Written by: George Pacheco on March 28th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1977
Director: Anthony Spinelli
Writer: Anthony Spinelli
Cast: John Leslie, Kristine Heller, Chris Cassidy, Delania Raffino
DVD Release Date: March 12th, 2013
Approximate Running Times: 70 Minutes (Expectations), 68 minutes (Confessions)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (Both Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (Both Films)
DVD Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Encoding: Region Free
Retail Price: $14.98
It’s been said that the plot heavy and technically involved filmmaking style of 1970s pornography creates movies no one wants to make, yet many want to watch.
The latest DVD double feature in Vinegar Syndrome’s “Drive In Collection” line offers credence to this statement, offering two separate adult films, both of which contain—in varying degrees—interesting camera work, lighting and an overall construction which stands as testament to the bygone era so epically depicted in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s classic Boogie Nights.
Confessions is the clear winner of the two films here in terms of quality, due primarily to the comedic timing and overall screen presence of its leads Kristine Heller and John Leslie, as they act out the tried and true story of a bored housewife seeking sexual fulfillment outside of her marriage. The lighting and framing of each scene assists greatly in lifting Confessions as something a bit more than a string of sex sequences loosely connected by plot, while the actual fornication benefits from the sort of lighthearted passion indicative of the consequence free 1970s.
Expectations is a bit more artsy by comparison, although substantially less enjoyable as a result of a threadbare plot and barely there performances from Chris Cassidy and Delania Raffino as two women who switch identities for a day. The film is nicely shot, however—lending credence to the art film aspirations of its director—and is short enough to pass the time, even if each scene tends to drag ever on, with substantially less enthusiasm on the part of its cast when compared to that of Confessions.
Still, this drive in double feature provides an intriguing view into the bygone “Golden Age” or porn; the sorts of films which would not, and indeed could not be made today.
Vinegar Syndrome presents both Confessions and Expectations in anamorphic widescreen presentations from archival 35mm prints which preserve their original aspect ratio. Picture and sound are exquisite considering the age and rarity of these films, with only a brief moment of damage visible early on in Expectations. There are no extras to speak of, but no matter: Confessions and Expectations are both fascinating snapshots into the 1970s adult film world.