Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Vinegar Syndrome - September 2013 Titles ""

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vinegar Syndrome - September 2013 Titles

DEATH FORCE(1978)/VAMPIRE HOOKERS(1978)
"We are all vampires. We are all dead. And we don't like you very much."
VAMPIRE HOOKERS is one of those films I'd never heard of until I came across the rather salacious and amazing poster. Its tagline, "Blood Isn't All They Suck!" is certainly quite memorable. Plus it featured an aging but seemingly pimped-out John Carradine so I was quite curious. This new Vinegar Syndrome disc presents the film in 16x9 and looking not too bad considering its age and the type of film it looks to have been. VAMPIRE HOOKERS starts with two sailors(one looking vaguely like Michael Rooker and the other vaguely like a young Buddy Ebsen) on shore leave looking for some "action". As you might guess from the title, the ladies they finally end up with are not you're average street-walkers. Nope, these gals are creatures of the night who are indeed "pimped" by an old spiffy vampire played by the aforementioned John Carradine. Dialogue and acting are pretty wooden, but then again you're probably not watching a movie called VAMPIRE HOOKERS for the oscar caliber craftsmanship. The film appears to be pretty much entirely looped - including some lovely flatulence. The two highlights of the movie are John Carradine and boobs.  Oh and this catchy theme song(which incorporates the previously mentioned tagline):


Both this film and its co-feature DEATH FORCE were directed by the notorious Filipino exploitation auteur Cirio H. Santiago. With films like TNT JACKSON, THE MUTHERS, COVER GIRL MODELS, NAKED VENGEANCE and CAGED FURY you probably know the kind of thing you're in for when you sit down to watch his stuff. DEATH FORCE(aka FIGHTING MAD aka VENGEANCE IS MINE) is a blaxploitation actioner starring Leon Isaac Kennedy(of the PENITENTIARY films) and familiar face Carmen Argenziano. Its highlights include gun fights, sword fights, and fighting fights.


BLOOD THIRST(1971)/THE THIRSTY DEAD(1974)
Both silly time-wasters, these two are an interesting pairing in this new two-movie set. Both movies certainly look pretty good(listed as scanned in 2k from 35mm elements and are both 16x9).  BLOOD THIRST is the story of a detective who stumbles onto a 
one of my favorite bits in the movie is a classic guy kisses girl-girl slaps guy-guy slaps girl back, kicks out the light and they kiss some more scenarios. It also features a cool bumpy/melty faced guy as a baddie and he's kind of fun. Film could have used more of his ugly puss. I had read that THE THIRSTY DEAD was slightly reminiscent of a Star Trek episode and I can totally see that. The costumes, sets and cult of oddballs plot do kind of align with the old original series aesthetic. The plot consists of women being kidnapped and sacrificed for their blood by a wacky cult of weirdos who worship a dude's head in a red cube inside of a cave. It might be that Star Trek-iness that contributed to me enjoying this film a bit more than BLOOD THIRST. Both of the films on this disc have decent transfers as I mentioned, however the sound elements may not have been in as good of shape as there is a lot of crackling on the soundtracks for both.



THE DOLL SQUAD(1973)
The most notable of this group of September titles is certainly the arrival of cult director Ted V. Mikels'(THE CORPSE GRINDERS, THE ASTRO ZOMBIES, THE GIRL IN GOLD BOOTS) much beloved cult classic THE DOLL SQUAD on Blu-ray. Very much a 'girls on a mission' movie, THE DOLL SQUAD plays like a sleazier grindhouse(and more 70s) version of the pilot for a Charlie's Angels type show. Think Charlie's Angels meets OUR MAN FLINT or something like that. Or if Ed Wood made a James Bond film that was more girl-centric, it might look something like this. Definitely has the feel of something that Mike Myers may have watched as research for AUSTIN POWERS. 
The 'Doll Squad' is a group of 5 shapely ladies that the CIA computer has chosen to be a lethal fighting team. The film is rather clumsily staged and acted throughout and this would normally be to its detriment, but in this case it is somewhat charming. It feels like a low budget movie-within-a-movie done to look silly and be laughed at. I'm not proposing you laugh at this film, but you may giggle a bit whilst watching it. Is is nonetheless a good time and I doubt anyone(its filmmakers included) ever thought it could look this good(especially considering the reported $256,000 budget. A nice little cult film bonus of this movie is the presence of Tura Satana(of FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL! KILL!) in various forms of scantily clad-idness. 
Bonus features on this Blu-ray include:
-A DOLL SQUAD Commentary track by Director Ted V. Mikels
-Two video Interviews with Ted V. Mikels.
-Video Interview actress Francine York.
- The disc also includes another Mikels film called MISSION KILLFAST for your enjoyment.

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