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April 9, 2013

Movie Review: Massage Parlor Murders (Blu-ray / DVD Combo)

Being the huge fan of 70’s I am, I’ve tried to make it a point over the past 20 years to see anything and everything “exploitation” that crosses my path. It didn't matter whether it looked or sounded shitty, I had to soak that film into my brain. Something Weird Video along with a couple of other companies have been huge for that but lately their output has been sparse. Leave it to a fresh new company in Vinegar Syndrome to take the ball and run by releasing a movie I had no idea existed in Massage Parlor Murders – on Blu-ray no less.
The title alone is gold but sometimes that and a promising trailer don’t mean a thing. Chester Fox & Alex Stevens’ Massage Parlor Murders weaves the wonderfully sleazy tale of couple of detectives (George Spencer, John Moser) on the beat of a psycho killer preying on -often naked-  massage parlor workers. Usually after some thankfully drawn out scenes of tits and ass and the gals are strangled or getting their heads smashed against mirror. Massage Parlor Murders oozes sleaze…but, it’s also a crime drama. I kid you not.
The best way for me to describe Massage Parlor Murders is - imagine Starskey and Hutch mixed with The Gore Gore Girls, add a generous helping of the always amazing and infinitely  eccentric Brother Theodore ( The Burbs, Gums) and you have this surprisingly entertaining, lost treasure.  Don’t expect wall-to-wall splatter like Lewis’ film but the campy feel and much better production value is there.

The transfer of Massage Parlor Girls is easily the best that I’ve seen from Vinegar Syndrome. I find it kind of odd to say this,  but the Blu-ray is beautiful. The colors are so sharp and the element used for this release exhibits very little damage. Very impressive here considering it’s age and scarcity.
The extras are quite fun and very informative. Exploitation writer Chris Poggiali writes some very detailed liners about the film that add so much for folks like myself who hadn’t had any background. Trailers are included, as well some interesting deleted bits. This footage is fun and almost appears as the film was shot in a real swingers club’s indoor pool. The inclusion of the re-release version is also a nice touch. This ones a bit shorter so I recommend the original cut that has even more massage parlor insanity.

I had had a blast with Massage Parlor Girls . Brother Theodore is hilarious, the nudity and sleaze is here in abundance – it’s hard not to recommend this. If you love exploitation you need to own this now! Highly Recommended.

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