09th Aug2015

‘Anticipation / Flesh Pond’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

(1981, dir: Carlos Tobalina)

“Beyond Temptation…”


Joyce (Sheila Parks, Casanova II) and Jerry (Jesse Adams, Deep Rub) are newlyweds who, after some mind numbingly awkward conversation, make love for the first time. After breaking in the cheap motel bed (how romantic!), the pair talk about Jerry’s brother Steve (Joey Silvera, Carnal Haven), who apparently had problems with his parents when he announced that he was marrying a girl with a reputation by the name of Wendy (Karo Akamoto – in her only role). We also find out that he is set to be released from prison for accidentally killing (or so he thought, just watch, it makes sense) the lover of his cheating wife. Once released, the brothers are reunited and introduced to their new sisters-in-law. Whilst on a trip to what looks like the coldest beach ever, Joyce and Steve begin to have forbidden thoughts for each other. Actually, so does Jerry and Wendy! After some awkwardly narrated daydreaming from everyone involved, Jerry and Steve confide in each other and their mother that they love other women. Before they can act on it, they get invited to Serena’s party (seemingly playing herself, Pleasure Palace). Will their secrets be revealed? It’s sure going to get messy!

I’m just going to say it. This is possibly one of the dullest Tobalina flicks I have watched to date. The concept is great and has so much potential, but Lawrence Lance’s (thankfully his only writing credit) handling of the script is uninspired and clearly rushed. To say it’s paper thin is an offence to the trees that were sacrificed in order to make the napkin this tripe was written on. I won’t even comment on how iff target the humour is. The only real entertainment to be had with Anticipation is the slightly worse than usual acting throughout. Not even Joey Silvera, a performer who can act, seems to be giving his all. There’s some fairly standard sex throughout and yes, there’s the usual orgy which goes on for way too long. There are actual instant replays in the final sex scenes that add an odd charm to the film. Look out for some very awkward, bordering on incest action at the end of the film. The only genuine quality the film has is the music selection which I believe is comprised of original music by Jay Rando (Interlude of Lust) and library tracks selected by Matt Webber (his only credited role). That being said, as much as I love great library music, not even the dirty funky bass lines can save this ultimately forgettable Tobalina quickie.

(1982, dir: Carlos Tobalina)

“Consumed by pools of passion…”


Paco (Hermon Tobalina – in his only role) and his unnamed friend (Reggie Gunn, Lips) have just escaped from prison. They stumble upon a quint little brothel ran by a woman named Drea (Drea, Hot Buns) and decide to hold herself and her patrons hostage. Not only that, but they demand to be entertained whilst they work their next move. Festivities begin when Rita Ricardo (as herself, My Sinful Life) has some fun with her doll companion Johnny Rubber. After that kinky warm up, the action really begins with good old Tobalina fashioned group action, under the firm dictation of the increasingly frustrated Paco. Things are going great (I guess) until Paco’s friend gets caught in the crossfire, if you know what I mean? After A LOT of group bonding, Paco is forced to tell of his story to the group thanks to the persistent interest of one of the patrons, a magazine publisher (William Margold, Dracula Sucks). The convicts claim that they have been framed, to the mixed reaction of their captive audience. What’s in store for the potentially innocent escapees? Will everyone come out of this situation alive? You know what? It may not be worth it.

I said that Anticipation was one of Tobalina’s dullest. Well, this one has just taken that crown. Yes, this was quite frankly awful. Just like Anticipation, there is so much room for creativity. How can you mess up a scenario like this so badly!? You may find this one very hard to keep up with, not because of the complexity of the story, far from it! Everyone looks bored in this production. For such a hostile situation, everyone seems completely indifferent. I won’t lie, I had my finger on the fast forward button a lot. This is essentially one continuous group scene with some lazily added ‘plot’ sequences and recycling of footage. Yeah, this film is more than forgetful. If it wasn’t for one or two creative pieces of cinematography from Tobalina himself, the unfortunate money shot and library music, this would have been potentially the worst piece of golden age action I have seen. To Tobalina’s credit though, he knows how to sell a film and is quite frugal overall. I bet he made his money back easily on this one, shame it’s such a piece of crap.

This is probably the weakest Vinegar Syndrome release I have reviewed so far. I have a love / hate relationship with the films of Carlos Tobalina and these two films perfectly demonstrate why I can hate his work. It’s such a shame because these are great initial premises and there are versatile themes throughout. It’s just so uninspired in terms of execution. There’s only really enjoyment for those looking for unintended laughs, but that’s no real saving grace. Vinegar Syndrome are my favourite distribution company. Even though I found the films genuinely awful, I have no negative words to say about Vinegar Syndrome at all in terms of this release. They have dedicated a lot of time and resources releasing the filmography of Carlos Tobalina. Not every film can be a classic, it just appears that by chance, two of his weakest appear here. In terms of presentation, it’s another great job with only minor defects. It doesn’t help that these films were shot so badly. In terms of extras, we get theatrical trailers for both films. That I definitely approve of! Overall, this release is only really for completests and hardcore fans of Carlos Tobalina. If you’re not too familiar with Tobalina’s work, give this one a pass for now.

Anticipation and Flesh Pond are available now as a double feature DVD from Vinegar Syndrome.


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