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Vinegar Syndrome: Halfway to Black Friday Reviews
 

Sweet Sugar and Red Mob

 

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Sugar Sweet

Director– Michel Levesque

Starring – Phyllis Davis, Ellaraino

Country of Origin- U.S.

Writer - Scott MacDonald

   Sugar (Phyllis Davis)is a sex loving prostitute living in a central American country. One day when she is preparing to have her way with a man, he plants drugs on her causing her to get arrested for possession. She is offered a plea deal, where the deal is to sleep with the person who offers the deal, but is repulsed by the offer. Instead she agrees to cut sugar cane at a camp run by the notorious Dr. John for 2 years. Upon arriving at the camp she discovers that this is not just a simple labor camp, and that the occupants, are abused and tortured.  Sugar quickly has enough of it, and begins trying to escape. Of course, it’s not easy when the camp is run by a twisted doctor and a sadistic warden.

   Sugar Sweet is a run of the mill WIP in the Jungle film. It’s an easy and fun watch, but does not do much to separate itself from the pack of its subgenre contemporaries. We have an evil doctor who runs experiments, and though it’s on a plantation it has a military-esque warden who oversees control of the women on the plantation with brute force. The elements that do make it stand out are the attempts to really add little bits of other genres to film. There are broad attempts at comedy, such as some of the Doctors experiments turning to the sexual, and a bizarre late turn twist involving Doctor John that was to hysterical to be taken seriously. There are also attempts at romance between some of the characters.

    The film does have a solid mix of violence, nudity, and elements of horror that are sure to please fans of the genre. None of the performances will win awards, but they are fitting to the roles. Some of them like Dr. John are downright awesome in their over the top nature.

 

     Vinegar Syndrome presents Sweet Sugar in an EXCELLENT 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer. Everything here looks truly fantastic, colors pop, while maintaining a very natural look to them. Detail is excellent, and black levels are nice and deep. Grain is natural and kept at a minimum. Audio is presented with a DTS-HD mono track in English. Optional Subtitles are included. Extras include the original theatrical trailer, and a video interview with screenwriter Donald Spencer.

 

 

The Film (3/5)

Audio/Video (4.5/5)

Extras (2/5)

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Red Mob

Director– Vsevolod Plotkin

Starring – Vladamir Menshov, Sergey Veksler

Country of Origin- Russia

Writer - Scott MacDonald

   Red Mob follows Oleg, the owner of a summer survival training camp in rural Russia. As the film begins he is picking up his son to spend his summer with him at the camp. Their relationship is apparently strained as the boy does not see himself as a survivalist or a solider, and wants to one day be a diplomat. He struggles at the camp, and Oleg’s expectations for him there. It turns out that an alliance between the KGB and the Russian Mafia are nearby the camp, and have expectations for Oleg and his friend to help them move a caravan of drugs and weaponry for them. When Oleg and his friend refuse the boy is kidnapped, and they are forced to do the alliance’s bidding. That is until Oleg gets a chance to get his son back, and is able to use his skills as a soldier to fight back against the... RED MOB!

   Red Mob in a bizarre way plays out like a bizarro land version of Red Dawn meets Commando. The film has some light action moments in the first hour, but mainly spends that time setting up the characters, their relationships, and the situation as it’s going to play out. After the first hour, however, the action picks up, and the last half of the film turns everything up to the extreme (at least in the terms of lower budget Russian early 90’s action). The last half is an absolute riot of 80’s style action, and is an absolute treat for fans of action cinema. One thing I have to point out is the dubbing of the son, is up there in House by the Cemetery territory. He is written as a needy and whiny character, and the dubbed performance really hammers it hysterically home.

    Vinegar Syndrome have nailed another one out of the park with their Blu-ray restoration of Red Mob. The Blu-ray is presented in a splendid 1:85:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer that is well detailed with very natural colors, and deep blacks. There is a healthy grain structure throughout the presentation. Extras include both the original Russian version of the film, and the extended dubbed English version, an interview with the film’s associate producer Arthur Schweitzer, a career retrospective on Arthur Schweitzer. There is a trailer and still gallery rounding out the set.

    

The Film (4/5)

Audio/Video (4/5)

Extras (3.5/5)