Vinegar Syndrome’s Blue Ice Blu-ray Release
This isn't the kind of thing you stumble upon every day. Cherish it.
Published on March 25, 2016 | Filed under Review
Blue Ice

Back when I reviewed Dixie Ray: Hollywood Star, I realized how great of a fit adult cinema and noir can be. When Vinegar Syndrome announced Philip Marshak’s Blue Ice for release, I knew nothing of it but when their description included terms like “private eye” and “neo-noir,” I couldn’t have become more excited. Now only mere weeks later, I’ve seen it. And it’s one of my favorite releases of theirs to date.

First things first, this isn’t just run of the mill porno noir. This is Nazi porno noir. See, our detective (played by Herschel Savage) has been hired by none other than Jamie Gillis to track down some sort of book that may be the secret to immortality. Or some other such shit. Naturally, a bunch of Nazis also want the book. It might not be the Ark of the Covenant, but it’s something.

Blue Ice

This whole movie is utter batshit. It’s like some sort of porn-chic, neo-noir Boys from Brazil that just happens to have a kung-fu fighting Ron Jeremy with “lethal weapons” for hands and feet. And that “blue ice” in the title has something to do with a diamond that can open the book. It’s kind of like White Fire, but with Nazis and lots of inspired fucking. Oh, and there’s legitimate WWII stock footage inserted as if Leni Riefenstahl just had a hand in the production. As a noir-thriller, it works well. It certainly is eccentric enough to get by on its own narrative merits. As a sex film, it’s pretty great. It’s all here and the Nazi stuff lends itself to the obvious torture segments without ever turning rough enough to repel more casual viewers. This isn’t the kind of thing you stumble upon every day. Cherish it.

Vinegar Syndrome have brought Blue Ice to Blu-ray (try saying that out loud without being snarky) in a 2K restoration from its original 35mm camera negative. The results here are really beautiful, with a nice layer of film grain throughout and some really vibrant colors. The titular blues are especially stunning towards the film’s climax. The print is void of much damage, though the inserted archival footage looks more noticeably beat up but that’s to be expected. Audio fares just as well, with a robust track that captures the noir narration and 80s soundtrack with finesse. Typical top notch presentation from VS.

Blue Ice

The only feature on the disc is a commentary track with actors Herschel Savage and William Margold. What I listened to of the track was very talkative and anecdotal, with plenty of production ground covered and on set relationships discussed. I’d return to it in the future for sure.

Vinegar Syndrome have something really special on their hands with Blue Ice. This is the rare adult film that works just as well as a piece of genre cinema. It’s completely ridiculous, exploitative and repellent but that’s just how it should be. It’s obvious that this won’t be for everyone, but adventurous viewers should dive right in. Highly Recommended.

Justin LaLiberty holds degrees in film preservation from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and film studies from Keene State College. He is the Creative Manager at Alamo Drafthouse Yonkers and is an itinerant projectionist, ready to run reels if you've got 'em.
Justin LaLiberty