Back when Vinegar Syndrome released Pretty Peaches on a limited edition Blu-ray, I enthusiastically reviewed it. Alex de Renzy’s first film of the trilogy is one of my favorite adult films bar none and I find it to be an accessible piece of smut for those that may not be all that well versed in feature length, narrative adult cinema. My thoughts on that release don’t change at all and the first disc here is basically what we got then, minus the supplements. The two sequels were also released by Vinegar Syndrome though only on DVD, making this the first chance that consumers have to get all three in HD at once. And it’s very welcome.
I’m not going to cover the first film at length here as I already did that but, going back to it, I found it as fresh as ever. It’s playful, positive and manages to be transgressive and taboo without being alienating. This isn’t just good adult cinema, it’s good cinema. Period. Desiree Cousteau – who sadly doesn’t appear in the sequels – has an enchanting screen presence, solid comic timing and owns every scene she’s in here. This is the crown jewel of the series and is reason for purchasing this set alone.
Pretty Peaches 2 stars Siobahn Hunter as Peaches this time and it works mostly as a road movie, with Peaches hitchhiking her way through some sort of sexual awakening. Which, honestly, is basically the plot for Pretty Peaches 3 as well. It manages to be even lighter than the first entry, practically becoming screwball comedy at times all while remaining very, very 80s and, naturally, decidedly adult. The sex is constant and the 85 minute runtime breezes by. It’s not as good as the first one but it’s entertaining and Hunter is able to pick up where Cousteau left off with finesse. The third film carries the full title Pretty Peaches 3: The Quest and that quest is for, well, sexual enlightenment. There’s a trend here. This is easily the rawest of the bunch with a grittier aesthetic thanks to its 16mm photography and less of an emphasis on humor than the features that precede it. It also opens with a dream sequence that wouldn’t be out of place in something like Corruption or Nightdreams. And Jamie Gillis appears in old lady drag. It’s a weird one, but its eccentricities are welcome following two very similar films.
Vinegar Syndrome has brought the Pretty Peaches trilogy together in this release on two discs. The first devoted to Pretty Peaches and the second containing both of the sequels. The first disc looks to be identical to the fantastic restoration featured on the limited edition Blu-ray of the first film and upon a second viewing it is still fantastic work and among the best that VS has done to date. Pretty Peaches 2 looks almost just as good, with a very vibrant HD transfer and minimal damage present. Pretty Peaches 3 looks the worst here but also looks the best that I’ve seen it yet. The 16mm allows for a thicker grain structure that will be more noticeable but is organic and shouldn’t be confused for noise. There’s also more damage present here but it’s never detrimental to the experience. Audio is great across the board with DTS HD MA 1.0 tracks for all three films. I didn’t have any issues with distortion or balance. Another great presentation from Vinegar Syndrome.
The Pretty Peaches trilogy is a great investment depending on how you’re coming into it. If you already own the prior to releases of the films, you’ll have to ask yourself if getting the sequels in HD is worth the upgrade. The supplements are gone but having all three films in one set and in HD should still be a cause for celebration for fans. And if you haven’t seen them before, now is the time to do it. All three are fresh, inviting and have plenty of surprises in store. Highly Recommended.