Director: Richard Kanter
Vinegar Syndrome

Without the budget for spaceship sets, visual effects, and horny alien species, SENSUAL ENCOUNTERS OF EVERY KIND decides to focus on the fleshy Earthbound couplings in Vinegar Syndrome's DVD restoration.

Three thousand years ago, some very horny alchemists and an oracle crafted a magical talisman that made its wearer irresistible to the opposite sex. The downside of the talisman was that it only worked once per user and could bring bad luck if it was not immediately passed on to another. In modern day, we follow its journey starting with socialite Dee Dee (SEXWORLD's Leslie Bovee) who picks it up at a party and gets gangbanged by her three gardeners (LES CHIC's Ric Lutze, TABOO's Mike Ranger, and THE ABDUCTION OF LORELEI's John Galt). She passes it on to repressed French language teacher Abigail (THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES's Georgina Spelvin) who tries to inject some culture into the lives of spoiled siblings Lisa (BABY ROSEMARY's Monique Cardin) and Kelly (Jon Martin, PRETTY PEACHES 3), but they show her how much they have picked up by incorporating her into an enactment of the French story "The Gentle Rape" which concludes with a lesson in grammar ("I came, you came, we all came!"). Senator O'Brien (DEEP STROKE's Turk Lyon) winds up with the talisman next and submits his secretary Laura (SWEET CAKE's Serena) to a session with multiple sex toys vibrating and otherwise. Coach Davis (CANDY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD's John Leslie) is set upon after hours by two coeds (THREE RIPENING CHERRIES' Dorothy LeMay and THE OTHER SIDE OF JULIE's Lori Blue) who are "wise to the rise of his Levis." Finally, Shelly (Cris Cassidy, HOT LUNCH) finds boyfriend Casey (Richard Pacheco, NOTHING TO HIDE) and his wheels immature until he acquires a certain irresistible charm…

Although prettily shot, attractively cast, and boasting some great library tracks, SENSUAL ENCOUNTERS OF EVERY KIND does suffer in other areas. The talisman does feature visually in each of the vignettes, but seems to have little to do with the encounters which lack any sense of magical intervention. The vignette with Bovee plays like a gang rape with little to suggest that she fantasizes about it or welcomes it until the inevitable point where she stops acting and starts performing (only Spelvin conveys a sense of repressed desire for "the gentle rape"). The others seem as though they would have happened without the talisman with which other more adept porn auteurs might have wrung out some comic or transgressive mileage. The sex scenes are appropriately explicit and athletic but do feel rather listlessly paced and edited. The gym vignette switches at the halfway point to a lengthy slow motion boffing in the sauna that seems vaguely alien and futuristic with its red lighting, skewed angles, sweat-slick bodies, and the females' outfitting of goggles and towels over their hair (the source of the space babe artwork on the poster and Vinegar Syndrome's cover). The end result is more interesting as kind of a museum piece than an entertainment.

Restored in 2K from the original 35mm camera negatives, SENSUAL ENCOUNTERS OF EVERY KIND's progressive, anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen transfer is almost spotless and boldly colorful with grain only becoming distracting during the slow motion sauna sequence in which the cinematographer seemingly either did not compensate in the exposure or the lighting for the required higher framerate. Dialogue and music are also clear on the Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track.

No trailer is included for the film, but Vinegar Syndrome provides a welcome extra in an audio interview with actor Jon Martin, a regular in hardcore films from the early 1970s through the 1990s (including the works of Carlos Tobalina and Bob Chinn) heretofore given little attention by porn scholars. He discusses his early education as an actor and appearances in New York theatre and Off-Broadway before returning to the West Coast where several of his colleagues were setting themselves up to make it in pictures (and, he tells us, a few that did not meet that goal committed suicide). Martin worked for Union Pacific Railroad until he was laid off and then appeared in a series of loops for the Mitchell Brothers who were honing their craft before mounting BEHIND THE GREEN DOOR (which would be his feature debut). He discusses his friendships with various porn personalities including John Leslie, John Seeman, Mike Horner, and Bob Chinn (with whom he is still in contact via Facebook) and is also forthcoming about a few personalities with which he is not so enamored. Audio quality makes it a difficult listen in one sitting, but it is nice to hear another perspective on the golden age of adult filmmaking. (Eric Cotenas)