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November 11, 2014

Movie Review: Mai Linn vs. Serena and Oriental Hawaii (both 1982)

Directed by Carlos Tobalina (under the name of Troy Benny)

Movie review by Greg Goodsell

Vinegar Syndrome strikes yet again with a double-shot of early 1980s hardcore porn. The very prolific Carlos Tobalina, here working under the pseudonym of Troy Benny ground these two out in 1982, the year when the skin trade left 35mm film altogether for the far less expensive shot-on-video route. Never fear: Carlos treats these celluloid epics as indifferently as anything shot on a family camcorder. Out-of-focus shots, improvised dialogue, ragged pans and zooms that would make Jesus Franco envious – ol’ Carlos just knew instinctively that the lonely guys at the grindhouse would settle for anything ol’ thing with pussies and dicks.

Mai Linn vs. Serena is simplicity in itself. The suave and more than slightly creepy Tobalina stars as himself to offer favorite nudie cuties Mai Linn and Serena with a most unusual wager. He will award either one of the girls the lead role in his next skin epic on the provision they perform the most unusual sex act they can imagine. Offering the winner $25,000 – probably the entire budget for this film, Mai Linn and Serena get busy. Tobalina isn’t around to witness the gals getting down and dirty, so we assume he’ll just have to go on their hearsay.

No, the last sentence doesn’t make any sense. This is a porno film!

Mai Linn and Serena go to a restaurant and start an orgy. They then repair to a gay bar and engage the services of a pair of butch lesbians. Two straight men walk into the gay bar – this is a porno film! – and the girls introduce the Sapphics to the joys of man love. Eventually the two get thrown in jail – and they then get down with their foul-mouthed guards! The piece de resistance, Mai Lynn and Serena invite 20-plus guys to their apartment and present the guys with a bathtub in their living room … Can you spell “bukkake?” Listen real close and you can clearly hear one of the male participants mutter “disgusting!” And it is …

Oriental Hawaii focuses on the Walker family, who live in their spacious tract home in the tropical island paradise. Their abode is lined with books, but as we shall soon see, the Walkers and their two adult sons and two daughters have little time for reading. Strapped for cash, they rent out a spare bedroom to Mai Linn and Jade Wong. Daughters do Mai and Jade, they do each other, the sons do Jade and Mai, the parental Bob and Mildred Walker (John Leslie and Jesie St. James) have erotic fantasies involving their clan and the two roomies. And it all ends.

As sloppy and inept as it can get, Oriental Hawaii throws in some travelogue footage of the islands but then throws in some snippets of some not-very touristy areas such as shopping centers and slummy housing tracts. It serves as a reminder that a lot of folks hop that plane to Hawaii in hopes of landing a job but then usually wind up collecting welfare. Visitors will attest to the fact that the most beautiful stretch of Hawaii in fact contains just as many hillbillies as there are in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The DVD from Vinegar Syndrome includes the trailers for both films on this disc. Both clocking in at over four minutes each, I detect the familiar voice of Larry Burrell, best known to us baby boomers as the enthusiastic voiceover in Wham-O TV commercials as the narrator for both. Burrell disavowed his speaking duties for The Creeping Terror (1962), but wasn’t above a quick buck courtesy the skin trade. Go figure …   

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