"Flesh Pond" (0.5/5)
Two men escape from jail and push their way into an isolated swingers club. They're just in time before the participants start ravaging each other and instead of allowing the swingers to choose their partners, the escapees order the swinging patrons around, forcing their sexual hobbies on each other at gunpoint. While one of them stands guard, the other sheds his clothes and joins the fun. The swingers don't mind the commands and invite the armed two to join their orgasmic orgy that could evidently lead to their unexpected freedom.
Director Carlos Tobalina - under the pseudo, more Americanized name Troy Benny - helms a conventionally underdeveloped story with the pure purpose of appealing to any and all carnal desires and perverted pleasures. Part of the Tobalina directorial style involves just continuous and repetitive sexual encounters (which we'll see also in "Anticipation") and the involved actors and actresses mechanically work their way tediously through the, if any, script.
"Flesh Pond" - the first we'll cover under the Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama Big 2 Unit Show double feature - tries to engage in categorical fantasy with two supposedly bad, law-rebellious men orchestrating the swingers' already anxious appetites, but the sense of danger, the chance for thrill, evaporates as soon as the escapees hit the swinger pad. There's slight tension during the initial invasion, but the mood of the situation remains totally relaxed as if the gunpoint hold up was at a pot-smoking hippie commune ready to jump at making love and peace. The actors sell no motivation with their characters as the lumber through the dialogue just to start "porking" each other.
What I do find interesting about Tobalina's choice of actors to play the escapees are their races. The hispanic Herman Tobalina, who plays Paco and, yes, is related to director Carlos Tobalina, and Reggie Gunn, a powerful black man, are seemingly made out to be the law breaking delinquents who storm an all white swingers' club. Carlos Tobalina turns the tables on us with Paco's and his companion's intentions toward a more all inclusive welcoming white person sex party and all races are embraced with spread opened legs.
Some of Tobalina's scenes are remarkably hot and steamy such as with the all girl-on-girl scenes. When Paco orders all women to be on one lone couch, a party of five female swingers form a spider like figure of dangling legs and crooked arms with their heads (more specifically their tongues) in all the private part areas. Paco even commands them to form a daisy chain afterwards. However, Tobalina must not have had enough faith in the overall intercourse soundtrack as he dubs most of the romping scenes. An example would be with the all girl action as the soundtrack is comprised of a single man and woman making grunts and moans which doesn't fit the audio bill when viewing the all girl scene. Another annoyance with Tobalina lies with his adulterated editing. The male performers are edited to money shot right after they just came a few seconds earlier in the same orgy segment, making these seemingly ordinary hairy and thin actors super-soaker studs .
After watching "Flesh Pond," you'll immediately want to take a shower because this raunchy stag film from the early 80's has STD encroachment splayed all over it, but the sleaziness factor is fantastically heightened by Vinegar Syndrome's superb 2K scanning restoration. Just don't expect the story to take off or be well guided through the story either by Carlos Tobalina, whom makes a cameo appearance as a swinger just dropping by and encountering the two escapees without any anxeity.
Jerry Jackson marries his slender and spicy blonde girlfriend Joyce. Joyce inquires about his jailhouse brother Steve and after Jerry tells the woeful tale of how Steve landed in the big house, he informs his new wife that Steve will be getting out of the big house soon. To Jerry and Steve's parents, Steve's wife Wendy is a cheating, sex-crazed half-Asian, half-Latina hussy, but when Wendy hires a top-notch lawyer that ends up proving Steve's innocence of his crime, she becomes very welcomed in the Jackson house-hold. Everybody is one big happy family again until when Steve and Jerry glance upon each other wives for the first time and emotions become complicated when Jerry falls for Wendy, Steve falls for Joyce, Wendy falls for Jerry, and Joyce falls for Steve, creating many sexual desires and wet dreams.
The Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama double feature scores just a hair better with another Troy Benny (aka Carlos Tobalina) film "Anticipation." Compared to "Flesh Pond," the 1982 adult comedy embarks out into the world, being less claustrophobic, and somewhat accomplishes having three segments, or acts. "Flesh Pond" started with the catalyst and went to exposition for backstory. With "Anticipation," we're enticed with the set up of the four main characters, enthralled into a couple of lovers' confusion, and then concluded happily with an all out, hairy balls to the wall, filthy and dirty orgy.
However, with that being said, the characters don't strive to break from their monotone personalities in order to fulfill good story in between the screwing. Not even porn actor legend Joey Silvera (under the credit as Joey Civera) could spark life into these non-extra curricular scenes. Silvera plays Steve, the brother who went to jail on a charge of murder, and his brother Jerry is donned by fellow porn legend Jesse Adams. Sheila Parks and Karo Akamoto are Joyce and Wendy, but the two seemingly professional starlets don't have a long list of adult movie credits. Sheila Parks is only credited with two other films prior to co-starring in Tobalina's "Anticipation" while this film marks the only credit for the stunningly exotic and well-endowed Karo Akamoto.
Director Tobalina must have a fascination with the male money shot. Much like the awkward and unnatural back-to-back same male actor money shots in "Flesh Pond," Tobalina adds a bit of flare by implementing an "Instant Replay" feature. This feature sounds futuristic for the film's 1981 era, but it's basically an auto-pilot ploy during the tail end of the orgy scene where the six male performers have their close up money shots. Once the initial money shot has dripped all it's drippings, the scene pauses and the red text "Instant Replay" appears. The scene replays itself in another angle at a slow motion pace of the exact moment of eruption. The pointless deja vu serves as a good time filler to round "Anticipation" to a solid 82 minute film.
Video / Audio (3.5/5)
Vinegar Syndrome treats this release with respect by enhancing the widescreen 35mm films and restoring the negatives in 2K scanning. The results for both "Flesh Pond" and "Anticipation" are vibrantly colorful as they can be achieved and clear with hardly any flaws from the 35mm stock barring the occasional cigarette burn or thin grain.
The 2.0 audio on both films is solid as well. All the gripes are with edited in moaning and groaning inconsistencies of the dialogue soundtracks. There are occasional, but expected, faint pops and distortion through various ambient scenes in both films and Jay Rando's jazzy track is clear and well forefront of the moaning and groaing in "Anticipation."
Both films come with their original theatrical trailers.
The Carlos Tobalina double feature has mistakes; It's porn, generic porn, not an Oscar winning film, but does try to put forth to light racial inequalities at least in "Flesh Pond." Chalk the Vinegar Syndrome Peekarama Big 2 Unit Show up to being a vintage spank video at best with great quality from over three decades ago. Recommended rental for the older generation to relive their past lives as a free sex, free love generation.