Monday, June 26, 2017

Writer/Director David Beaird's My Chauffeur Tops Vinegar Syndrome's July 25 Blu-ray And DVD Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome announced its July 25 selections of new Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD film restorations this past week.   Topping the list is a new 2K restoration (35mm original camera negative) of writer/director David Beaird’s 1985 cult comedy, My Chauffeur.

It will be available as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

Crown International Pictures was noted during the 1970s and 80s as a hot little independent with a knack for delivering commercially-produced action, sexploitation and horror flicks that served their intended audience well.   There was an edge to them.

With My Chauffeur you had to be expecting a dingy sexploitation comedy, but instead filmmaker David Beaird knocked it out of the park with a film that is both sweet and hilariously funny (comedy is so hard, but when you get it right, everyone knows it).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
At the core of his film is a ditz named Casey, played by Deborah Foreman, who is every bit a “Valley Girl” (oh wait, Deborah Foreman is THE “Valley Girl” from Martha Coolidge’s 1983 film of the same name, so the casting was perfect) and she is down on her luck (big time) as the film opens.  She gets by as a dishwasher in a cheesy restaurant … now that’s low.

One day she gets a hand-delivered letter that speaks of a job offer at Brentwood Limousine Ltd. as a chauffeur.   Chauffeur?   She figures, what does she have to lose, so she shows up and the manager, a guy simply known as McBride (played by Howard Hesseman), is dumb-founded at the thought of this ditz being offered a job … and she’s a girl (well, woman) to boot.   It’s all men at Brentwood.

But the owner, zillionaire Robert Witherspoon (E.G. Marshall), confirms that he indeed offered Casey the job and McBride reluctantly has to go along with it.   That’s your set up … a bolt out of the blue changes Casey’s life.   But why?

McBride wants her gone, so he gives her nothing but shit assignments — which is just an    And even that has an OMG twist.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
excuse by filmmaker David Beaird to write some really funny bits before we get to the payoff at the end of the film … the why of it.

As for the driving assignments, these include Catfight (Leland Crooke), a rock star with zero discipline, who has a pension for sex and drugs, and who has never made a concert date on time (just remember, there are “20,000 points” for a blue woman with a blue dog); a bit with Penn and Tiller (Arab sheik and con man … a wild party that might be an international incident) and the crème-de-la-crème, an assignment to chauffeur Battle Witherspoon (Sam J. Jones) around, Robert’s son.  

My Chauffeur is a keeper … for the comedy bits and Deborah Foreman inspired performance!

Bonus features include two separate commentary tracks, one featuring filmmaker David Beaird and Catfight, actor Leland Crooke (a regular in Beaird’s films from the period — The Party Animal, Pass the Ammo) and the second with production assistant Jeff Mckay … plus there is a featurette with the film’s star, Deborah Foreman, titled “License to Drive.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also being released on July 25 as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack is adult filmmaker Henri Pachard’s 1984 shot-on-film gem, Matinee Idol.   It is getting a new 2K scan from the 35mm original camera negative.

This is an adult film within an adult film that features Jesie St. James, Kay Parker, Angel (making her screen debut), David F. Friedman and Herschel Savage.

Bonus nuggets include a vintage audio session with writer/actor/producer  David F. Friedman.
No release calendar is complete from Vinegar Syndrome without at least one new addition to the company’s popular “Peekarama” library of adult double and triple features on DVD.   On July 25 fans get not one, but two new “Peekarama” restorations!!!

Up first are two from filmmaker Shaun Costello — both are 2K restorations from 35mm archival elements.   Afternoon Delights (1980) is a series of bawdy tales set against the backdrop of “poker night,” where men relate their personal experiences with their ex-wives infidelity (each trying to top the other in the telling).   Vanessa Del Rio, Veronica Hart, Serena and Samantha Fox are among the cast members.

Teamed with Afternoon Delights is the 1978 film release of Slave of Pleasure, a detective mystery starring Roger Caine as McCord, a private eye hired to find Ellen Anselm (Roseanne Farrow), a missing wife … it turns out that Mr. Anselm’s (played by Costello) jealous girlfriend has had her kidnapped by a white slave ring!   

The other “Peekarama” DVD entry on July 25 from Vinegar Syndrome is a triple feature from filmmaker Ralph Ell — all from 1975.  These are: My Master My Love (with Darby Lloyd Raines), Teenage Masseuse and More (with Harry Reems).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

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