18th Sep2015

‘My Sinful Life / Las Vegas Girls’ Review (Vinegar Syndrome)

by Mondo Squallido

MY SINFUL LIFE (1983)

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“School Girls By Day… Super Ladies Of The Night”

Ah, incest! One of the ultimate taboos. The world of porn has dealt with the subject a lot and continues to do so. Will Carlos Tobalina’s 1983 attempt stand up to the likes of Kirdy Stevon’s Taboo series? Judging by my experience with the work of Tobalina up to this point, I’m just going to say no…

Danielle (Lust Weekend) stars as Jill, a young girl who has recently moved in with her aunt after securing a place in college. Without real prompt or emotion, she recounts some of the truly horrific (yet, erotic) sexual acts put upon on her by the greasy mits of her adoptive parents Christine (Rita Ricardo, Girlfriends) and her husband Sebastian (Don Fernando, Oriental Madam). Even her brother Ron (Tom Byron, Tomboy) enjoyed some good old fashioned family fun! After rather some uninspired concern from her auntie, Jill retreats to her bedroom so she can be fresh and ready for her first day at college. She befriends Laurie (Brooke Fields, Summer Camp Girls), a classmate who moonlights as a prostitute to make a little extra money. This inspires young nymph Jill and she becomes a prostitute too. Whilst she’s working, she decides to use her sticky paycheck to track down her biological parents, maybe however, it would be better if she didn’t….

Social Justice Warriors may want to steer clear from this one. That’s actually a redundant statement as according to the likes of Love is the New Drug, it seems the world of porn is full of forced sexual slavery and mental abuse. I say those sensitive would be well advised to avoid this one because the theme of child abuse and incest is treated almost as a joke. It’s definitely a tongue in cheek approach to such a controversial subject and in all honesty, that’s the only real element of the film I enjoyed. It’s light hearted, yet unintentionally entertaining. Once again, Tobalina has a great theme to deal with, but ultimately pisses it away with a story that would give a plot written on a napkin a sense of Kubrick wonder. It’s just a boring film. Don’t get me wrong, the ‘action’ is of high quality, it even has fancy slow motion money shots, but I don’t know about you,I like my golden age smut to have story first, nitty gritty second. This is classic Tobalina cheapness, but slightly above average compared to some of his other filmography. Not even an appearance from Jamie Gillis (Dracula Sucks) can really save this one.

LAS VEGAS GIRLS (1983)

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“Their slots always play off!”

From overly casual incest, to the seedy strip joints of Las Vegas. Tobalina tries to offer us some potentially good, sleazy action.

Karen Hall (with Interlude of Lust her only other credit) stars as Joyce, a private detective who along with her partner Dan (Dan Boulder, Interlude of Lust also being his only credit), are contracted by a wealthy Texan oil baron and his gold digger wife (Liz Renay, Desperate Living) to find their runaway daughter Lynn (Brooke West, Champagne Orgy). The pair find themselves in the seedy underbelly of Las Vegas. With $5000 at their disposal and the promise of much more money when needed, they do the obvious thing and go undercover renting a luxury penthouse. It’s a hard life on the road! When hosting sex parties doesn’t quite do the trick, we get some (not quite) Hardcore styled interrogation from Dan. Will it be enough to find the runaway? One thing is for certain, this case is as sticky as it is expensive, even leading the pair to Mexico!

Las Vegas Girls is once again, a dull film with a great concept. There is really nothing for the cast to work on. Everyone looks quite bored, but at least they probably received a good paycheck to literally screw around for a few days. Aside from some really nice interior setups and footage of Vegas, I can’t really compliment this film at all. Sure, there’s sex in abundance, but I did find myself pressing that fast forward button a lot. I did appreciate the main crux of the story being told in almost noir styled inner narration, but there’s too little of that for my tastes. One thing that Tobalina does have going for him is his use of both library music and original songs. It’s not the worst Tobalina effort I have seen, but I know he is capable of doing much more. Oh well.

Overall, these films are nothing awful, but aren’t Tobalina’s greatest offerings. What I found most criminal about the films (and a lot of Tobalina’s work actually) is the fact that they both have great concepts that could have been utilised much more effectively. It’s a genuine shame. What can I say about his films that hasn’t been said before? Should I mention the dependance on dull group scenes? What about the waste of such performers such as Jamie Gillis, Blair Harris (Pretty Peaches) and Bill Margold? I feel that whenever I review a Carlos Tobalina flick, I tend to mention the same things because that the majority of his filmography feels like to me, an off target, purely for the money snorefest that is ultimately indistinguishable from the rest. As I have always said, I have a love / hate relationship with him. As much as his films tend to bore me, I do appreciate his often inappropriate approach to serious topics and his use of recycling footage and cutting corner. It’s pure unintentional enjoyment for me most of the time.
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Vinegar Syndrome have once again done a great job with this release. Both films are very nicely presented in both visual and audio form. Sure, the films themselves maybe utter tripe, but I have to commend Vinegar Syndrome’s commitment to releasing Tobalina’s filmography as fully as possible. I think its important to preserve and release cinema no matter what the quality. In terms of extras you get trailers for both films. All in all, this is a release for completists, fans of Tobalina and those interested in the history of golden age pornography. If you’re here for the actual action, there are some nice scenes here and there. Those looking for entertainment may want to skip on this release, but with the affordability of this release, you’re aren’t going to feel too let down.

Both films are available as a double feature DVD from Vinegar Syndrome as well as being available to stream through Exploitation.tv

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