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directed by Alex Nicol
USA 1971


Lobster House lounge singer Tony Trelos (Peter Carpenter, BLOOD MANIA) catches the eye of Andrea (Dyanne Thorne, ILSA, SHEWOLF OF THE SS). Fortunately, she's the wife of abusive wheelchair-bound National Records president Martin Hilliard (Joel Marston) and she gets Tony a recording session and seduces him poolside. When Tony witnesses Andrea murder her husband, he blackmails her and sets up in the Hilliard household (casting off his own girlfriend Sally [Paula Mitchell, whose bizarre career included behind the scenes work on SALO, CALIGULA, Fellini's CASANOVA and CITY OF WOMEN]). Things get even deadlier when Martin's grieving daughter Helayne (Lory Hansen) turns up and Tony falls for her. A vanity project written by and starring Peter Carpenter (who spends more time scantily-clad than any of the women in a film destined for the grindhouse despite its many artistic touches) with all his co-starlets pawing at him (including Andrea's lush friend Fran (Leslie Simms). It is more of an R-rated soap opera than a horror film or thriller (despite the title and advertising) much like Carpenter's other writing/starring vehicle BLOOD MANIA which like this feature may have been inspired by his previous pic LOVE ME LIKE I DO (which also starred Thorne and BLOOD MANIA's Maria De Aragon). Tony's Motown Records-produced vocal numbers probably provoked some derision back when the film first came out (I can't believe the opening titles "showstopper" didn't get some titters) but there is more for cult fans to savor from Thorne's stacked murderess, the gel-heavy, wide-angled cinematography, the seventies California coastal atmosphere (complete with a silhouetted shot of two lovers kissing against the sunset that looks like a seventies cigarette ad), to Tony's flapping choreography and outfits.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 1971 (USA)

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DVD Review: Scorpion Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:27:30

1.74:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.73 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.74:1

Edition Details:
• Remembering Peter Carpenter: interview with Peter’s Acting Teacher/Co-Star Leslie Simms (4:3; 15:10)
• Telephone Interview with star Dyanne Thorne (14:50)
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:21)

DVD Release Date: 31 August 2010

Chapters 12



The opening credits sequence seems to have been sourced from video elements as the credits and Carpenter's red outfit are rife with dot crawl. While the presentation improves after, the noise is still evident in the saturated reds of the wardrobe and lighting. There is also some chroma noise in the fine patterns of the fashions and decor (see the sofa in cap 6). There is a brief half-second instance of pixilation late in the film which may go unnoticed by most viewers.

Co-star Simms reminisces about star Carpenter (who was also her acting pupil and had previously co-starred with Carpenter in BLOOD MANIA) in a fifteen minute interview. She recalls the film vividly (and BLOOD MANIA) and that Carpenter was a Las Vegas jazz dancer. She mentions that even back then they all laughed at the red suede outfit Carpenter had to wear for the opening credits number. The interview is interrupted by screeching tires of a passing car ("Don't you love L.A.?" she quips). Dyanne Thorne provides a telephone interview. She fondly remembers her co-stars, her nude scene, and her standout violent rage scene. The film's trailer rounds out the extras (curiously there are no trailers for other upcoming Scorpion Releases as on their other discs).


The film was previously released on DVD by Rhino Video (when they had the Crown Pictures library) in an open-matte transfer in the first volume of their HORRIBLE HORRORS collection (which paired two movies on each side of two double-sided discs). The original early eighties United Home Video VHS release featured a transfer of the TV version with a lengthy unrelated flashback to the protagonist's youth (in place of snipped nudity and violence) which has not been retained here as an extra (subsequent releases of the film were of the full R-rated theatrical version).

  - Eric Cotenas


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Region 0 - NTSC



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