The Film (5/5)
On a gloriously bright and sunny for Dan, a dockhand, who just went on lunch break, life couldn’t be any better. That’s until promiscuous high school girl Priscilla strolled along in his path, flirtatiously flaunting her sexual innocence that attracts the tall, muscular statured dockhand like a moth to a flame. Dan’s good day turns for the worst when Priscilla’s mother and an officer of the law catches them passionately entangled and the officer injures Dan, falling into the river, and left for dead. When Dan washes up on shore, two women discover his battered body, clean him and his pipes real good, and recommend he lay low at an all-male brothel known by as the Training Camp. The brothel owner, known only as The Champ, recruits Dan to be a high end escort for a buffet of wealthy women who seek to exploit his manhood. Just as Dan becomes accustomed to being used and abused, loving nearly all of his stint at the Training Camp, a brothel regular, known as the “nutcracker,” might endanger his newfound calling.
Before being Rex Borsky, a pseudonym for a beaconed hallmark director of straight to video anal films through the meatiest portion of the 1990s, he was director Alex deRenzy who produced a handful of pornographic documentaries and who was a stylishly raconteur of Golden Age, potpourri porn. One of Alex deRenzy’s more popular, and more controversial, narrative films is the 1977 “Babyface,” a confessed predatory and exploitive, yet obviously satirical, hardcore feature that’s also very freely expressive in sexuality by being not constricted to one type of “bow chicka bow wow” scene from a versatile script by John Mulligan. Bred to entice, “Babyface’s” engineered high school starlet was well fabricated for the attributes of a fresh, young face, petite breasts, and a bald vagina that starkly contrasts against the lush bush sported by the rest of the performers.
Dan Roberts stars as the focal dockhand worker in Roberts' only credited role. The rather large, in height and in endowment, Roberts has a James Bond villain appeal, similar to the square jawed Richard Kiel, but Roberts clunky stumbling through story and sex scenes dilute potency that's nowhere near a formidable character that's going to pound town with some of the industry's best talent. Fellow male co-stars Paul Thomas ("China and Silk," "Hot Legs") and Joey Silvera ("Oui, Girls", "Anticipation"), both of whom are still young in their careers in 1977, adapt to their respective roles as Jeff and Roger. Before his eyes became extreme lazy, Thomas rams his domineering one-eyed monster into the industry's proclaimed first black porn star, Desiree West, that turns into a hot threesome with Amber Hunt. Personally, Silvera has been a industry favorite with his quirky approach toward scenes in conjunction with his small and scrawny build. Point in case, deRenzy pairs a good natured Silvera with a curvy, BBW Carla Hardwood in a roleplaying scenario where Silvera pretends to be a high school basketball player and indulges Hardwood's character who longs to score with young boys like her, infamously screened, handsome onscreen son.
The female talent spares no expense with an awesome lineup that include Dan Roberts' rescuers and threesome hippies Angela Haze and a very tight bodied Linda Wong ("Oriental Baby Sitter") and also Lynn Cuddles Malone (as Lyn Malone) in her sole performance, pulling off the hairless 15-year-old teen who uncomfortably frolics with a towering Dan Roberts and then Malone's petite slit suddenly stuffed in a just because double team scene with Paul Thomas and Joey Silvera. Roberts continues laying "Babyface's" actresses with a hot bodied Sandy Pinney, as a tomboy racecar driver, in a disappointing, unenergetic moment of body sweat and sadomasochism that's completely wasted, but then the flick regains control in an all out gangbang in a sex swing with Kristine Heller as a hot shot model looking to score the record amount of cocks in San Francisco. Heller's fantastic long scene, including the wangs of other male studs such as Turk Lyons, Ken Scudder, and the late John Leslie, starts small and builds toward something that can only be described as being many tools in one loose box. Then, there's Molly Seagrim as Priscilla's mother. Seagrim's performance is unforgettable as a troubled mother on the hunt for castrating revenge! Her whole happy homemaker fashion dastardly becomes erotically stimulating when she engulfs the entire length of Dan Roberts in plastic wrap and has her way with him before attempted to slice and dice his man bits.
"Babyface" is a charming farce that's loose with love and strong in depravity from Alex deRenzy. The director exploits every nook and cranny from his roster of talent while also providing free press for his prior cult productions "Femmes de Sade" (1976) and "The Pleasure Masters: Kikko & Lil" (1974) with posters in the backdrop. There's a bit of something for every adult film enthusiast who gets sticky with genres that include high school girls, interracial, gangbangs, and BDSM that are well versed in this thought to be lost notorious X-rated extravaganza!
Even with a stark warning about the poor audio and video quality of the 5th reel, Vinegar Syndrome's dual format, Blu-ray and DVD, release of Alex deRenzy's "Babyface" is still an all region spectacular that's been scanned and restored in 2k from the best, and rare uncensored, version of the unearthed 35mm vault elements. This fully uncut version is presented in the original aspect ratio 1.85:1 with a sharply detailed image with naturally coloring that display no imperfection from compression up until the 5th reel involving Seagrim and Roberts black widow scene. The original reel has damage beyond repair that involves burn blotches on the left portion of the negative that pops up every other few seconds, but even though the defects are prevalent, the end result of Vinegar Syndrome's refinements sustain watchable and enjoyable quality.
Single channel DTS-HD Master Audio track is a well balanced machine on all grades. Dialogue's clarity has an expected era-muddle, yet robust, stance and ambient tracks maintain range and depth, but the audio does suffer from the forewarned defects. Vinegar Syndrome's approach to the damage speaks on the sincerest of levels to the poor audio tune of reel 5 which consists of pops and scratches. Still, the track is, without a doubt, very passable. The instrumental soundtrack freely caters to the sex scenes in a retro drum and bass and smooth guitar riffs that give an extra bit of life to an already striking scene.
With "Babyface" rarity coming to light with the Vinegar Syndrome dual format release, any extras obtained or generated by the company is greatly appreciated and monumental. The beautifully detailed, yet simple, reversible release cover has little to relate to the film itself, but reminds me of covers produced by Arrow FIlms with a sleek, graphic art that's vividly colorful and accentuates the most important parts of women in the industry. Vinegar Syndrome produces an audio interview with Molly Seagrim that goes through her start in San Francisco and into her involvement in Alex deRenzy's film. An Alex deRenzy short film, "Parochial Passion Princess," is a 12-minute single-sex scene narrative that touches upon a hooking schoolgirl fantasy starring David Book and Justine Taylor, as a character internally monologging her mindset.
Alex deRenzy's forbidden social satire "Babyface" finally has an uncut and uncensored release courtesy of one of the best retro-restoration distributors, Vinegar Syndrome. "Babyface" embodies a glutinous abundance of carnalities that are balls deep into legendary female greats as well as one-time wonders and is dense with a medley of content that's inarguably erotic and strongly captivating with no only intriguing sex, but also with an engrossing story of drama and vengeance. Recommended.