The 1970s are basically the best decade for cinema ever. Regardless of country, genre, mode of production, any factor really. Genre cinema reigned supreme, awards contenders were actually fucking gritty and had dignity, and porn was surprisingly ubiquitous. And every once in a while, some of those things merged. In 1973, the sci-fi audience favorite Westworld was released and was successful enough to spawn a sequel three years later, titled Futureworld. Neither film would offer much more than escapist thrills – though plenty of viewers then and now have argued otherwise – and if any industry outside of Hollywood could offer more of that, it was the porn industry.
So, in 1977 – only a year after Futureworld hit the domestic box office – Anthony Spinelli’s inspired, erotic send-up of what had ’73 and ’76 multiplex audiences buzzing was born. And it was naturally titled SexWorld. Rather than subtly capitalize on the work of others, Spinelli’s film touted its influences publicly with SexWorld‘s tagline reading (or boasting): “Westworld was for children, Futureworld was for teenagers, but… SexWorld is definitely for ADULTS!”
And that tagline couldn’t have been more right. SexWorld is a class A adult picture. Spinelli doesn’t just emulate his film’s obvious influences, he adapts them to suit his work. This isn’t a porn parody, and doesn’t deserve to be mistaken for such. It’s a decidedly adult take on a staple of popular culture at the time of its creation. Taking the kitschy, robot filled amusement park settings of the prior two films and adjusting that theme park experience to suit, well, sex. The “park” in question here is actually a resort – a very high-tech resort – run by scientists that offers your most carnal desires brought to life, for both couples and singles. The fantasies fulfilled on screen run the sexual gamut, from interracial sex to voyeurism to role play, Spinelli’s film covers a lot of ground and is impressively transgressive for the audience it was likely trying to reach.
Usually when an adult film has been inspired by something from the mainstream, there are a lot of differentiating factors on screen, but not here. SexWorld has production value to spare and the acting offers a level of character development not often seen in material like this. In all honesty, the major difference here between Spinelli’s film and the other “worlds” is the sex. It’s a huge difference, naturally, but it’s a testament to how well his film works as a film and not just as a means of a viewer getting their rocks off. This isn’t just quality adult cinema, it’s quality cinema. It’s funny, inventive, well produced and legitimately erotic. If you want a fun film to introduce your friends/family to the world of vintage porn, this is a great place to start.
Vinegar Syndrome are presenting this in HD for the first time ever and the result is stunning. I feel like a broken fucking record when I review their stuff, but it’s always of the highest caliber and this is no different. Actually, it might be different. Because this is the best looking vintage adult presentation that I’ve seen yet. Rivaling their own recent Blu-ray of Pretty Peaches or even the likes of DistribPix’s essential HD release of The Opening of Misty Beethoven. This release crosses over from being a faithfully restored genre release and into demo worth restoration work. It’s sublime.
And that’s not all, this release is packed! It’s a whopping 3-disc set with the first disc having the HD version of the theatrical cut (90 minutes), a couple trailers and interviews with Kay Parker, Joey Silvera, and still photographer Joel Sussman. All three are worth watching and clock in at about a half hour together, the subjects are candid and offer fun anecdotes about the production as well as interesting information. Great inclusion for fans and historians of adult cinema. The second disc is a DVD that also includes the theatrical cut albeit in SD, a softcore version of the film (88 minutes) and everything else that the first disc does. The third disc is a CD of the film’s score, which is a great inclusion. Hoping to see this happen more often.
This is already a very, very early contender for Blu-ray release of 2015 for me. I’ve been a fan of Spinelli’s film for years and have never been able to own it in a proper release or show it to everyone that I know, and now I can! Vinegar Syndrome’s restoration work – as always – is exemplary and the set is absolutely packed with supplements. Any adult cinema fan owes it to themselves to pick this up ASAP. It’s a limited edition release, so get on it.