Director: Alex de Renzy
Vinegar Syndrome

Vinegar Syndrome expands their catalogue with HD remasters of two films by porn auteur Alex de Renzy (FEMMES DE SADE).

In 1978, Alex de Renzy directed PRETTY PEACHES, in which a girl (Desiree Cousteau, THE TALE OF TIFFANY LUST) gets into an accident on the way to her father's wedding and loses her memory. As she attempts to recover her identity, she is tricked into one sexual scenario after another. Considered one of the most acclaimed adult films of the "golden era", it garnered lead actress Cousteau an Adult Film Association of America award for her rather grating vocal delivery and inspired two popular sequels nearly a decade later. Vinegar Syndrome has bypassed the 1978 first film – presumably for a rights issue, or possibly some of the more controversial content – in favor of its two sequels that were not so much a continuation but variations on a theme.

In PRETTY PEACHES 2, Peaches (Siobhan Hunter, THE BRAT) is nearly twenty and knows nothing about sex. Believing her mother Eunice (Tracey Adams, THE BARONESS) to be uptight – and completely unaware that she has been boffing her daughter's blue-balled boyfriend Bobby (Peter North, THE TEASE) – Peaches seeks the advice of her former stepfather Stanley (Herschel Savage, EVERY WHICH WAY SHE CAN) who instructs her to "ask around". Peaches takes to the road to San Francisco to visit her "uncle" Howard (Ron Jeremy, FAST TIMES AT CHERRY HIGH) – her father's navy buddy – hitching a ride with a trucker (Buck Adams, ROCKEY X) and getting a taste of carnal knowledge when he gets creeped out by her idea of a sleeping companion (a stuffed animal) and hires a prostitute (Janette Littledove, SATANIA). Peaches finds Howard's habit of keeping it in the family with wife (Ashley Welles, BALLGAME) and son (Billy Dee, LAS VEGAS LADY), but Howard's "oriental" slave Crystal (Melissa Melendez, DEEP THROAT II) finds her employment with "Granny" (Jamie Gillis, THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN). Meanwhile, estranged Eunice and Stanley take to the road in search of their daughter and rekindle their romance in an unconventional manner involving a black male prostitute (F.M. Bradley, RETURN OF DR. BLACKLOVE).

PRETTY PEACHES 3 has Peaches (Keisha, SORORITY PINK) – now living in a trailer park with her mother (Adams again) and no mention of a father or stepfather – is having sexual dreams that disturb rather than arouse her. Her mother also strangely finds the idea of her daughter (whose age is unspecified here) has dreams of a sexual nature – recommends that she see Dr. Thunderpussy (Rachel Ryan, HONEY BUNS) – apparently the first of Oprah's quack doctors – who advises her that there is more to sex than biology (in between sessions with a blow-up doll). Peaches decides to go on a quest for spiritual enlightenment but finds only lust and corruption: a Jimmy Swaggert-parody preacher (Gillis again) and his secretary (Victoria Paris, GHOSTLUSTERS) attempt to have their way with her before hightailing it to South America before they are indicted, The Retreat of Holy Repose turns out to be a den of lesbian nuns, and a motivational speaker's (Jon Martin, ORIENTAL BABYSITTER) disdain for "mundane flesh" turns out to be anything but. Reaching the city, Peaches gets picked up by Jimmy JJ Walker-esque Jack (Jack Baker, HILL ST. BLACKS) who wants to pimp her out but realizes he'll have to indulge her quest for spiritual fulfillment and introduces her to various holy perverts and fake gurus. Meanwhile, her mother and boyfriend Bobby (Gene Carrera, SEX FLEX) have taken to the road in search of her and are having increasing difficulty dissipating the sexual tension with exercise.

PRETTY PEACHES 2 doesn't push as many boundaries as the original (Uncle Howard's wife and son might not actually be blood relatives at all, and it is revealed that Stanley is Peaches' stepfather before Crystal divines his interest in his daughter), and the characters feel less genuinely nutty and more forced. The film, however, is crammed full of gaudy but ornate and colorful art direction and the photography is polished; making it look like comparatively lavish (and more theatrical) next to its contemporaries (as well as the third film). PRETTY PEACHES 3 looks lower budget, partially due to the fullscreen framing, the gauzy cinematography, and overall visual blandness. At the same time, it manages to look glossier than other adult films from the same period (about as slick as Joe D'Amato's softcore cable-bound efforts of the time). It also seems more awash in big hair, shoulder pads, and tan lines than the second film. The humor is even more strained, and one can almost "feel" the film running out as it rushes through the sex scenes. Richard Pacheco (NOTHING TO HIDE) has a special appearance at the (arguably happy) ending of the film. Adams' mother is more interesting than Hunter's Peaches (Keisha's in the sequel too for that matter), and Gillis, Savage, Jeremy, and Pacheco are welcome performers (acting-wise) that harken back to earlier days (Gillis especially – despite also doing sex scenes – is more of a "special guest star" in these films than just another performer).

Both films were shot on 35mm – quite a rarity for the nineties – and have were restored from 2K scans from their original camera negatives. PRETTY PEACHES 2 is framed at 1.78:1 (the case states 1.85:1) and the progressive, anamorphic transfer is in great condition (drawing more attention to the glimpses of equipment and crew members at the edges of the frame and in the reflection of a mirror. PRETTY PEACHES 3: THE QUEST is framed at 1.33:1 and apparently bound straight for video. There are no opening or closing credits – just a close-up of the title from the film's promotional artwork – and thus it runs slightly shorter than the video release (titled PRETTY PEACHES AND THE QUEST) which featured video generated opening and closing credits. The negative seems to have been carelessly conformed since distracting splices are evident in the frame at virtually every shot change here. Despite the aforementioned splices, the element seems otherwise undamaged and sports vibrant colors and crisp resolution. The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono tracks of both films are in fine condition. A theatrical trailer (3:38) is included for the second film only, and it too has been newly transferred from film (presumably there was a video trailer for the third film). (Eric Cotenas)