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Altar of Lust / Angel On Fire 
Written by: on March 27th, 2014

Theatrical Release Dates:
USA, 1971 (Altar of Lust), USA, 1974 (Angel On Fire)
Director: Roberta Findlay (Both Films)
Writer: Roberta Findlay (Both Films)
Cast: Erotica Lantern, C. Davis Smith, Suzy Mann, Harry Reems, Fred J. Lincoln (Altar of Lust), Darby Lloyd Rains, Jamie Gillis, Jennifer Jordan, Marc Stevens, Alan Marlow, Eric Edwards (Angel On Fire)

DVD Release Date: March 11th 2014
Approximate Running Times: 81 minutes (Altar of Lust), 75 minutes (Angel On Fire)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
Subtitles: N/A
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $17.98

Altar of Lust: The sexual history of a confused woman is recounted during a therapy session with Fred J. Lincoln (Last House on the Left). Outside of the Doris Wishman universe, it is rare to find a feature length conversation between two persons where their mouths never move; the voice over always accompanies a reaction shot. The therapy session soundtrack continues over the flashback scenes of critical moments in the patient’s sexual history, all simulated but featuring full frontal nudity.

The lead character of Vivica is played by Erotica Lantern, but her character is submissive almost to the state of catatonia. She doesn’t even have any lines as the entire movie was shot silent with the voice over by Roberta and Michael Findlay. Harry Reems (Forced Entry) is her boyfriend Don and it seems he’s lucked into a MFF threesome till he’s brushed off. Afterwards Vivica seems interested only in girls, which brings her to the psychiatrist for a ‘cure’. An extraneous scene between Don and a belly dancer (Arlana Blue of Bloodsucking Freaks and How to Score With Girls) suddenly becomes rather a bit more explicit than anything up to that point.

Angel On Fire (Angel Number 9): A chauvinistic pig dumps his pregnant girlfriend and is promptly struck by a VW bus. The driver, Marc Stevens (Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann), was not concentrating 100% on driving. Once in heaven (!) Stephen is sent back to Earth as a woman to experience a taste of the same. After coming about in the body of Darby Lloyd Rains (Abduction of an American Playgirl), Stephanie experiences various carnal pleasures before falling in love with Jamie Gillis. Gillis’ character here isn’t the misogynist he was in Winter Heat, but he’s still not a nice man.

This is a full-bore hardcore feature but as written, directed, and produced by Roberta Findlay it is better crafted than many of the era. Graphic close-ups are sparse with the focus on the performers / characters and not just their genitalia. The acting talent gathered here puts most other hardcore productions to shame, especially the lead performances of  Darby Lloyd Rains and Jamie Gillis. Eric Edwards (Abduction of an American Playgirl) as Angel 10 shows up just to comfort Angel 9.

The DVD:

Altar Of Lust is complete and uncut and sourced from the camera negative. It looks sensational. Angel On Fire is a bit rough at the reel changes, but is otherwise a very good print source. Both are presented in 1:85 anamorphic widescreen.

Another solid release in Vinegar Syndrome’s Peekarama series featuring [to date] well-made and ‘important’ adult features from the best available [existing?] sources. Altar Of Lust is a crossover film from the soft-core roughie to the verge of hard core. Angel Number 9 takes the plunge but is one of the foremost examples of ‘porno chic’.

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