Studio: Vinegar Syndrome
Theatrical Release: 1979
DVD Release: August 12, 2014
Director: Bob Chinn
Review by James Klein
Vinegar Syndrome’s Peekarama double feature consists of two Bob Chinn fuck flicks from 1979. Not only were both films shot back to back but they have pretty much the same story: U.S. Navy sailors in search for a good time. However the tone for both films is completely opposite from one another. I guess this is good since it could be pretty boring watching the same type of movie twice, using same actors and sets.
Tropic of Desire (1979)
Almost right away I was shaking my head, dreading the next 80 minutes as I knew right away this was going to be a long 80 minutes. By now dear readers, you should know that I like my adult films strange, funny and off the wall. Tropic of Desire is downright depressing and way too serious for its own good.
Georgina Spelvin (Bible! and Police Academy and Police Academy 3: Back in Training) stars as Frances, a sad and lonely madam who runs a cat house on a Hawaiian island during WWII. She caters to the sex starved servicemen who fight for our country by giving them a good time before they go off to war or while they are on shore leave.
Kitty Shayne plays Rita, a hooker who can’t get over the death of one of her johns who was killed in the war. She decides she needs to move on with her life, giving up the life of being a call girl. But Rita doesn’t realize that there are other servicemen on their way to see her specifically because she is one of the best lays any of these men have ever had.
As these men come on shore (and on tits and faces) they end up getting into a bar fight with some Army soldiers and…that’s it. No, I’m not kidding, the film just ends. So for 80 minutes, the viewer gets an overly melodramatic and depressing adult film that just abruptly ends. Sure, the women are good looking and there are plenty of sex scenes but what was the point of this? Was director Chinn trying to do a serious anti-war melodrama but with sex? I don’t know but it bored me to tears and just brought me and my pig down.
Now we’re talking! This Bob Chinn flick is just bizarre and almost nightmarish-like in the way it was both shot and edited. Was this Bob Chinn’s version of Behind the Green Door?
Three U.S. sailors are on their way back to the States and while they are on ship (the exact same sets as Tropic of Desire) they flip through some trade papers and magazines and read up on a cat house called Fantasy World, where everyone’s wishes and desires can come true.
These three goofballs go to Fantasy World (which is just a strip club in San Francisco) and are greeted by a guy in a top hat and dressed like a magician at a carnival. He tells these bozo’s about Fantasy World and advises them they won’t want to leave if they go inside. The men go in and witness a live sex show of a naked woman doing a snake. Yeah, the snake actually slithers its way in this woman’s snatch but before things get even more strange, some nude guy enters onto the stage and snake lady goes right down on his boa constrictor and eventually gets covered in his man-venom.
Then a master of ceremonies named Nigel whose dressed in a white suit and white top hat enters on stage. He introduces various nude women to have sex with these sailors. Within seconds, they are suddenly zapped into their own sexual fantasy. One guy gets to have a threesome with his wife, another guy gets to have sex with an Asian woman and finally the last guy gets a little S&M action. But that’s not all; three women who are out on the town also wind up at Fantasy World and they too get taken in for what ends up being the time of their lives when their sexual fantasies come true.
The film is edited rather oddly as there are scenes of double exposure, quick zooms, canted angles, and some strange creepy 70’s synthesizer score that seemed more in place with a John Carpenter film than with an adult film. The film also abruptly ends on an orgy sequence with Nigel talking to the viewer, inviting us to Fantasy World. Sign me up Nigel, where can I get a ticket?
Like Tropic of Desire, the picture quality does have some wear and tear to it, more so than Tropic of Desire. The movie was also shot with very few lights which just enhances the graininess of the picture anytime it gets dark. I feel it adds to the charm and style of such a strange 70’s sex film but I can see others complain that the picture quality is sub-par.
Both films do not have any special features but the original trailer with Fantasy World showing some shots that were not in the movie. I wish Vinegar could have added these deleted scenes in a special features selection but more than likely this footage may not exist anymore.
There you have it: two Bob Chinn films that were shot back to back. I preferred the much more bizarre and freaky Fantasy World than to the ultra dull and depressing Tropic of Desire.
Tropic of Desire Rating:
Fantasy World Rating: