Expectations/Confessions (Drive-In Collection)

Director - Anthony Spinelli

Cast - Chris Cassidy, Delania Raffino, Kristine Heller

Country of Origin - U.S.

Discs - 1

Distributor - Vinegar Syndrome

Reviewer - Bobby Morgan

Date - 03/19/13

The Film: 3/5

 

From 1971 to 1997 Anthony Spinelli, a former actor with a few minor television credits, directed over 100 adult films under various pseudonyms. Two of his best features have been collected on this double release from Vinegar Syndrome. Spinelli wasn’t one of the industry’s most well-known names but he was of their finest unsung talents behind the camera. His films were genuinely erotic instead of merely resorting to a parade of money shots and hairy genitalia presented artlessly.

 

EXPECTATIONS

 

Wealthy socialite Margo (Delania Raffino) meets busty blonde swinger Montana (Chris Cassidy) meet and after getting to know one another decide to switch lives and inject some fun and passion into their own meaningless existences. Much sex is had, confusion sets in, lessons are learned, and the end credits are done in the same font John Carpenter used on most of his best movies. I found that last part very interesting.

 

CONFESSIONS (a.k.a CONFESSIONS OF A WOMAN)

 

In a plot reminiscent of Luis Bunuel’s 1967 classic Belle Du Jour, housewife Beth (Kristine Heller) turns to prostitution out of boredom with her everyday life while her husband is at work. Sure having sex with many anonymous partners all day is a good way to pass the time and pick up some extra dough along the way, but there is no silver lining to this depraved fantasy as Beth will soon discover.

 

Reviewing each of these movies separately seems like a waste of time seeing as how they share similar themes and were both made by the same director, so instead I will review them as one. I started watching these two films by Anthony Spinelli with very low expectations and was pleasantly surprised for the most part. The cinematography is lush and inviting, the sex scenes are shot beautifully and paced well thanks to some fine editing, and the performances by the gorgeous lead actresses are better than most porno flicks.

 

The couplings are mostly man/woman but Spinelli, knowing his audience full well, also threw in some choice lesbian encounters. Expectations is by far my favorite film on this set. The plots of both features are as old as the hills but Chris Cassidy (credited here as Suzette Holland, a name she would take for most of her career in adult films) is a smoking hot lady who can turn a guy on with a saucy look. I always get weak in the knees for a buxom blonde anyway.

 

Spinelli appears to have learned a lot from the European “New Wave” style of filmmaking. I wouldn’t mistake his films for the average competitors at the Cannes Film Festival but they sure do a grand job of looking sharp and professional. The acting is better than average and the minimalist sets are impressive for their time. Spinelli stages a party scene with an attention to detail and ear for realistic dialogue, though his efforts don’t always pay off like he possibly hoped.

 

Audio/Video: 3/5

 

Each film is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers scanned in 2k resolution from 35mm archival prints. The picture quality suffers from occasional signs of print damage but for the most part the movies look pretty good with solid color correction and little fading. Both movies in this set are provided with English two-channel mono audio tracks. Nothing really of note here but the sound mixes are sharp and audible. The volume levels on the dialogue and music are balanced well. No subtitles are included.

 

Extras: 0/5

 

There are no extras included. Some trailers at the very least would have been welcome.

 

Overall: 2/5

 

Anthony Spinelli made adult films that were artful, mature, and erotic, unlike most of their peers that were only concerned with gynecological insert shots. While their stories may be extremely slight the movies themselves are worth watching for fans of cinematic erotica, and thanks to this DVD they should have no problem finding a contemporary audience.