Director: Carlos Tobalina
Vinegar Syndrome

More Carlos Tobalina from Vinegar Syndrome with this pair of taboo entries dealing with jail bait turning tricks.

MY SINFUL LIFE is the story of young Jill (Danielle, ORIENTAL HAWAII) who has come to San Francisco to live with her Aunt Vickie (D.J. Cone, SINDEROTICA) to attend college, although she admits that her real motive for moving so far away from her parents (CARNAL OLYMPIC's Don Fernando and FLESH POND's Rita Ricardo) is that she is tired of having sex with them. Most disturbingly, she reveals that her bisexual parents have been touching her for as long as she can remember and that they also include her brother Ron (Tom Byron, MALIBU SUMMER). The blonde, all-American, straight A student has to be told by her aunt that her two Latino parents actually adopted her and Ron (which somehow makes things even more disturbing), but Vickie says that the only thing Jill will have to worry about in her home are her grades. Still yearning to find out the identities of her real parents, Jill wants to raise some money to hire a private detective (Tobalina himself). Her new school friend Lori (Brooke Fields, SEX SPA U.S.A.) reveals that she can afford her expensive clothes by working in the brothel of Madam Zsa Zsa (BLUE ICE's Helga Sven, billed as "Helga Gabor" and doing the Hungarian accent). As Jill learns the trade with one of the madam's regular customers (Jamie Gills, THE OPENING OF MISTY BEETHOVEN), Ron shows up in town and gets caught with his pants down by Vickie (who evidently does not see him as being damaged like Jill). Meanwhile, Madam Zsa Zsa reconnects with cowboy Martin and reveals that during his three year captivity by Pygmies(!) twenty years prior, she gave up a baby girl and a baby boy for adoption and never heard from them again (hmm…) When Jill asks Zsa Zsa if she can employ Vickie at her brothel and Ron at her other one for men, she and Martin decide to audition all of them in a climactic orgy that keeps things "all in the family."

Despite the usual listless orgies and cue card acting, MY SINFUL LIFE is one of the better-made and more conventionally entertaining Tobalina films. Despite the taboo subject matter of sexual molestation, Danielle at least does not look as barely legal as some of Tobalina's other discoveries (for instance, his THREE RIPENING CHERRIES or the babysitting quintet of SEXUAL HEIGHTS). The incestuous climax is not as shocking or as comedic as the climax of PRETTY PEACHES because everything telegraphed so early on. It turns out to be the past their prime talent, however, that provides some visual novelty. Just when you think Madam Zsa Zsa and Martin are going to remain clothed observers, off go the clothes and into bed they jump with Zsa Zsa getting plumbed by Nick Niter (one of the male strippers from the "Where's the Beef?" climax of LADY DYNAMITE) and the girls each having a turn at Grandpa (or just Pa). Tobalina gets lucky with three of Zsa Zsa's girls, but fortunately offscreen. Tobalina's photography is slick (apart from some in-camera damage to the negative that once again suggests he never got his camera serviced) but functional while the Casio-keyboard theme song ("I'd like to do it with you baby, I'd like to do it all night long!") has a whispered refrain that sounds like "Suck, suck, suck!"

New York detectives Dan (Dan Boulder, INTERLUDE OF LUST) and Joyce (Karen Hall) are hired by Texas billionaire J.B. Harrison and his wife (Liz Renay, DEEP ROOTS) to find their underage daughter (Brooke West, UNDULATIONS) who they suspect may be turning tricks in Las Vegas. With Harrison bankrolling their expedition to Vegas, Dan and Joyce decide the only way for them to find the girl is to book a penthouse suite for hot tub parties with various prostitutes and swingers. When this approach does not work, Joyce hits the casinos and looks for the girl in the casts of live sex shows while Dan visits the whorehouses. While Dan undertakes interrogations under the guise of sampling the local talent, an aroused and frustrated Joyce takes things in hand herself. With the money running low and no sign of the missing girl, the detectives must either throw in the towel or delve deeper into Vegas' sex trade.

With as much travelogue footage as lukewarm sex scenes in which acrobatic positions try to make up for genuine heat, LAS VEGAS GIRLS really is a painless experience as far as Tobalina films go. Renay possesses the only thing close to acting talent among the principals. Hall is cardboard when she's not masturbating while Boulder can deliver dialogue but cannot pretend to be aroused watching other people have sex when he seems much more into himself when the camera is on him (seeming to pose for the camera when he is not actively involved in a sex scene). Blair Harris (COME UNDER MY SPELL) pops up as the missing girl's surprise suitor while William Margold (MARILYN AND THE SENATOR) and SEXCALIBUR's Drea host one of the orgies Dan attends. The music scoring features a trio of songs from one Mary Vernon, including the cool theme song "For a Price" that recurs throughout the film.

Scanned in 2K from the original 35mm camera negatives, both films probably look better than they ever have or ever will in standard definition progressive, anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen with crisp detail and vivid colors (particularly reds which are saturated but undistorted). LAS VEGAS GIRLS is the better-photographed of the two films, with more production value and better backdrops for the sex scenes. Stock footage of New York, Texas, Las Vegas, and Mexico abounds; but the neon-lit night exteriors of Vegas are utterly hypnotic in their color and luminosity (some of them must have been shot by Tobalina since they feature both or either of the detectives strolling around). The sex scene between West and Harris looks a bit softer than the rest of the film, but this is probably the photographer rather than a preservation issue. In-camera damage and light leaks pop up once in a while, but these are almost as much hallmarks of a Tobalina film as the largely static coverage. The Dolby Digital 1.0 tracks are in fine condition, the better to appreciate the songs on LAS VEGAS GIRLS. The only extras are trailers for both films (3:48 and 4:43, respectively). (Eric Cotenas)