TRASHY LADY (1985) Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Director: Steve Scott
Vinegar Syndrome

The award-winning porno gangster pic TRASHY LADY from production designer-turned-X-rated filmmaker Steve Scott hits Blu-ray/DVD combo in a sterling 2K-mastered restoration from Vinegar Syndrome.

After breaking things off with his gun moll Jessie (Cara Lott, TABOO II), Los Angeles gangster Dutch (Harry Reems, DEEP THROAT) sets his sights on cigarette girl Katherine (Ginger Lynn, TOO NAUGHTY TO SAY NO). His concerns that she might be too classy a dame are confirmed by club manager Tony (Steve Drake, NEW WAVE HOOKERS) who sampled her wares before hiring the hayseed. Dutch recruits Rita (Amber Lynn, CASINO OF LUST), gun moll of rival Big Louie (Herschel Savage, PRETTY PEACHES 2), to turn Katherine (rechristened Kitty) into a "trashy lady" in time for the annual convention of The Brotherhood. While Dutch is busy checking out his investment in boxer Johnny (Francois Papillon, ALL THE WAY IN!) who frustrates his own gal (Cheri Janvier, FIREFOXES) with his single-minded dedication to the training of coach Rocky (Marc Wallice, PRETTY PEACHES 3), Rita trains Kitty in the art of sex with "stunt dick" Jimmy the paperboy (Tom Byron, VALLEY VIXENS). Maid Norma (Bunny Bleu, IRRESISTABLE) also introduces Kitty to lesbian sex when she's not messing around with Dutch's bodyguard Eddie (Rick Savage, BACKDOOR BABES). When Big Louie hears from the big house that his girl is regularly visiting Dutch, he gets the wrong idea and sends his men to put the squeeze on his friend-cum-rival.

Opening with elegant art deco titles and shot through with gorgeous period production design by director Scott – who was better known to mainstream exploitation audiences as art director Sal Grasso (FROGS, THE KILLING KIND) – augmenting the authentic locations like Howard Hughes' Los Angeles headquarters, dazzling costumes, and the elegant 35mm photography of Scott's regular cinematographer Tom Howard (MEN OF THE MIDWAY), TRASHY LADY is an aesthetic delight that deservedly won a number of adult industry awards and critical praise. The story is a simple frame for the lengthy sex scenes, but Reems, both Lynns, and the rest of the cast are at the top of their game, adding to the convincing evocation of a thirties gangster quickie. Throughout the seventies, Scott's directorial output was all-male – including a number of for-hire collaborations with Al Parker (THE OTHER SIDE OF ASPEN) – before helming a handful of straight films in the mid-eighties before his death in 1987. Although TRASHY LADY shares in common most of the cast and crew with Scott's other straight films TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE and CHINA & SILK, the film actually has more in common with the latter being a hardcore take on the spy genre.

Scanned and restored in 2K from the original 35mm camera negative, TRASHY LADY looks flawless in this 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen incarnation with eye-popping colors in the costumes and set decoration while also revealing some of the more subtle and atmospheric lighting of the actors and their environments. There is no apparent damage, even at the reel change points, and only some subtle on-camera filtration keeps a couple close-ups from being truly crisp. The DTS-HD Master 1.0 audio – dialogue and period-appropriate library music – is crisp and clear.

The film is accompanied by two audio commentary tracks. On the first, cinematographer Howard, moderated by filmmaker David McCabe (GOOD MEN GO BAD) – who was Scott's personal assistant on the all-male films – pair up to discuss the film, which was Scott's and Howard's first 35mm feature. They cover Scott's mainstream career, including FROGS which was shot by Mario Tosi (CARRIE) for which Howard would assist on another film, and how his mainstream industry contacts netted the film's costumes and period cars. Howard recalls the thrill and trepidation at being able to shoot on 35mm (his entire career as a cinematographer of straight and gay porn films has been motivated by the opportunity to shoot film on someone else's dime) while McCabe compares his experiences working with Scott to Howard's on this film. McCabe also avers that they have already recorded a commentary track for CHINA & SILK but Vinegar Syndrome has not announced this title yet. Vinegar Syndrome's Joe Rubin had intended to have Savage comment on the scenes in which he appeared, but the actor claimed to have little memory of the film, so he and XRCO co-founder Bill Margold instead pair of for a second commentary track in which they discuss both the film and their relationships with the cast and crew. Margold cites the PYGMALION influence of the plot and is impressed by the production value (assuming that it must have been a week-long shoot while Howard states on the other track that it was shot in two and a half days minus set preparations) while Savage asks both Margold and Rubin for details of the plot. They have warm recollections of some cast members like Ginger Lynn and Bunny Bleu (who Margold discovered) while sadly noting that Reems would be in the gutter just one year after the film. They are also quite candid in their less favorable opinions of some of the other cast members, behind the scenes personalities, and their differing opinions on the looks of lesser known one actress. Overall, it's a superior, less-contentious track in comparison to the one they recorded for BLUE ICE.

Besides the commentaries, both the Blu-ray and DVD also contain the 1971 bonus feature COMING WEST (53:32) from the beginning of Scott's and Howard's X-rated careers. Kitty (Maria Arnold, FLESH GORDON), Molly (Starlyn Simone, BABY SISTER), and Penny (Sandy Carey, THE JEKYLL & HYDE PORTFOLIO) are on a cross-country road trip when talk of their next stop Laramie causes writer Kitty to fantasize about the trio as hookers in the old west abandoned by their stagecoach in the middle of the woods. Skinny-dipping Kitty reconnects with cowboy old flame Matt (George Peters, FANCY LADY) before they get the jump on an Indian brave who frightens the other two girls. While Kitty ministers to the unconscious warrior, Molly and Penny have a threesome with Matt before the not-so-surprising twist ending. Predating DEEP THROAT by a year, the sex is definitely hardcore but the coverage is rushed and captures the action through zooms in from master shots rather than the expected inserts. The 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 pillarboxed image is softish due to the rushed photography but the well-framed and -focused shots sport the good detail associated with HD transfers of 16mm with the only damage occurring at a reel change point. The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono audio is fairly clean, with relatively clear post-synched dialogue and somewhat indistinct recording of a muttered folk song duet. The cover is reversible and both artworks are represented on the Blu-ray and DVD. (Eric Cotenas)