Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama Review: Purely Physical (1982) / Cathouse Fever (1984)

PURELY PHYSICAL 
(dir. Chris Warfield, 1982)
“Surrender yourself to a few hours of forbidden pleasure…”The first film on this Chris Warfield (UP YOURS, TEENAGE SEDUCTRESS) double feature is Purely Physical which follows the story of Kathy, played by Laura Lazare (SUZIE SUPERSTAR, LOVE LETTERS). Kathy is studying journalism at college and applies for the job as a hotel receptionist so she can write about the human condition. Luckily for her, this is one seedy establishment with a whole host of deviants looking for a place to get down and dirty. It all starts off innocent enough with Jade Wong (PRISONER OF PARADISE, ORIENTAL MADAM) and Albert Bernard (in his only role) as a young couple wanting to make love for the first time. It gets a tad humorous when a travelling salesman with a passion for movie trivia played by Michael Morrison (MEATBALLS II, TABOO) takes a prostitute up to his room for some relaxing. As the scenes go on, it gets a bit more weirder with Joey Silvera (BABYLON BLUE, EASY ALICE) who is a guy too tired to do it with a pair of prostitutes who love each other. There are more kooky individuals who spend their time at the hotel for Kathy to ponder and write about. I like people watching too, maybe I should follow suit?
Overall, Purely Physical is actually quite a dull film in my opinion. It has a great concept, but it just didn’t work for me. The sex scenes (although high quality with some great talent on show) tended to drag on longer than they needed to. All the patrons to the hotel were interesting in their own right, maybe if there was a tiny bit more about these people instead of jumping straight to the action in the hotel room I would have enjoyed it a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, it was very well made with some rather nice cinematography, it just didn’t entertain me. Maybe the next film on this double feature will make up for it?
 
CATHOUSE FEVER
(dir. Chris Warfield, 1984)
“California coeds turn kinky for cash!”
 After some rather wonderful library music over the opening sequences, we are introduced to Becky, a young and attractive coed played by Becky Savage (SWEET CHEEKS, FOREPLAY) living in LA. We find out that she is uninterested in her life, especially when it comes to her sex life. Although sexless, she sure does have an imagination as we find out when she makes love with Herschel Savage (HONEYMOON HAVEN, DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE) who is playing as “Candle Light Lover” according to IMDB. After her rather prolonged (it will happen a lot in this one chaps) imaginary sex session, she wants something to change, so she does what every young girl like herself does… applies to be a prostitute at a Cathouse in Las Vegas! Once uprooted, she’s put to work straight away and her first customer is a cool cat by the name of Mickey Macho played by John Colt (LOVE NOTES, FEVER) who for some reason reminded me of Jarvis Cocker…. I hope that’s not just me! Becky is a natural at this game and is seemingly happy with her new life, new friendships with her madame Rhonda, played by none other than Rhonda Jo Petty (LUST WEEKEND, ‘F’) and her fellow colleagues Brandy and Debbie played by Gaylene Marie (SEX RINK, FEVER) and Debbie Truelove (WEEKEND COWGIRLS, INDIAN LADY)… Or is she?
 Essentially, the film is about Becky wanting a new life, getting a new life and then not wanting that life anymore. That’s not really a spoiler because you can see it a mile off and the plot is paper thin. What you have with Cathouse Fever is a very short story and lots of sex. Of course, that for some is not a bad thing and usually, I wouldn’t usually complain, but man are the sex scenes too long in places. I like classic porn most when there’s an actual film to go with the sex. The all over the place editing also hurts the film in that regard, it’s as if the sex came first and plot was purely filler which is a shame because it could have been a really interesting concept. It’s not all doom and gloom however ladies and gentlemen. There are some nice stand out moments in this film including a hot bath time lesbian romp, Rhonda showing us all how to deal with the pesky tax man and a genuinely funny running gag (pun almost intended) throughout which I will let you guys find out for yourself. The music was fun too, gotta love that 80’s synth that doesn’t really compliment the scenes but satisfies you nonetheless. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the film in parts, but just like Purely Physical I did something I rarely have to do, and that’s fast forward some of the sex scenes, strange I know.
 Overall, both films aren’t awful by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t want to speak bad of Warfield or those involved. I just didn’t feel entertained like I thought I would. Out of the two, Cathouse Fever is the stronger of the films. Both efforts have some genuinely interesting and entertaining characters and the scripts for both films were of high quality. I can definitely see some people would appreciate this release more than I did. If you want to collect as complete of a collection as possible, it’s not exactly a hard sell. If you are trying to get in to the genre, I would stay away for a while before picking it up. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal taste and this just left a light, sour taste in my mouth. Vinegar Syndrome have once again done a stellar job in terms of restoration. Included are trailers for both films, that aspect really pleases me. There are better double features released by Vinegar Syndrome and I have to applaud those hard working chaps (someones got to it right!?) for preserving and presenting these films.

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