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Climax! / Wet Dreams (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Climax! / Wet Dreams (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: April 11th, 2023.
    Director: Henri Pachard
    Cast: Kelly Nichols, Rhonda Jo Petty, Cody Nicole, Tish Ambrose, Eric Edwards, Taija Rae, Sharon Kane
    Year: 1985
    Purchase From Amazon

    Climax! / Wet Dreams – Movie Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome’s Peekrama sub-label offers up two films from Roberta Findlay and Walter Sear's production company, Reeltime, directed by Henri Pachard with their latest double feature Blu-ray release.

    Climax!

    The movie opens in Atlantic City where Charlie Bartlett (Eric Edwards) is involved in a high stakes poker game and losing quite badly at that. When he runs out of things to wager, he offers his opponent, Doc (Joey Silvera), a night of sex with his wife, Ann (Cody Nicole), in lieu of cash. Doc accepts the bet, and promptly wins the hand. While Charlie is off doing this thing, Ann is sleeping around on him. When Charlie loses the hand, he finds solace in a three-way with a pair of prostitutes (Renee Summers and Rhonda Jo Petty).

    When Ann learns of the bargain that her husband made, she is, quite understandably despite her philandering ways, not happy with him at all. Through a series of twists and turns, this plot starts to weave into a subplot involving a psychiatrist named Dr. Howard Elliott (George Payne) who is messing around on his wife (Kelly Nichols) with some of his patients.

    When Doc finally decides to collect on his debt, things get interesting.

    Although hardly the most realistic story ever told, Climax! is at least a fairly intriguing one. The film benefits from a strong cast (Taija Rae, who looks fantastic in this movie, and Tish Ambrose also have decent supporting roles here), with the principal players all more than capable of handling the dramatic moments in the film with fairly convincing performances. The sex scenes are also decent – well shot, performed with a bit of enthusiasm and believability. Silvera steals the show here, playing the story’s villain really well.

    The movie’s pacing is decent, if imperfect, with things taking a bit too long to get started but the second half of the film pays off with some really fun twists and turns.

    Wet Dreams:

    The second film sees a bored housewife named Jeannie (Cody Nicole) in bed with her husband, Ralph (Eric Edwards), trying his best to satisfy her but it just isn’t working for her. The next day, she heads to a restaurant to meet her friend Sue (Renee Summers), a considerably more promiscuous woman who has no problem letting her mind wander when it comes to sexual fantasies. In fact, Sue lets Jeannie know that she’s used her very vivid fantasy life to compensate for some of her own similar problems in the boudoir.

    With a little bit of coaching from Sue, Jeannie starts having fantasies about all manner of exploits, including a three-way with sue and a waiter (Joe Santini), before then setting out for some real life sexual adventures with some dude at a bar (Joey Silvera) and a dishwasher repairman (George Payne), who recently got it on with a sexy schoolgirl played by Taija Rae.

    Shot back to back with Climax! using pretty much entirely the same cast, this second film lacks the creativity of the first movie in its plot but again the cast is solid even if most of the sex is pretty uninspired (the scene with Taija Rae is the best in the movie by quite a margin but that could just be personal preference showing!). The cinematography is nice and the production values are decent but there really isn’t much about this one to set it apart from the pack.

    Climax! / Wet Dreams – Blu-ray Review:

    Vinegar Syndrome brings Climax! and Wet Dreams to Blu-ray newly scanned and restored in 2k from their original 35m negative and framed at 1.85.1 widescreen. The transfers are good ones, offering up the movies in very nice shape and with good depth and detail. Colors look great and skin tones are always lifelike and accurate. The movies always look like proper film transfers, showing no obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement, and the images are free of compression artifacts or crush. There’s some minor print damage here and there in the form of the occasional small white speck, but that’s about it, the images are otherwise very clean, aside from the natural film grain that you’d want preserved here.

    The only audio option for the disc is a 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono track in the film’s original language. Optional English SDH subtitles are included, though there are a few typos in them. Audio quality is fine. The levels are generally well-balanced and the dialogue easy to follow and understand. There aren’t any problems with hiss, distortion or sibilance, the track sounds pretty clean.

    And audio commentary track for Climax! with producer Roberta Findlay, moderated by film historian Casey Scott, is the main extra on the first movie. She talks about how she actually directed the film, shooting whatever she needed to shoot rather than using stock footage, memories of some of the cast and crew members from the production, other adult film productions she was involved with around this time same time, some of the locations used for the movie, why certain camera angles were used for certain scenes, the sloppy record keeping that was in place for her production company, how Cody Nicole wanted to know what format the movie was being shot on, working with Caballero and how they were a surprisingly honest company and plenty more. At times this is more just a look back at the adult film industry of the era and her experiences working in it rather than a specific talk about Climax! itself, but that doesn't make it any less interesting to listen to.

    The disc also includes an original theatrical trailer for Wet Dreams as well as menus and chapter selection options.

    Climax! / Wet Dreams - The Final Word:

    Vinegar Syndrome’ Blu-ray release of Climax! / Wet Dreams offers up two vintage adult films, one considerably better than the other, in very nice looking presentations and with an interesting commentary track over the first feature as its main extra. If not an essential release, worth picking up for the quality of the first movie and Findlay’s thoughts on it.


    Click on the images below, or right click and open in a new window, for full sized Climax! / Wet Dreams Blu-ray screen caps!

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