Written by: George Pacheco on September 16th, 2014
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1976 (Cry for Cindy), USA, 1971 (Touch Me), USA, 1972 (Act of Confession)
Director: Anthony Spinelli (All Films)
Writers: Dean Rogers (Cry for Cindy), Michael Abel (Touch Me), Anthony Spinelli (Act of Confession)
Cast: Amber Hunt, John Leslie, Rene Bond, Ric Lutze, Cyndee Summers
DVD Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Approximate Running Times: 86 minutes (Cry for Cindy), 78 minutes (Touch Me), 65 minutes (Act of Confession)
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 (Cry for Cindy, Touch Me), 1.33:1 aspect ratio (Act of Confession)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (All Films)
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $22.98
This triple feature of adult films from the 1970s provides three varying sides of the triple X filmmaker known as Anthony Spinelli, a.k.a. Sam Weston.
The first, Cry for Cindy, is notable for its high, glossy production values as well as being shot as a softcore edit, presumably for the drive in and sexploitation markets. The film jumps back and forth in time, detailing the sad life and tragic suicide of its titular character, a high-class prostitute who is embroiled in drug running and corruption.
Cry for Cindy tells its story from Cindy’s perspective up to her death, as well as in flashback sequences from those gathered to attend her funeral services. Most of these scenes naturally take the opportunity to show Cindy-Hustler centerfold Amber Hunt in a fragile, affected performance-in various states of sexual congress with her co-stars, including future adult film superstar John Leslie, her credited as “John Leslie Dupree.”
These scenes are artfully shot, with a classical score which gives them a sense of class and erotica missing from most of the lower budgeted adult features of the time. The film isn’t entirely successful at keeping the viewer’s attention from start to finish, but it’s certainly an admirable attempt from Spinelli at creating something different and unique from the norm.
That “norm” is more in line with Touch Me, the second feature from Spinelli, and an earlier example of adult filmmaking where the simple storyline-here a sexual therapy group, heading by a quack psychologist-serves as a basic set up for fornication. The script is fairly talky, without saying much, with each couple spouting off their own sexual hangup to the group, while a pre-breast augmentation surgery Rene Bond plays against type as the shy, frigid housewife. Overall, Touch Me is forgettable and the least fulfilling film here in the set.
Finally, Act of Confession serves as Spinelli’s take on the “Nunsploitation” genre of sorts, a nod to Ken Russell’s arthouse epic The Devils while also evoking the work of Italy’s “Decamerotic” cycle of naughty nun and Canterbury tales. Here, Spinelli’s nun imagines her repressed sexual fantasies before submitting herself to the convent, all displayed for the audience in sexual flashback sequences. Again, Spinelli uses this opportunity to shoot Act of Confession in an artistic and lyrical style, utilizing music and mood to set up proper atmosphere, sometimes even at the risk of limiting the erotic elements present within the sex. It’s a bold move from a bold adult film auteur, serving as the most visually interesting film of the three.
Vinegar Syndrome presents Cry for Cindy and Touch Me in anamorphic widescreen presentations, while Act of Confession is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. All three of the films look great, particularly Touch Me, which was previously released as part of Alpha Blue Archives’ “Rene Bond Collection” in a scratchy, ugly looking print which appeared sourced from 16mm. Sound is universally solid here, as well, particularly on Cry for Cindy and its composed score. Additionally, Vinegar Syndrome includes the softcore cut of Cindy here as a bonus, making this triple feature a welcome addition to the label’s archives.