This 2-disc set really does offer a night's worth of viewing.

It kicks off with no less than three films offered on disc one.

MARRIAGE AMERICAN STYLE is the first dish served up. It's a bizarre early 70s offering, concerning a divorce lawyers' office ran by three chaps all made up to resemble the Marx Brothers.

A text introduction explains that lead characters Candi and Alvin have just returned from their honeymoon, but already Candi wants a divorce. Why? Because she's a virgin, and is petrified of the male's aggressive need for sex.

She calls in at the lawyers' office for advice, and sits on a couch to express her concerns to the voluptuous secretary, Miss Grunt (Uschi Digard). Grunt wastes no time in first caressing Candi's knee, and then her hair. Within a minute they're kissing. Furthermore, they proceed to undress each other and get full-on together while the cigar-chomping Groucho-lookalike in the next room naps on his desk.

During this exceptionally lengthy sequence of Digard rubbing her huge breasts in her girlfriend's face, we cut at one point to "Groucho" waking up and making an obscene call from his desk telephone, and then to Candi thinking back to bedtime with Alvin - and how his patience soon turned to frustration when she failed to go all the way with him.

Following this, Alvin returns home shortly afterwards to find a "Dear John" letter from Candi. Small wonder - Candi's having too much fun at the lawyers' office where the Groucho imitator is joined by two other Marx Bros impersonators. The three of them take the enlightened Candi into their office and give her a good fondling while the alluring Miss Grunt looks on.

All of which seems to make no sense whatsoever, but it transpires that there is a motive behind this - literal - madness. Alvin is eventually called to the lawyers' office, where he's encouraged to strip with his wife so the Marx Bros can determine what their problem is. Instead, the newlyweds flee home and overcome their dilemma with a good old-fashioned fuck.

MARRIAGE makes no sense, has no style and appears to have been made with virtually no script. Direction is perfunctory at best, while performances are game but insanely overbearing.

Lighting and camerawork are hideous, and production values are strictly non-existent.

The sex is limited in this 38-minute production, with the only real prolonged scenes of flesh being the aforementioned lesbian encounter between Candi and Miss Grunt. But, let's face it, the only reason you'd want to watch this mess is for Digard.

Digard is most famous as being one of Russ Meyer's many amply busted muses, striking a very fetching pose on most poster artwork for the entertaining SUPERVIXENS. Her impressive resume also includes FANTASM, THE BLACK GESTAPO, THE TOY BOX and THE KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE.

Here, she looks fantastic and those breasts are given a healthy amount of screen time.

Elsewhere it's pretty pedestrian stuff, although the "comical" violation of Candi and Alvin by the lawyers is quite unsettling - their goading reminded me of the brothers in MOTHER'S DAY for some reason.

Still, there's a happy ending ...

LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME follows, a 53-minute film again focusing on the seedy world of divorce lawyers.

The film opens with a pretty brunette (Mindy Brandt) enjoying foreplay with her hairy husband. Her soft voiceover explains to an offscreen male lawyer that she is frustrated by her husband's inability to have full sex with her.

Sure enough, after giving her unbelievably bushy black thatch a good licking, hubbie tries to fuck her - but runs out of steam before reaching a climax. Maybe he was put off by the LOST IN SPACE-type music playing in the background.

We then cut to the smarmy lawyer, who suggests the woman should take her husband to a doctor. The dialogue is laughably matter-of-fact, as if this film naively saw itself as a genuinely "educational" product of its time.

As the brunette leaves the lawyer's office, a pretty blonde walks in (Nina Fause). The lawyer asks how he can help, and her story unfolds in flashback to the strains of guitar-led jazz.

We see the blonde return to her apartment with her fella (great moustache) and, after a nightcap, the pair retire to a settee to get it on.

Back in the lawyer's office following a scene of near-hardcore cunnilingus, the blonde is pleased to hear her paternity case will be taken on. There's just one problem: she doesn't have the $400 fee. You can guess how she pays for the lawyer's services.

The revolving door scenario continues during the remaining two episodes that complete this film. Next up is a dark-haired MILF who's visiting the lawyer to complain about her husband - "that dirty, no-good bum". He's been raping their daughter, and of course we get to see it in flashback. Although, it looks disturbingly consensual ...

Things come to an end with a sexy brunette who seeks advice from the lawyer after being arrested for "conspiracy to commit oral copulation". The wily male plays dumb to the description, so the girl - a porn actress, we learn - gives him a slow demonstration.

The film ends on arguably the best scene, even if it is set to weird synth meandering.

Although softcore like everything else in this set, LOVE contains a fair bit of exposed labia and a few too many flaccid cocks for comfort. There are a couple of scenes (Fause with the lawyer, for example) where, although you don't get to see it, it certainly looks like things may be getting sucked for real ...

Finally, we are treated to BULL'S MARKET.

This one concerns two friends, Tom and Ben, who own a small company that's not doing too well. They owe money to shareholders and can't pay.

Enter secretary Sheila - looking, in her short skirt, fake eyelashes and peroxide long hair, like a 70s barmaid - who agrees to pay off the shareholders in kind. To this end, she enlists the help of her friends.

The first friend Sheila enlists is hot Barbara. Barbara's quite easy to persuade, thanks to a spot of mutual cuntlicking inspired by Sheila's opening gambit of "just what is it that makes you so damned attractive to men?". The ensuing 69 is very realistic, despite never showing anything XXX.

Later they begin rogering shareholders to help out Tom and Ben's company. What Tom didn't bank on though, was his pretty blonde wife Janice getting in on the action too ...

Another mercifully short offering at 38 minutes in length, MARKET serves up more of the same natural lighting, ugly camerawork and clumsy editing. The dialogue is perhaps more considered here than in the preceding two films and performances are certainly more mannered - but that's not saying much.

Not as explicit as LOVE, and lacking the allure of Digard from MARRIAGE, MARKET is a curious relic that intrigues for a few short minutes but soon outstays it's welcome.

Disc one presents each film in scratchy 1.78:1 transfers, enhanced for 16x9 TV sets. Picture quality on each film is fairly soft and speckly, and there are no shortage of vertical lines throughout. But all this suits their age and origins. Each film appears to be correctly framed, while flesh tones and blacks are both well-rendered.

English audio is provided in original mono for each film, and does an efficient job across the board. Dialogue is muffled at times, and some music has been rescored to avoid copyright issues, but by-and-large there's nothing to complain about on this front.

From the animated main menu you can select to watch each film individually or, as is becoming common now on these releases, choose the "Grind It! Play All" option and watch all three as a patience-enduring triple bill, complete with 42nd Street Pete introduction (with canned laughter at one point) and trailers in-between.

There are no scene-selection menus available, but each film has the following chapters: MARRIAGE (8 chapters); LOVE (10 chapters); MARKET (9 chapters).

Extras on disc one include a stand-alone version of the 42nd Street Pete introduction that automatically opens the "Grind It!" option on the disc, and trailers for the following: BOTTOMS UP, RUN VIRGIN RUN, NAUGHTY NYMPHS and SINFUL BED.

Disc two tenders a new featurette and two bonus 8mm loops.

The featurette is entitled "42nd Street Pete at the Pioneer Theater".

This consists of a brief introduction from Pete, explaining how he and After Hours Cinema came up with the commendable idea of bringing classic porn back to a big screen in New York.

This is followed by footage from the event, where various John Holmes films were played while the cops rallied outside in an effort to shut the 100-capacity cinema down. We get to see Pete on stage introducing the films, and reactions from several of the surprisingly small audience (including minor sleaze merchants Tracie Hayes and Adam Trash). Best of all, we see Pete judge a Miss 42nd Street contest (the winner is hot).

This footage is in black-and-white, and presented in anamorphic 1.78:1. My only grievance is that this enjoyable featurette is a measly 4 minutes in length.

The first of the loops is "Terry's Night In". This is a pretty rubbish black-and-white housewife strip, set to piano lounge music in anamorphic 1.78:1.

"Oh-h-h! Doctor!" follows, a colour offering with a cheeky score and captions for dialogue. This involves a cute redhead who strips naked for her doctor. When the doctor arrives, the redhead is alarmed to learn it's a female one. No lesbianism though - just a spot of 'comedy', and then the patient puts her clothes back on. Very poor. This lasts 4 minutes, in 16x9.

The loops come with an introduction from Pete, along with a plug for his website where "more hardcore" loops can be found.


This generous package is completed by a well-designed and nicely written 6-page fold-out colour booklet with screen grabs and liner notes from Pete himself.

Fans of Digard will need this. Anyone else may be a little bemused by what's contained within. Still, After Hours continue to dig this incredibly obscure stuff up and offer generous packages at reasonable prices.

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Secret Key
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review