The Film (4/5)
War veteran Lt. Harry Parker becomes aware that his long time colleague, Lt. Mike Shaw, is dead of an apparent drug overdose, but Parker’s suspicions run deeper than what’s on the surface. Shaw was deep undercover, mixed up in a resilient drug smuggling operation involving the unscrupulous Wong Imports whom are also under the close investigating eye of the United States Customs and Border Protection agency. With two rock hard agencies closing in, Wong Imports’ Lily Chang attempts to outfox all parties involved, shamelessly sleeping with pawns in order to exploit them to save her own fresh, young skin, but the cops will keep pounding away at hooker informants, drug mule flight stewardesses, and even at each other to achieve maximum climax at the arresting moment.
“China and Silk” is the Steve Scott directed and Will Kelly penned hard core, plot twisted cop thriller available in an sleekly upgraded, dual format release from Vinegar Syndrome. A line up of usual era performers headline starting with the leading lady, who graces the release’s front cover, Kristara Barrington. The New Orleans born, Korean heritage beauty substantiates “China and Silk’s” necessary Asian flavor, supplementing as the only main Asian in the film with the exception of the hit-and-forget it performer Tawny Mason in her only actress credit and the Lou Diamond Philips lookalike Ken Starbuck in a non-speaking, non-sexual engaging role. Despite some rigidity in her performances, Barrington outshines each partner in her three scenes that include a range of carnal sensualities, beginning right off the bat with a formidable play from her behind scene with Paul Barresi, a stellar girl-on-girl with usually one of my least favorite actresses Cara Lott, and a rather short and uninteresting fellatio segment with Harry Reems. Herschell Savage, Ginger Lynn, Paul Thomas, and Susan Hart round out the performing cast in line speaking roles while also performing many sexual acts in a vehicles or even portraying a stereotypical scenario involving Savage portraying a sleeveless phone repair guy knocking on Cara Lott's door with nothing more than a towel on. I bet you can't see where that's going. A bonus filler scene stars Susan Hart in a fireside orgy, involving a little known actor named Peter North, that's nothing more than hampered, intertwined flesh.
While the story loosely binds scenes together, even after an impressive high value production opening involving Harry Reems as a combatant popping off an assault rifle in the Cambodian bush, the steamy copulation is tighter than a virgin's protected box, especially with Barrington's warm skin tone and exotic Asian attributes. Pair Barrington with the milky white flesh of the blonde Cara Lott and you turn an airhead like Lott into a goddess of delight where a lot of tongue goes a long way. Speaking of orifices, Director Steve Scott has a knack for getting very up close and personal, bull whipping tongues making long lasting connections with the hairiest confines of some of the most recognizable genitalia. While Tawny Mason firmly tongue massages Paul Thomas's sack in a reverse sixty-nine, I've seen more gray hairs on Thomas' wrinkled scrotum than I care to ever wish for, but to give credit where credit is due, director Steve Scott creates highly provocative and uniquely positioned camera angles that spark that particular perversive captivation portion of the mind. Whether a close up or a medium shot, Scott doesn't know the meaning of personal space, getting his audiences more acquainted with their favorite porn all-stars.
A fresh and prime Ginger Lynn steals the rug right from under Barrington's headline title, serving up far more eye candy scenes while being partnered with the veteran hard bodies of Herschel Savage and Eric Edwards. Lynn's flawless skin, tight little rear, and perky breasts under the glow of her blond hair and deep eyes maintained a certain fluidity that appropriately seemed natural when working the scenes with her more experienced partners, a true sign of an innately gifted starlet. Her scenes with Savage also displayed a softer, romantic touch and she can pivot on a dime without hesitation when she commits to a far more raunchier session with Edwards.
For the first time on Blu-ray, and for DVD that matter, Vinegar Syndrome's region free dual format release of Steve Scott's 1984 "China and Silk" is presented in it's original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The 16mm negative has been scanned and restored in Vinegar Syndrome's process resulting in nice detail and quality coloring. Blacks look great, hues pop where prevalent, and the digital noise is extremely under control with the exception of scenes at Wong's Imports. The details go soft with a nebulous blur and the erratic noise picks up; the rest of the film fairs well through the restoration, but these particular scenes failed to meet the rest of the film at the raised bar.
The 2.0 DTS-HD mono mix neatly represents a mediocre audio track from the time frame that contains slight, but insignificant, hissing. The rather generic score prospers with an even keel amongst a well, but not perfect, positioned dialogue and ambient track.
Accompanying with Blu-ray, or combo format, releases of forgotten titles, there usually comes a rich supply of bonus content; however, with "China and Silk," I would conclude not much existed, but none-the-less a couple of commentaries lay with the release. The first commentary track contains cinematographer Tom Howard and moderated by filmmaker David McCabe. The second commentary is more down-to-Earth with actor Hershel Savage and XRCO co-found Bill Marigold.
Vinegar Syndrome did some mighty fine work bringing to life the Cottonwood production of "China and Silk" that was shamefully held hostage in VHS limbo, staying as stagnant and as limp as a underperforming actor going through a line of fluff girls. An improved enhancement on the detail alongside a pair of delightful commentaries prove to be sufficient enough to warrant a Blu-ray release of Kristara Barrington and Ginger Lynn's most valuable and defined assets, leaving tongues not only propped in flesh tacos and vein-y hotdogs, but also slapped against our chins in a breath heavy fantasy. Recommended.