Written by: George Pacheco on December 22nd, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1975 (The Infidel), USA, 1978 (Cadillac Named Desire), USA, 1976 (Artful Lover)
Directors: Charles Bodine (The Infidel), Oliver Nalreh (Cadillac Named Desire), John Hayes (Artful Lover)
Cast: Sharon Thorpe, Ric Lutze, Clair Dia
DVD Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 74 minutes (The Infidel), 70 minutes (Cadillac Named Desire), 57 minutes (Artful Lover)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio (All Films)
Rating: XXX (All Films)
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English (All Films)
DVD Release: Alpha Blue Archives
Region Encoding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Despite being advertised with 1976’s The Infidel as its headlining flick, it’s the 1978 film Cadillac Named Desire which turns out to be the most enjoyable selection here in this new triple feature from noted West Coast smut-peddlers Alpha Blue Archives.
The film-quietly written and directed by one Oliver Nalreh-is a funny and light-hearted adult take on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, if you will; the tale of a nebbish and unconfident office schlub (Lou Mann) who yearns for a life full of sexual excitement and adventure. As a result, Mann’s character of Arnold Broomsteader lives out his erotic fantasies via daydream, all the while lusting after the office secretary (Sharon Thorpe) and petitioning the business stud, Harve Prescott, played by Jesse McKinna. These daydreams are played out via triple X vignettes, and often at the expense of Mann’s character who can’t seemingly can’t even catch a break in his own fantasies.
Cadillac Named Desire succeeds on both the sexual and comedic fronts, boosted by the timing and acting abilities of Mann, McKinna and Thorpe, all three of whom deliver fine performances. Mann in particular is over the top and manic with his facial gesticulations and body language, while Thorpe looks beautiful throughout her scenes. The ancillary cast are significantly less memorable, but this is the Mann and Thorpe show, without a doubt. Highlights include a humorous gangster sequences, a mad scientist versus super hero goof fest and even a scene where Thorpe has sex upon the hood of a moving car in broad daylight!
The Infidel and Artrful Lover fare a bit less well compared to Cadillac, as both films play it relatively straight in a more soap opera based fashion, the first of which-released in 1976 as Baby Rosemary-follows a sexually troubled young lady (played by Thorpe) who is haunted by her feelings of parental abandonment. This leads to her frigid relationship with boyfriend John, played by adult film legend John Leslie, and eventual mental breakdown as she deals with her spiraling sexual hang ups.
Artful Lover fares a little better, thanks primarily to a dreamlike atmosphere and soft focus photography style reminiscent more of an art film than a sex film. This time the housewife role is filled by gorgeous Cheerleaders star Clair Dia, who is neglected by her husband (Ken Scudder), and turns to Thorpe for her dose of sapphic comfort. Dia’s obvious beauty and screen presence steal the show here, and the film suffers when she isn’t on screen, but Artful Lover does deliver a watchable experience overall, particularly for those who prefer the “couples” side of adult films.
This Alpha Blue Archives collection is worth a purchase, thanks to a bright and colorful print of Cadillac Named Desire. Print damage is present, but never distracting, while the other two films suffer from a significantly more distracting amount of damage, whether it’s the scratches of The Infidel or the muddled sound of Artful Lover . Extras are limited only to a “Retro Starlets Trailer.” Overall, this triple feature receives a solid presentation from Alpha Blue, when one considers how rare these films are, particularly for fans of Sharon Thorpe or Clair Dia.