Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 18th, 2007
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1976
Director: Bud Townsend
Writer: Anthony Fredericks
Cast: Kristine DeBelle, Terri Hall, Larry Gelman, Alan Novak, Bree Anthony
DVD released: December 18th, 2007
Approximate running time: 79 minutes (X Rated Version), 72 minutes (R Rated Version)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Subversive Cinema
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A librarian named Alice feels like she is growing up to fast. Her boyfriend is always thinking about sex and she longs for the simpler times of her long lost youth. One day a white rabbit appears out of nowhere who leads Alice on a journey of self and sexual discovery.
Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is one of the most revered children stories of all time and it is no wonder that there are more than a dozen film adaptations of the story to date. So it should not a surprise that a adult version of Alice in Wonderland would eventually be made. In 1976 Bill Osco producer of adult cinema classic like Flesh Gordon would embark on his own version, albeit a very adult one of Alice in Wonderland. An interesting little know fact about the original theatrical release of Bill Osco’s Alice in Wonderland, is that it was released by 20th century Fox and played as part of a double bill with Star Wars. There are three versions of this film, a R Rated soft-core sex romp and a full on hardcore XXX edit of the film. Subversive Cinema for this DVD edition of the film includes both the R Rated & XXX versions of the film. A third version a self imposed X Rated version has not been included with this release. To date it’s only home video release is via Media Home Video.
Those familiar with the source material will have no trouble following the plot of this film since it is very close content wise to the original story. The R Rated version of the film is a soft core romp. While the XXX version with full on hard core sex scenes deserves its rating. One thing that I found disappointing about the XXX version is that it is nearly half way through the film before any graphic moments occur and near the end of the film is a montage which contains at least half of the films hardcore moments. I wish they would have spread the hardcore scenes out more. Visually the films use of soft focus and natural lighting keeps in line with the plots fairytale origins.
The cast is more than adequate for an adult feature film with the films lead playboy playmate Kristen DeBell (Cheerleaders Wild Weekend) giving a solid performance as the naive Alice. Out of the two versions included I prefer the R rated version. Which plays more like an erotic comedy. Then the XXX version which at times feels ruff, especially when the hardcore footage is cut in and the quality being so different. Having seen many different versions of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ through the years. This version produced by Bill Osco, even though it has a few interesting moments. The end result is a flawed adaptation. That never fully achieves its lofty ambitions.
Subversive Cinema present both the soft-core and hardcore versions of Alice in Wonderland. Both in an anamorphic widescreen which frames the image at a aspect ratio of about 1.78:1. And of the two version the soft-core version looks best overall. The hardcore inserts for the XXX version are not in the best of shape and they stand out when compared to the rest of the transfer. Which for the most part has been given a through cleanup. There are no problems with artifacts, compression or edge enhancement. The transfer while not flawless still looks remarkable for a vintage adult film.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio for the most part has been cleaned up and sounds evenly balanced. Just don’t expect to be blown away by it limited range which at times lacks oomph.
The only extra feature included with this release is a first rate thirty seven minute documentary about the film titled ‘Alice in Wonderland: Back down the Rabbit Hole’, which includes interviews with actor Larry Gelman (The Rabbit), adult film archivist/activist Bill Margold and adult film actress Lena Ramone. All three participants do a excellent discussing the film and its legacy. Overall Subversive Cinema gives Bill Osco’s Alice in Wonderland its best DVD release to date.