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Judy/The Night Hustlers

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Release Date: 
Vinegar Syndrome
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
David W Hanson
Bobby O Donald
Sandy O'Hara
Dave Haller
Andrea Barr
Bottom Line: 

When porno is vintage enough it often comes in double feature form for one low special price.  Vinegar Syndrome seems to be establishing quite a name with its twofer assortments.  Let us go back to the early yesteryear of porn and review two unrelated adult films from 1969 even as we try not to giggle like schoolboy at the realization of this.

Judy (1969)

It seems that a serial strangler/rapist is terrorizing the streets of late sixties era Boston and murdering young topless women while lounge jazz music plays repetitively in the background often cycling through the same song several times in a single death/sex scene like sad, unseen existential jukebox. Fortunately, there is a recently fired private detective working the case named Gunner Sloan, a man who looks like a living 1970’s cross between Claude Akins and James Garner only somehow more stiff, rough mannered and oily.  Gunner Sloan is no ordinary private eye, he might just slap or shove a woman if he thinks she isn’t being straight with him and it seems he won’t be fooled by anyone, even as the bodies of the female victims continue to pile up all around him. The real story here is not the ineffectual cop, but the exploitative sex murders which are shot in a trademark shaky, drunken first person view that seems more interested in causing motion sickness than inspiring erections. This film is that rare mix of ancient, unfulfilling sleaze cinema that is too tame to depict “sex murders” in anything approaching a lurid “grindhouse” fashion, meanwhile the absolutely excessive screen time devoted to soft-core depictions of breasts destroys what little momentum could have been devoted to actual dramatic plot developments regarding the “killer” and his ultimate apprehension.  

The Night Hustlers (1969)

A pretentious French novelist named Duvall is writing his new book and as usual he prides himself on his ability to write about “real events happening to real people” and convert them to marketable fiction which is the true secret of his success and something he wishes to incorporate into his next volume. As such, he meets with a couple of private detectives in his home and they tell him stories which are predictably acted out in soft-core vignette. I suppose this could have been worthwhile, but it truth were to be told that except for all the nipples constantly on parade, the old SHIELD television show had more interesting happenings than this, usually before the opening credits.  Yet for about an hour we hear firsthand the stories of raids on drug den, a porno house and on a type of brothel nightclub where a young Frankie Valli lookalike sings amidst a bunch of topless prostitutes before getting manhandled by police. Between stories, Duvall talks on his phone to one of his six pretty mistresses (who are always somehow partially clothed) telling them that he can’t hang out with them tonight because he is busy listening to shit stories about improper, impossible police procedure from a couple of seedy rogue cops (at least this is how I might have summarized my evening had I been he). After the final story has been told, Duvall sends his police friends home and has sex with his pretty, dutiful assistant who has been recording the stories and has apparently wanted him for quite some time. I will take a happy ending anyway I can get it, and for an empty, ancient, breast heavy film like this it seems there is no other kind.

In closing, it may be said that I have no bias against soft-core films. In fact I fully admit that they may be every bit as erotic as their X- rated counterparts (Provided it is never merely an alternate/softer cut of the same footage). Yet in order to be superior to an x rated film, a work of soft-core MUST offer some plot or character development that actually tickles our brains even as the endless scenes of “boobies bouncing about” embraces our eyes.  Any film that offers its audience a perpetual parade of naked images yet never accelerates in intelligence nor develops the female characters “behind the breasts” is beyond the simple, sweet frustration which all erotica is based and it becomes nothing less than annoying; not only incapable of causing the extreme psychological tension of all proper arousal, but actual discomfort; a sense of restless, itchy, uneasy fulfillment and I truly hate nothing more.  Case in point, there is actually only two hours and fifteen minutes of combined content here, but it took me far longer than that to watch it because I actually fell asleep to both of the films on this disk. This has never happened to me before when reviewing a film. Seriously, what more could I possibly say?

Special Features include trailers for the films.

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