The Film (3.5/5)
"Blue Ice" is the 1985 Phillip Marshak directed X-rated feature that takes things to a whole new level in the porn realm by incorporating an actual entertaining plot with an unusually tone down of sexual activities! The outrageous story line is just the tip of the (blue) ice berg when trying to wrap around what you've just witness post-viewing. "Blue Ice" has a little bit of something for everyone's deviant tastes with the film going through a genre identity crisis including, but not limited to, naziploitation, film noir, and a cheesy exposition adult film. The first feature for Gilt Edge Films teaming up with the adult industry giant and Swedish Erotica series producing Caballero Control Corporation (CCC) Home Video have attempted to cultivate and harness the 80's, setting this odd sequences of events in San Francisco.
Much like the production value, the cast is made up of a big home run hitting roster that includes Hershel Savage in the lead role of Ted Singer while also including Jamie Gillis, William Margold, Jacqueline Lorians, Shanna McCullough, Paul Thomas, and Ron Jeremy. In a glint of awesome with rounding out of the cast, "Mark of the Devil" and "Zoltan: Hound of Dracula" actor Reggie Nolder makes a sizable appearance in one of his two porn films. Nolder as Anton Stuttgart is an actor and role match made in heaven; the Austria born Nolder and his significantly burn scarred face makes for an effective and creepy Nazi SS commander. Nolder's coupled with his Nazi goons with the always offensive William Marigold and the seriously ripped Francois Papillon, sporting his butterfly tattoo on his chiseled ass.
Like aforementioned, the sex is seriously taken a step down or two from what's usually the norm. When the actors engage, the scenes feel less objectifying with more on-screen romantics. Even when Marigold, Papillon, and busty-blond Helga Sven have their way with a Jewish virgin Nymphet played by Andrienne Bellaire is surprisingly downplayed. Sex becomes shorter and sex becomes more intimate under the Marshak direction, but a con that lingers overhead is that the sex becomes less stimulating. The scenarios are outrageous, and sometimes damn right hilarious, but that horny obsession and spank-it factor is omitted. Lead actor Herschel Savage plays the role with ease and comfortability and with also a relaxed stature and hint of satire that makes him the feature favorite. His scenes with Jacqueline Lorians might not be mind blowing, but they sizzle with sexual chemistry.
Cinematography by Ace Peacock seesaws between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with smokey, dungeon-like scenes involving the Nazis and then clear and focused in Singer's relentless search and Frau plowing for the book. There's also a third visualization at the finale that's more fantastical, streaming with bright blue and white strobing lights in an aphotic zone, Blade Runner similar sequence. The menage a trois of cinematography spices up the story, changing up the sequences, the genres, and the tone. But the "Dracula Sucks" director Marshak can't seem to live up to Peacock's trifecta of moods, failing to wow on such as spectacular perverse universe.
Vinegar Syndrome presents Philip Marshak's "Blue Ice" courteously on a high definition Blu-ray for the first time and on DVD with an 1.85:1 widescreen presentation that's been restored by a 2k restoration scan. "Blue Ice" doesn't arrive without slight challenges, especially during the smokier Nazi scenes. The darker colors, such as the SS uniforms, contain heavy, jittery noise while the haze appropriately dulls more colorful tones to add to the atmosphere. The non-Nazi scenes pop with comfortable coloring, natural contours, and fleshy, natural skin tones with clarity that's done right by VS. There's no noticeable flaws from the 35mm negative that's been preserved very nicely.
The 1.0 DTS-HD master mix is, sadly, aggravating. The dialogue sorely isn't prevalent, coming and going with between scenes and edits. Much of the story through the dialogue is beyond the pitch of audibility. Jacque Martikay's and Zoe Richards soundtrack doesn't lose a step and properly fills the voids where dialogue's omission aims to sink the release.
Extras include an audio commentary track with lead actor Herschel Savage and William Marigold.
With heavy weight performers, "Blue Ice" seems as cool as it's moniker implies. Yet, fan favorites Ron Jeremy, William Marigold, and Paul Thomas have merely cameos, sex scenes with also minor roles in other scenes that don't quite make an everlasting mark. But Herschel Savage picks up the slack, fitting into the role of Ted Singer. The Vinegar Syndrome monumental release of "Blue Ice" is a desire that can't be ignored with a sleek reversal cover art, two viewing formats that include for the first time ever in Blu-ray, authentic Nazi wartime stock footage from public domain, and, of course, the recognizable cast of studs and starlets.