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Peekarama: Robin's Nest/Bella

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    Ian Jane
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  • Peekarama: Robin's Nest/Bella



    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: January 19th, 2016.
    Director: Victor Bertini, Alexander Kubelka
    Cast: Eric Edwards, Arcadia Lake, Tracey Adams, Samatha Fox
    Year: 1980/1979
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movies:

    Vinegar Syndrome team up a pair of vintage smut films starring one time couple Eric Edwards and Arcadia Lake! Here's how it all goes down…

    Robin's Nest:

    Our first feature tells the story of Robin (Arcadia Lake) and Alan (Eric Edwards), a couple of newlyweds who, after only cohabitating for a mere six months, find that the spark is beginning to dwindle very quickly. And so, not knowing what else to do, they decide to try out a trial separation.

    They're sad, as they do care about one another, but not so sad that they're not going to head out and see what they can see. Robin finds comfort in the arms of another woman named Glenna (Robin Byrd) in a goofy lesbian encounter while Alan sort of slums it around the pad, trying to figure out what to do with himself. While this is going on, a private detective named Larry Hickman (Paul Thomas) is getting laid and working a case spying on a foxy gal named Mrs. G (Marcia Minor) who may be turning tricks or may just really like boning strangers.

    As it turns out, Hickman and Alan are old buddies and after they reconnect at a dive bar one night, they head back to Hickman's swinging bachelor pad for a night of fun with Mrs. G and another gal named Honey (Crystal Day). All is not well for Robin, however, when she becomes jealous of Glenna's 'friend' Lorraine (Samantha Fox), whose last name just happens to be Hickman - that's right, Larry's lady! Before it's all over we'll learn just what each of these respective couples is really up to, see Lake snort some coke (the drug that would take her life a few years later) and see a whole lot of lesbian sex of middling to above average quality.

    This is alright for a porno soap opera. When the cast isn't fucking they're working through the dramatics of the script reasonably well. Edwards and Thomas can act and Lake isn't bad here either (she certainly looks great). The rest of the cast? Meh, kind of forgettable but far from awful. The story is no great shakes, however, so even if the production values are decent enough the movie just really isn't that memorable despite a solid cast in their prime.

    Bella:

    Up next is the more interesting of the two films on this disc, the 1980 film Bella. The story revolves around the titular teenage girl (played by Tracy Adams, but not TracEy Adams who you'll recognize from films like Pretty Peaches 2) who, when the movie begins, spies on her mom, Susan (Diana Sloan), screwing the neighbor, Tom (Eric Edwards), in his basement on a dirty mattress while her dad, Bob (Jack Teague), is away on business.

    Dad comes home the next day and gives mom a good old (emphasis on old) banging, while innocent little Bella is in the next room, listening in and rubbing herself off, lying naked and waiting underneath the KISS posters that adorn the walls of her bedroom! From here she decides that she wants a piece of Tom for herself and so she heads over to his place and talks him into having sex with her. Of course, after he obliges, Bella decides that they're meant to be and that she's in love with him and he's in love with her. Really though, Tom just wants to bone her mom again - but any time he tries to do this, she gets in the way, culminating in scene where she shows up at his place, ties him to a chair at gunpoint and makes him watch as she has super hot lesbian sex with her friend Patty (Arcadia Lake).

    Will Tom get busted for putting his willy in young Bella's hoo-haw? Well Bella win his heart or while her MILFy mom have her way? Will Dad ever figure out why the women in his life are going over the to the neighbor's place so often? Where did Arcadia Lake go after that awesome lesbian sex scene?

    Most, though not all, of those questions are answered by the time the movie is over. This one takes a little bit of time to get going but once it hits the middle of the film, it takes some interesting twists and turns. This is a well made hardcore drama with the small cast all doing fine work here. The sex scenes are generally erotic (though the tryst between Sloane and Teague isn't one you'll likely want to revisit - age seems to have caught up with Jack by this point!) and the storyline is handled with enough effective melodrama to make Joe Sarno green with envy. It works. The score is solid (though playing Wagner's Ride Of The Valkyries over the final sex scene is way over the top) but for the most part it complements the action nicely. The sex scenes play off of the drama here, they never feel forced or out of place and while it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how this is all going to end, when it gets there you're left satisfied. This one seems unjustly neglected in the annals of vintage smut, it's a slow burn to be sure but that's no reason anyone with an interest in the more serious side of seventies/early eighties smut shouldn't check it out.

    The cast are good here too. Edwards is his typically reliable self with Ms. Adams is not only quite lovely but entirely convincing in her role. Her scene with Lake is hot stuff indeed while Diana Sloan does absolutely fine in her part as the hot and horny suburban housewife.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Both movies are presented in 1.85.1 widescreen transferred from the 35mm negatives, and for the most part both movies look very good on this DVD. Some small splices and scratches pop up here and there as well as some minor specks but detail is good and colors look excellent. What we wind up with here are some nice, film-like transfers taken from materials that were culled from less than perfect sources but which still look very nice. Texture is strong throughout and there are no issues with compression artifacts, noise reduction or edge enhancement.

    Both films get Dolby Digital Mono soundtracks, in English and without any optional language options or subtitles provided. Clarity of each mix is fine. There are some scenes that sound a bit flat but that's obviously to do with the original recording. The scores sound good here and the levels are properly balanced. Any hiss or distortion that does creep into the mix is minor and not particularly distracting while the dialogue is consistently easy to understand and follow.

    Aside from a static menu offering chapter selection, we get a theatrical trailer for Bella and an interview with Carter Stevens that runs just over eight minutes. Here Stevens talks about how he wound up shooting this film, how he had no idea who the film's director was, how Bill Lustig (the production manager of Bella) called him to bring him on board, who cast who in the film, his background in camerawork, his thoughts on the cast and more.

    The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome's DVD double feature release of Robin's Nest and Bella is a good one. The first feature might be a bit disposable but it's got Arcadia Lake in her prime, so really, you're not going to complain. The second picture is the better of the two, a well made if melodramatic sexy soap opera that easily holds your attention. As is the norm with VS releases, the presentation is really strong and the interview with Stevens adds some value and provides some historical context. Good stuff!








































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