Thursday, November 14, 2013
The Blue Hour Triple Feature (DVD Review) - Vinegar Syndrome
USA/1971, 1965, 1969
Directed By: Sergei Goncharoff, Albert T. Viola, Marty Rackum
Starring: Edward Blessington, Anne Chapman, Mary Beth Hughes
Color and B&W/220 Minutes/Not Rated
THE BLUE HOUR is a visually striking, oddly entertaining and just a bit out there story of a young girl with a clouded past who finds herself the victim of the seedy and strange side of Los Angeles. The main attraction of this set is, not surprisingly, the best film included from its writing to its direction and photography. The film is full of as much art house as it is sexploitation and deserves to be discovered and respected.
In ONE NAKED NIGHT a small town girl move to New York City to escape the prying eyes of small town life and to truly experience life. She quickly gets into the modeling community with the help of her friend and ends up in bed with her photographer after a night on the town with him. Her relationships begin to fall apart and she realizes that she moved to the city to escape the judgement from her old life but now must face the mirror and judge herself.
ONE NAKED NIGHT is a pretty decent little movie. The main girl is a likable girl, innocent and curious who finds out that not everything in life works out the way you planned and there will be plenty of setbacks that you have to deal with when trying to find yourself. I enjoyed this one a good bit.
If you like nude hippie girls enjoying their sexuality and freedom then THREE IN A TOWEL is for you. That really is all it is, with some Shakespeare narration over top. This movie is a rare one from what I can tell as I've been able to find very little information about it on the internet. This is a little known piece of hippie film culture that, while very simple, displays a large part in the free spirit nature of the 1960s.
The Audio & Video
THE BLUE HOUR looks very good, in its anamorphic widescreen transfer which does justice to the film's striking images. Colors are strong and bright without being over saturated and there is only a sparse amount of print damage. The audio is also strong with a bit of background noise in limited areas being the only complaint. ONE NAKED NIGHT looks very good overall. The black and white cinematography benefits from a clean print that has been kept in good condition over the years. Black levels are deep and whites never get too hot. The night time New York City streets look especially beautiful in this presentation. The audio track is just as crisp and clean as the picture with a well mixed track and no background noise to speak of. I don't think Vinegar Syndrome could have done better without it being on Blu-ray.
THREE IN A TOWEL is a mixed bag. At times the full frame transfer look reasonably good with natural skin tones and a clean print but it often goes right into a scene that is scratchy and a bit washed out. Dark scenes suffer from poor lighting and cinematography so they look green and blocky. The audio is fine, with background whirling and crackling present but not enough to become a real annoyance.
The lone extra is an original theatrical trailer for THREE IN A TOWEL
The Bottom Line
While the films vary in quality as they do on most multi-feature sets such as this, this is a strong offering from Vinegar Syndrome that will please fans of the label and of sexploitation films.
THE BLUE HOUR triple feature is available HERE