Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Massage Parlor Murders (Blu-ray Review) - Vinegar Syndrome

Directed By: Chester Fox, Alex Stevens
Written By:
Starring: Beverly Bonner, George Dzundza, Anne Gaybis
Color/80 Minutes/Not Rated

The Film
A madman is on the loose in New York City and his targets are the girls working at massage parlors around town who offer more than just muscle rubs. Two policemen are assigned the case of discovering who the maniac is and why he's killing these women. After questioning the first victim's roommate one of the cops begins to date the girl who is also a working masseuse, however she doesn't go beyond a massage. As the bodies pile up in gruesome killings including stabbings, acid burns and strangulation by a girls bra, the cops begin to get closer to the killer but will they find out before it affects their own lives?

Having never heard of this film before this release was announced I could only go off of my assumptions from the title and time period as to what to expect, and they weren't too far off. MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS, or as it was originally titled MASSAGE PARLOR HOOKERS isn't as sleazy as you'd probably think but it is still successful in what it is, purely an exploitation film. From the film showing that just about any woman giving you a massage will just as easily spread her legs for you for a $20 bill, to the copious nude women, including a swimming pool full, to the violent killing of these women this film is a mean one. Filled with several (rather poor) red herrings, a car chase scene where a food stand gets demolished, and exterior shots of seedy NYC streets, MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS doesn't push the limit as much as it could have but it will still satisfy your hunger for good old fashioned 70s genre fare.  

The Video 
MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS looks pretty damn good on Blu-ray thanks to Vinegar Syndrome. A film that probably wouldn't have seen a release from any other company ends up with a nice HD presentation. The detail level is high with a natural grain structure. Colors have a bit of pop to them in the more artfully lit scenes and the large amounts of skin you see has a nice healthy look to it. Some scenes feature a grainier look than other but look no farther than the exterior shots to see how beautiful this film looks. The DVD/BD combo is region free on both discs.

Please Note: Screen grabs are taken from DVD copy of the film.  

The Audio
The audio fares well also, with the sometimes odd soundtrack shining, sometimes a bit too much over dialogue but overall it is a very decent mono audio track. There isn't too much that needs to challenge your sound system anyways so this track does the job just fine with just a bit of background noise throughout.

The Extras
The disc features a pair of trailers, outtakes and some radio spots. Also included is a nice booklet with some history and analysis of the film and a replica film reel card. A very nice package overall for this film. 

The Bottom Line
This combo pack release needs to be in every genre fan's library, and for the price there is no excuse that it isn't.


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