Grindhouse Trash Collection Part 1
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
- Lustful Neighbors
- The Pimp Primer
- BUY THE 2 DVD SET!
Time to step away from the luxurious, rundown Grindhouse theaters on 42nd Street or away from the seedy Drive-Ins and into the dungeons of the storefront theaters! These were ordinary stores that were bought out and converted into movie theaters that specialized in showing plenty of smut. For a quick rundown of the "Storefront Experience", take a peek at 42nd Street Pete's history lesson on the upper right. And I gotta give thanks to 42nd Street Pete for saving me some time by not typing out all the plot-heavy details (*Sarcasm*) of these three movies.
But reactions to the movies are still in order, correct? Okay, I'll play. Starting with Disc 1, UTA (Directed by Nick Philips) looks to be California's answer to sexploitation cinema that was going on at the same time on the east coast. No hints of roughie-ness to be found in this baby. Just some good ol' voyeurism on a hooker named Uta (Playing herself?) as we see her bathe, strip, and turn out tricks--All the while, we hear thoughts and recollections going on in her mind. Hence, no other dialogue is spoken in the movie. The flawless B&W photography along with the jazzy soundtrack (which tends to get a little annoying) adds to the erotic atmosphere, but many of today's viewers will just come to the conclusion that UTA is just a tease for a softcore flick.
Now, if UTA is a tease for a softcore flick, then (On Disc 2) the bonus double-feature, PIMP PRIMER and LUSTY NEIGHBORS are a tease for a hardcore flick! Alright, now we're in familiar territory with the damaged/destroyed 16mm film reels, crummy filmmaking, wonderfully bad acting, and LOTS of skin! But since there's still nothing really groundbreaking to dwell upon, I guess I'll just take this time to add in some of my own trivia. Now just about every review you read on PIMP PRIMER will always have you taking notice of both a pre-moustache'd John Holmes and Uschi Digard (In a terrible wig) taking part in the film's climactic orgy, but allow me to be the first to point out another recognizable face: its none other than the corrupt police chief in Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song! That's right. You get to see the cracker lawman stripping down to his birthday suit and gettin' it on. Bet you've been dying to see that, right? But I do admit that I got the hots for one of the characters named Cherry played by Colleen Murphy. Murphy was one of those "Plain Jane" types that could be found in a number of softcore films (Haven't looked deep enough to see if she did any hardcore) but...I like what she brings to the table! Quite nice. PIMP PRIMER is actually my favorite of this collection.
LUSTY NEIGHBORS starts out unintentionally funny due to the damaged film print which results in some unplanned jump-cuts. In a classic sexy scenario, one of the characters jumps completely out of her clothes in a split second! Talk about wasting no time! And then the big other highlight is the psychadelic sex-swapping party (Complete with strobelight) but which ends with some surprisingly, disgusting brutality involving props from a pool table. Now you might be wondering why this movie decides to end so violently? Well, probably the main reason why these early porno movies avoided being confiscated was by becoming moral tales. If you have sex as a hooker or indulge in non-marital sex (Including swinging) You're going to hell! All three movies in this collection do have these type of downer endings, and it's safe to say that hundreds more from this era likely did the same. Indeed, the ticket buyers were sure to get a mixed message.
As for the DVD quality of this set, UTA has been well preserved (Thanks in part to the original film sources being provided by Phillips himself) while the other two films still retain plenty of scratches and jumps (But that's expected since these were TRULY "grinded" films with no other suriving elements) The only extras are a trailer reel for other After Hours product, a 7-page booklet well worth reading by Ed Grant, and the aforementioned intro by 42nd Street Pete--Which runs 8 minutes on the DVD compared to the 2-and-a-half-minute online clip. The extended intro also includes a line from him that I'll never forget, "Realistically, movie-viewing back then was an experience and sometimes you took your life in your hands to check this stuff out". So while all three 50-minute movies are not quite masterpieces, they still succeed in giving you an idea on what you would see in the realm of a 24-hour storefront theater--Minus the trenchcoat viewers sitting all around you.
Reviewed by Laydback