After taking my first bite of the new PEEKARAMA disc from VINEGAR SYNDROME containing PRETTY PEACHES 2 (my review is right here) and 3 I had to get that taste right back in my mouth and wipe the nectar off my chin with another rabid visual chomping session! I’m not much of a review reader, but I’ve talked with a number of people that loved 2 and disliked 3 in the last day and I seem to not surprise myself when I found 3 to be the more interesting view of the duo of dirty on show! And that got me to thinking.
I won’t carry on with all the thoughtfulness since there are screens to share and hijinx to indulge in with the movie, but this was a fascinating experience. In 1984 I took my first real job as a Video Store clerk (can I get a HELL YEAH, STRIP MALL SHOP WITH AT LEAST 25 BLACK BOOKS OF FOLDED PORN SLEEVES???)–and porn was probably my first real “cult” cinema experience since I was lucky enough to be able to just take for granted all those horror VHS and being able to go to a theater to see Ninja Mission or Re-Animator (or even Nightmare City) with EASE at the multiplex. The whole “Grindhouse” term seems so 70s focus, but I was in the next generation of movie rat. I only walked into one porn film in a theater in my life (as a kid,I was supposed to be at Doc Savage!) so I really found so much of the porn to be a headspinning experience. Films like Deep Inside Vanessa Del Rio (Dark Bros!) and the horde of Lynns Amber and Ginger were everywhere.
These were definitely the FORBIDDEN and you could NEVER know from that folded piece of cardboard what you would see. A friend and I would just try to find the weirdest stuff mixed with the comfortable starlets, and I can vaguely remember Pretty Peaches 1. I believe this was even an uncut on VHS if that is possible version. So the name Alex de Renzy really stuck out. Porn was punk rock for a time, at least in a suburban basement where cheeze waffles and banana chocolate frappes were the stuff of cinematic survival. So many strange films, stuff like Dr. Penetration would be an outlier today in my opinion, and names like Taija Rae probably hold the same sway over me as others would think of Marilyn Chambers. It’s all about what I’m thinking of as the Porn Point Of Impact. This was MY vintage for sure–it was the culture around me, but in a way I could never have experienced it. It was an outsider artform made with the same tools that made the flicks shown on The Movie Loft. How do you take the same equipment and make Cafe Flesh and Hang ‘Em High??
Now I have a really broad cinematic experience and I find much of the 70s porn to be a lot of fun, a re-interpolation of memories I don’t have, but have lived vividly through other movies. Places I know existed, but never saw, shown in a sometimes grungy but somehow more real light. It’s amazing… and then I see Pretty Peaches 3 and can only mutter, “it is like creamy porn mac n’ cheese!” It’s not the oddest, or the best or the most raucous flick I’ve seen, but it’s the first film like this I’ve seen from Vinegar Syndrome and I really dug it.
Porn is something I’m feeling doesn’t get reviewed as much as it reviews the person writing about it. Attitudes, responses, turn ons and offs… and surely some nostalgia as well. Look at Pretty Peaches 3 compared even to part 2. It’s lost it’s sheen, but deRenzy keeps things still a bit edgy. The lingerie is different. The dialog is vintage 80s. And even the shades of lipstick… when they hit the flesh it just makes this viewer go, “yep!”
I hope that we get a lot more from restoration companies digging into the 80s and even some of the 90s (Party Doll A-Go-Go part 1 is easily a top 20 film of all time for me!)… But until then, time to enjoy some PRETTY PEACHES 3–THE QUEST!!
When we meet up with Peaches it turns out that AGAIN she is quite different. This Peaches is played by Keisha and and she is all softer angles, big hair and trying to put on an innocence that doesn’t quite match up with the more deft performance from Siobahn Hunter in the previous installment. She makes up for it with vigorous dedication to her craft however. Peaches lives with her mom in a trailer park (and I was glad to see Tracey Adams back in that role!) The production values take a monumental hop off a cliff to be sure, but things get rolling as naive Peaches is hanging out with a pal that tells her about some under the sheets action she let a suitor in on. Under the sheets? Well, cue up the weird dream!!
Yep, dudes in headbands in scenes shot under sheets that are supposed to represent her friends skirt. Everyone is in search of what is hidden there, and they definitely investigate it deeply. Kind of literal I guess, but why not? After Peaches wakes up she talks to mom who suggests she get to a doctor… and that would be DR. THUNDERPUSSY!!! Yes, it deserves 3 exclamation points. I’m no gynecologist, but the doc uses an absurd amount of lubrication for her exams, but(t) it all pays off with a comfortable patient. It’s a very odd scene, watch for the doctor’s bit with her gloves as she discards them.
During her post exam cigarette break the good purveyor of digital penetration suggests that Peaches hit the road in search of enlightenment (ah, the Pretty Peaches theme carries on in spirit), and speaking of spirit, she is looking for some light in her life. Maybe a sign from above? Well howzabout Jamie Gillis and Victoria Paris as the Soul Saving Snake Oil Salesmen From Above on the Bible Village Prayer Hour show?? That has to work out, right? It is fun watching Gillis emote on the show, he goes from holy rolling to nearly bawling from the power of the spirit. But come on, it’s Jamie Gillis, we know where this goes. Or do we???
Now, this would be all well and good, but it is a deRenzy Frenzy film and suddenly we have Gillis and Paris balling away as HELICOPTERS (or at least a bunch of strobing lights) and police surround them! It’s a rock solid porn scene and definitely strange. My favorite bit has to be Gillis hobbling out to surrender all flacid and with his pants still around his ankles. No matter the film, he always has those little touches and long strokes to please!
But hold onto your wet naps because there is more! Fifi Bardot appears in an awesome hat to bring Peaches to an enlightenment seminar, but Peaches figures it all out really fast. But look at the hat!
Yes, the COORS INTERNATIONAL BICYCLE CLASSIC HAT I always wanted!!!! Well, I’d take the top too, because it’s just 80s awesome.
And then things go up a few levels as Jack Baker appears to Peaches and brings her for some Chinese Dragon Loving!! You can’t help but recognize this guy, most will recall him in New Wave Hookers but for maximum brain carnage think of his turn as Sticks on Happy Days and you’ll get a clearer picture. Peaches gets PISSED here and decides to forge a new destiny…
And that destiny is truly awesome, a shining moment of porn oddity. But you must wait…as the smoke from the dragon says that we need to cover one of the best parts. Yes…it’s 80s time and that involves EXERCISE. While Peaches is on her quest, her mom and boyfriend just can’t keep their hands off each other. Poor dude is trying, but while the pair exercise, Tracey Adams unleashes what a man in a zebra thong can never resist… the leg stretch of cum hither dooooooooooooo ooo ooo mmmm. Witness.
Things go from jumping jacks to jack rabbit push ups AWFUL QUICK when Tracey whips out that stretching routine. Sorry Peaches…but you have a destiny! And here it is. After everything wraps up and she never finds sexual enlightenment, she realizes that EVERYONE SUCKS. And yes, she then rallies a theater full of homeless people to her cause. I shit you not. EPIC. FUCKING UNBELIEVABLE and EPIC!
Now, you can pick at the lesser visuals or even the lacey clothing and vintage late 80s trends, but this film right here is the comfort porn with a side salad of subtext and an ending that makes me want to cheer Alex deRenzy for ranging right out of the norm in this one and bringing it all to a conclusion that would ask the remaining theater goers if they were trying to jerk off or not, because it’s all a bunch of crap! That is our enlightenment. Just excellent.
Vinegar Syndrome’s presentation of PP3 isn’t on par with the previous, but it can’t be since the film was just shot cheaper and I can’t imagine it looking better (as the 2k scan from the 35mm Camera Negative is about the best you are going to get). A classic? Nope. But I enjoyed it and can happily admit that I’ll take the big hair and softer edges of the performers with ease and hope to revisit more 80s and beyond stuff, restored and playing at my own Peekarama!
And now… I have only one more question. Ladies? Was this EVER HOT?? Yeesh… joke about women’s fashion, but men’s hair, make up and flacid stances were just…this. No sexy!