11th Dec2014

‘Tropic of Desire / Fantasy World’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

Tropic of Desire

tropic-desire

It’s approaching the end of World War 2. Georgina Spelvin (The Devil in Miss Jones) plays as Frances, a madam of a small tropical island whore house. She caters for the constant stream of American sailors. One day Rita, one of her girls played by Kitty Shane (Vista Valley PTA) finds out that the love of her life has died in battle. Dsitraught, she heads back to San Fransisco. Soon after leaving, a trio of marines returning after a tour on the ocean arrive to get some downtime. One of them is Gus played by Ken Scudder (Hotline, Getting Off), a sailor whose heart belongs to Rita. He takes the news of her departure terribly and drowns his sorrows at the bar. It’s not all doom and gloom though as the other two, Jack and Phil played by Jon Martin (The Jade Pussycat) and Blair Harris (Expectations, Over Easy) get their down time just as planned. More people show up, including another admirer of Rita, a British pilot by the name of Malcolm, played by James Price, (who only appeared in two other films, Fantasyworld and Blonde Fire). Rita’s replacement soon arrives (that was quick!), a girl by the name of June, played by Dorothy LeMay (Blind Fury, Taboo) and Frances gets to try out her new employee for herself. As she’s doing this, some of the others decide to watch a film that, let’s just say, packs a punch… literally. As the folks are having fun, the news breaks that the war is over and the film ends on a very positive and light hearted note.

Overall, Tropic of Desire is a fun little piece of melodrama with a touch of slapstick comedy thrown in. The set design, costumes and use of period music work really well together and don’t feel cheap. Speaking of aesthetics, the female cast is great. We get see the likes of Susan Nero (Daisy May, Exposed) whose warheads get some nice up close appreciation as well as Mandy Ashley (Hot Lunch, Chopstix), Jessie St. James (Talk Dirty To Me, Hot Legs) and Marlene Munroe (Chain Letter) to name but a few. The sex is solid throughout as you would expect and it doesn’t detract from the simple, yet effective story. Admittedly, although I enjoyed it, I don’t think I could watch over and over. There’s something about stuff set around the World War 2 era that I find dull. That is a shame because like I said, this is a very solid production and a fine entry in to Bob Chinn’s canon. Definitely worth a watch.

Fantasy World

fantasy-world

Jon Martin, Michael Morrison (Crime Lords, Meatballs Part 2) and Jesse Adams (Blue Heat) star as Cal, Frank and Sloan, a trio of sailors who are returning to San Fransisco after 8 months at sea, and they’re looking to get some downtime. After looking through the classifieds in Screw Magazine, (miss you Al!) and deciding not to visit The House of Chin (good one!) for a massage, they decide to pay a visit to a place called Fantasy World. Fantasy World is a back alley joint that’s off the beaten track, has a shitty sign, but allows audience participation and offers a money back guarantee. Can’t beat that huh? Seems that the sailors aren’t the only ones looking for a good time as a trio of young and attractive telephone operators played by Jessie St. James, Laurien Dominique (The Ecstasy Girls, Easy) and Sharon Kane (Babylon Blue, Summer School) are also looking for a bit of spice, and that’s even after they have already eaten Mexican food! What happens at Fantasy World I hear you say? Whatever your heart desires of course! It starts off nice slow with an Adam, Eve and snake show (I’d enjoy the Bible more if that had happened) and slowly gets a little bit stranger there on in. One of my favourite segments has to be the trio of penises scene, you’ll know when you see it! Our sailors and phone operators sure do get their $25 worth! Desires are realised and fulfilled throughout, and boy are that evenings patrons a kinky bunch! There’s even a nice bit of musical serenading from none other than Paul Thomas (Dracula Sucks). Of course, the ULTIMATE desire is realised at the end… You’ll have to discover that for yourself!

Fantasy World has a great concept, but I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. That’s not to say it’s a bad film. It may have a few dull moments, but overall, it’s a decent watch. It’s well acted, funny when it wants to be and surreal when it needs to be. Chinn reuses some of the same actors and sets from Tropic of Desire, but it never feels cheap. The sex on screen is great and varied so all your tastes are covered with this one. James Price plays as the charming, yet mysterious Nigel, the clubs MC. He’s perfect at setting the tone for the vignettes to come. The film has its charm and is an improvement to Tropic of Desire. The film’s pacing and narrative structure work perfectly for the theme, it’s just overall, a better film and boasts some great scenes of San Fran’s night life, which always a plus for me.
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Just like the previously reviewed Cathouse Fever and Purely Physical Peekarama release, I didn’t quite enjoy the films as much as I wanted to. That being said, no one can deny that Bob Chinn was a true master at not only the genre, but the art of filmmaking. Both films are brilliantly shot, written, directed and acted. These are high quality productions that deserve to preserved and presented in the way that they are. I sound like a broken record when I say Vinegar Syndrome have done a wonderful job. The film selection for the double feature work very well together as companion pieces and I can see many Chinn fans being majorly happy with this release. They may not be what I would consider Chinn’s finest, but that’s just me! Do yourselves a favour and pick this release up. If you are new to Chinn’s work, then this double feature is a good entry point in to his filmography.

You can buy the release directly from Vinegar Syndrome here as well as your favourite online retailers.

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