Written by: George Pacheco on January 25th, 2018
BluRay released: January 1st, 2018
Approximate running times: 101 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $39.98
Dixie Ray Hollywood Star may be one of the final cinematic gasps of the golden age X rated film as proper, full length narrative feature, complete with costuming, production design and trained dramatic acting. If this notion was indeed true, however, then there are few better ways to go out then this fine feature, directed by one of the industry’s most talented auteurs, Sam Weston a.k.a. Anthony Spinelli (SexWorld).
One of the best compliments payable to Dixie Ray Hollywood Star is that the film possesses the appearance of an older feature, and this isn’t only due to the decision of Spinelli and scriptwriter Dean Rogers to set Dixie Ray in World War II America. Rather, there’s a pervasive sensibility of class and care leant to this production, from the bottom up, in nearly all aspects. There’s obvious attention paid to exuding the vibe of a classic film noir detective mystery here, as Spinelli and Co. detail the exploits of one private dick by the name of Nick Popadopalis, played with charming ease by noted adult film star John Leslie. The clothes, music and language fit the mood very well, while the acting of Leslie and his costars is universally solid, with every performer giving their all to deliver the best quality product. Hell, the legendary actor Cameron Mitchell even shows up in a small role as a police lieutenant, although the star would later claim that he had no idea he was performing in an adult motion picture.
This is due to Dixie Ray Hollywood Star receiving two separate cuts, the titular X rated cut, as well as a different, R rated cut, which subtracts the sexual content and focuses more upon the mystery. This cut goes by the title of It’s Called Murder, Baby and actually works far better as a feature film than Dixie Ray, the latter needing to shift its focus every so often in order to hem in the required sexual congress. It must be said, however, that both versions achieve their desired goals, with the sex scenes in Dixie Ray going all out with a level of eroticism rare even for its time. The lack of music during these scenes only enhances the performances laid there on the screen, in particular a scene late in the film with Leslie, Samantha Fox and the iconic, beautiful Veronica Hart.
The fact that both cuts are so imminently watchable is testament to the talent of Spinelli, his cast and crew, for both Dixie Ray Hollywood Star and It’s Called Murder, Baby are some of the best cinematic works the genre has to offer, particularly during this time in the early eighties, when videotape was already threatening and changing the landscape of adult cinema in the United States.
Note: The Blu-ray portion of this review was written by Cliff Wood
To celebrate their fifth anniversary, Vinegar Syndrome are releasing limited edition 2-disc Blu-ray collections, that have five films that they had previously released only on DVD.
The five films are spread over two 50 GB dual layer Blu-ray’s. All of the films are presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen and all of the film’s have been scanned and restored in 2k from various film elements. And all five films are given solid audio / video presentations.
Though, English SDH subtitles are listed, on this release’s back cover. It should be noted that this release does not come with English SDH subtitles.
Disc A (44.8 GB), contains the following films, Dixie Ray Hollywood Star and The Ribald Tales of Canterbury.
The focus of this release are the films and none of the extra content from these films previous releases have been carried over for this release.
Overall another exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.
Note: This set is limited to 2,500 units.