movies are three orgy scenes in a restaurant cutaway, a segment on "Music to Cum By" and the "1984 Sex Olympics." The end credits may also have been lifted from another film since none of the names correspond to any of the characters in the film.

Scanned in 2K and restored from the original 35mm camera negative, the setbound HOT FLASHES looks great in Vinegar Sydrome's progressive, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) encode with saturated eighties colors. The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono audio is largely free of hiss but can only do so much with the poorly recorded and mixed sound which occasionally buzzes into distortion at the high end. There are no extras thankfully. (Eric Cotenas)