Movie(s) Review-The Telephone Book with the Drive In Collection featuring The Dungeon Of Harrow + Death By Invitation


Review-Vinegar Syndrome seems to be an exploitation film fan wetdream. Their library so far has been digging thru some lost and I mean lost classics. Some of them I sort of wished were still lost, but some of them I am so glad that these guys gave the films good transfers and a lot of love. Case in point the lost 1971 film The Telephone Book that I have to say on blu ray is a jaw dropping transfer. The film is about a young lady who receives an obscene phone call many years before a caller ID or cell phone. Well our victim wants to track this guy down and meet him. The only thing she knows about the guy is that his name is John Smith and that he lives somewhere in Manhattan, so she starts to call all the John Smith listings looking for him. Beside the transfer being so good, the film is not that bad. I think I was expecting this to be more hardcore than it was just from others told me going into this film. But, this film is tame in that aspect except for the little animated stuff that pops up in the film that may feel perverted to some. This film is funny for the most part but not laughing out loud but more smirks worthy. It goes into odd directions like when the caller is telling his life story and goes on and on about training to be an astronaut. I felt for that stuff the film would have better to add maybe some kind of science fiction or even a horror element to it somewhat to keep the viewer off balance as to how this film will turn out. This film feels like Andy Warhol meets a watered down John Waters, as the film has a soft core adult feel to it at times with some of the situations and scenes but it is clearly deep in the art house with the total look of the film. I liked this film and feel that true movie purists would really enjoy this little story, while nothing groundbreaking but it is watchable worthy. This film also boasts the talent of Roger C. Carmel, Barry Morse and a cameo by Jill Clayburgh. All in all, this film is a little fun time-warp film that I am glad got a great blu ray treatment and maybe a fan of some of the names I dropped in this review would really want to seek out this blu ray.

7.5 out of 10


Last month I reviewed a double feature of Death by Invitation and Savage Water. God was Savage Water a bad film, so bad I regretted even watching it. But, Vinegar answered our prayers and gave us another double feature with DBI on it. Death by Invitation was really a good film. I really liked this film, and the sad part is I had to go thru hell to get to this gem. It centers on Lise who learns that her ancestor was burned at the stake as a witch. Now she is out to get revenge on those who killed her ancestor. Shelby Leverington plays Lise in her acting debut, and she is stunning and so excellent that I am just shocked that even though she has cameos today and does odd roles, that she never got to be huge. When they show the execution I admit it does look really cheaply and cheesy done. But, the music and mood of the scene really showcased the positives more and hid those negatives a little. We get a lot of acting talent all the way around, which I will admit this film is a slow burn and does take forever for things to happen, but the acting is so well done that you sort of want to see how this story builds.
The film has some blood and a little graphic material, which is always welcome but the production of the film and the transfer is really first rate and is so impressive. Like I will say again, the film is a very slow burn and probably would be more at ease being called a drama with horror elements than an actual horror film. But, this is a fine example that even 42 years ago they had a great idea how to make a very good indie film.

8 out of 10

I will be honest and say this second film Dungeon Of Harrow is miles better than Savage Water and better than the other two films I reviewed on this. The film revolves around the bad guy whose name is Count Desade, who looks more than George Hamilton. This guy rules the people on this remote little island. The film opens when a ship is out on the seas heading somewhere and a storm hits and while the crew are being tossed around like rag dolls and next thing you know they are washed up on a beach. The funny thing about this one of the characters named Fallon when they get to the shore and out of the water, his pants are dry. This island that looks every bit as realistic as the one on Gilligan’s show is inhabited by our baddie Count Desade. The Captain and Fallon have no idea what is going on and are falling asleep only to be awaken by the sound of a pack of dogs tearing into an unlucky female. The next day they decide to go find out what happened. From there they finally meet Desade who is a raving madman who hears voices and acts like he is some form of mental. This film works for me because it is so bad, that it is funny as all hell. There is a fight scene involving Fallon that is just ridiculous and utter embarrassing to admit you laugh your ass off at it. This film is the perfect drinking film or Mystery Science Theater parody. You get to see Chinese Water Torture, The Rack and so many other things that are just so insane that you cannot take this film serious and will laugh at it. This film plays more off of parody which is not intended but needed. This film is fun, and I will watch it again.

8.5 out of 10