Director: Victor Nye
Vinegar Syndrome

Vinegar Syndrome adds Suze Randall and Ginger Lynn to their library with their restoration of TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO.

Studying for her exams, Catholic school girl Betty (Angel, BLONDE HEAT) finds herself meditating on the meaning of the word "begat" and falling down the rabbit hole. Her classmate Catherine (Ginger Lynn, JAILHOUSE GIRLS) turns from demure to depraved and takes Betty along on her date with a pacifier-sucking sex maniac (Jamie Gillis, THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN) where she gets a taste of debauchery, and then to the brothel of Madame Rose (Lisa de Leeuw, DIXIE RAY: HOLLYWOOD STAR) where she is auctioned off to the highest bidder among a senator (Eric Edwards, VIRGIN AND THE LOVER), a bishop (Michael Morrison, TABOO), a German colonel (Klaus Müller), and a Hollywood director (Edward Longly). Escaping the clutches of pimp Mr. Love (Rufus Jefferson) before she is deflowered, runs straight into the arms (and bed) of a pair of sleazy cops (EVIL COME, EVIL GO's Rick Cassidy and L.A. TOOL & DIE's Paul Barresi), and then a persistent flasher (Craig Roberts, SUBURBAN LUST). When she winds up a corpse victimized by an undertaker (Harry Reems, ALTAR OF LUST), is it all a dream or the consequences of vice?

A loose adaptation of the Marquis de Sade's JUSTINE with a touch of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, TOO HOT TO HANDLE was one of the few narrative feature-length porn films of British nude model-turned-pornographer Suze Randall and her husband Humphry Knipe (a South African-born writer who directed the film as Victor Nye, even though IMDb lists Knipe as an alias for Randall) after a series of Larry Flynt-produced solo girl loops and compilations. Prettily-photographed, costumed, and designed with elegant and uncluttered backdrops, the film touches lightly upon S&M, rape, and barely legal sex in a manner very unlike Sade (or even de Renzy whose works from this period adapted a similarly slick visual style). The Angel makes for a gorgeous yet enigmatic counterpart to the more naughty and exhibitionistic Lynn, but the film races through a number of couplings in the first hour that other performers (including familiar faces de Leeuw, Edwards, and Morrison) have as little opportunity to make an impression as some of the background brothel performers (including THE BIG SWITCH's Bunny Bleu and LOOKING FOR MR. GOODSEX's Lois Ayres). After the Reems setpiece (which is more theatrical than sexy), Knipe and Randall do save the best coupling for last with THE RIBALD TALES OF CANTERBURY's Stevie Taylor as a friendly motorist who picks up Betty (from the garbage heap) and seduces her in her car while punk-garbed phantoms played by Cassidy, Barresi, BABYLON NIGHTS' Francois Papillon, and LADY DYNAMITE's Nick Niter – the latter two having appeared earlier with Taylor in an S&M vignette at Madame Rose's bordello – ejaculate on the windshield and windows.

Scanned and restored in 2K from a 35mm blow-up negative, TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO is grainier than most 35mm-lensed porn from the time grain but it only becomes obtrusive during the few exterior night shots (the cleaner blacks during the lesbian car sex scene suggest it was shot in more controlled conditions). The Dolby Digital 1.0 mono track is fairly clean, highlighting the scoring of "The Kingfish" who also scored Randall's and Knipe's STUD HUNTERS.

More entertaining than the film is the audio commentary with Knipe, Randall, and a couple other less distinctly-introduced contributors (including Randall associate Amber who might be their daughter), moderated by Vinegar Syndrome's Joel Rudin. Randall and Knipe separately attribute their move from photography to filmmaking as "Larry Flynt's fault" as they discuss their meeting back in England when Randall was a nurse who started doing nude modeling on the side. After a role in Eric Rohmer's LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, she stepped behind the camera as an erotic photographer and discovered Lillian Müller who caught the eye of Playboy's Hugh Hefner and prompted their move to Los Angeles. They don't hold anything back discussing Hefner's ego and their preference for working for Larry Flynt before his lawyers advised him against producing further then-illegal hardcore loops. They also recall filming while avoiding the vice squad and the greater threat of pimping and pandering charges over obscenity. Since they always regarded filmmaking as a side venture to still photography (Randall did not take a co-direction credit because she did not consider staging and operating an additional camera during the sex scenes to be directing), they are less familiar with the careers of some of the hardcore personalities in the film as actors than the few they had used and reused in photo shoots. It's a track that is simultaneously naughty and warmly humorous. (Eric Cotenas)