Written by: Cliff Wood on November 17th, 2006
Theatrical Release Dates: USA, 1951-1956
Director: Irving Klaw
Cast: Bettie Page and other Glamour Models
DVD released: October 31st, 2006
Approximate running time: 270 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
DVD Release: Cult Epics
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $59.95
Irving Klaw was a photographer and filmmaker who rose to prominence during the 1950’s because of his glamour girl’s pin ups and fetish/bondage shorts features. His two most famous films are Varietease and Teaserama. Both films featured his most famous model Bettie Page. Klaw by the end of the 1950’s he would leave fetish/bondage business after being investigated by the United States government who essentially labeled him a pornographer. Reportedly while he was being investigated by the government Klaw destroyed about 80% of his negatives to avoid jail time. The only surviving images and films that remain today are because Paula Klaw secretly hide some of Irving’s best images/films.
The most accessible volume include on this set is the first volume which contains a total of sixteen short film all which star pin up goddess Bettie Page. These various shorts see Bettie Page is various lingerie outfits as she vamps it up for the cameras. The second volume and in many ways the most entertaining volume in the set is titled The Wrestling Films. This volume also includes sixteen short films in which a wide variety of beautiful ladies roll around and battle for supremacy. This volume is also interesting for the fact that back when it was made women’s role in wrestling was not what is has now become in recent years. In fact, just a few years ago, during one of the main wrestling events they had women squaring off in their lingerie just like these shorts.
The Third volume is the most risqué and it is titled The Fetish Films. This volume contains a total of twenty-one short films. These shorts while daring for their time are tame when compared to the adult content currently being produced for the masses. The Fourth Volume is the least interesting of the lot and it is titled The Dance Films. This volume includes fifteen short films of pretty ladies dancing the night away. All the ladies are dressed in sexy lingerie as they show off their dance skills.
Cult Epics previously released Bettie Page: Bondage Queen and Bettie Page: Pin Up Queen which contains all of Irving Klaw’s collaborations with Bettie Page including Varietease and Teaserama. These two releases along with this collection of Irving Klaw’s short films are treasure troves of vintage erotica that now can be preserved and seen for future generations thanks in part to these first class DVD releases form Cult Epics.
All of the shorts included in the Irving Klaw Classics collection are presented in their original full frame aspect ratios. The quality of each short varies due to these shorts low budget nature and the fact that they were all shot on 8mm film over fifty years ago. There is print damage and faded prints that lack detail still the overall quality is more then watch able. Overall considering the rarity of these shorts it is amazing that they are even still available and any flaws present in the final product while noticeable never take away form enjoying these shorts.
All the shorts are virtually silent with 1950’s Rock N’ Roll, Jazz Swing, Lounge Music and Big Band scores as the only sound playing during them. They are all presented in a Dolby Digital mono and the soundtracks are great shape as they are free of any distortion or any other sound defects.
This box set comes with for volumes of Irving Klaw’s short films with each volume broken down into The Bettie Page Films, The Wrestling Films, The Fetish Films and The Dance Films. Each volume also comes with a handful of additional short films included as extras and these where also directed by Irving Klaw.
Fans of classic pin up girls will want to pick up this excellent set that contains a wide cross section of highly influential films directed by one of adult cinema first auteur’s Irving Klaw.