Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Vinegar Syndrome - SUGAR COOKIES on Blu-ray ""

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Vinegar Syndrome - SUGAR COOKIES on Blu-ray

SUGAR COOKIES (1973; Theodore Gershuny)
When I see the Lloyd Kaufman Presents a Troma Team release card at the front of a film I'm seeing for the first time, I have to admit that it does not inspire confidence. And when I see Lloyd Kaufman credited as a writer, I am dubious at best. However, that being said, when I take into account when this film was made (1973), I find myself a bit more open to what the man behind the Troma brand might have been up to around that time in his career. There's even some indication that Kaufman might be a Hitchcock fan as well with this story. That, coupled with the casting of Mary Woronov, is certainly enough to get my attention. I've been a Woronov fan since I first saw her in the great ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL. Her Miss Togar character was not one that allowed much for her sexiness to be exhibited. EATING RAOUL was a little better in they respect, but she was rarely as alluring as she is in SUGAR COOKIES.

Another draw for this film is the presence of cult actress Lynn Lowry in an early role (she's credited as "introducing" but she had done a few films prior). Lowry would go on to star in films like THE CRAZIES (George Romero), SCORE (Radletmy Metzger), SHIVERS (David Cronenberg) and CAT PEOPLE (Paul Schrader). She continues to act regularly to this day. She has this very unique beauty about her, particularly in her face. She has this wonderfully exotic look. It would not at all be surprising to see her as some kind of alien goddess/princess on some distant planet in an episode the original Star Trek series. 
As far as the plot of this movie, it's an odd combination of thriller and sexploitation. It centers around the story of the apparent suicide of an up and coming adult film actress (Lowry) and the sleazy folks she was in business with (Woronov and George Shannon). All that plot stuff is certainly a bit on the dull side, but there's a cool section of the film that features Woronov and Lowry just hanging out (shopping, driving, dining, lounging and running though long grass) that is set to groovy 70s tunes. That's easily the best part of the movie. Both women are gorgeous and there's just something about an extended montage of this type set to music of the period that is just wonderful in my opinion. The film is at it's best when it's just these two. George Shannon's character is an evil sleaze so I certainly didn't miss him when he wasn't on screen. 
The Blu-ray also has a 'Making of SUGAR COOKIES with Lynn Lowry' (14 mins) featurette as a bonus feature. In this newly produced piece from Vinegar Syndrome, Lowry is quite candid in her discussion of her initial involvement with the film and her thoughts on it as one of her earliest feature roles (and certainly her biggest role to that point in her career). This is the only special feature included on the Blu-ray, however the DVD also includes a couple other extras.
DVD Special features:
-"Lloyd Kaufman Remembers SUGAR COOKIES" (36 mins) - Kaufman reminisces about the initial short he had made with Lowry and how Brian De Palma & Oliver Stone encouraged him to expand it into a feature. This single-shot interview functions as kind of a mini-commentary and it's a pretty good one. Kaufman is nothing if not an entertaining speaker and this interview is no exception.
-Also included a short interview with Mary Woronov (5 mins) conducted by Lloyd Kaufman wherein she discusses her involvement in the film and how t was working with her husband as the director among other things. She's amazing and I wish this chat was longer, but I'm happy it's been included.
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