Director: Shaun Costello
Vinegar Syndrome

Vinegar Syndrome discovers that even the tamest of Shaun Costello's porn films is not without interest with their double bill of SCHOOL GIRL REUNION and THE SENSUOUS FLYGIRLS.

Returning to "State College" for his five-year reunion, jock Roger Caine (aka MARTIN's Al Levitsky, as a version himself) eschews the crowds at the frat house in favor of revisiting the scene of his triumps: the football field. He is not alone, he discovers, as a beautiful women (Kim Pope, THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS) is also there to reminisce about a shared past he does not remember. She tells him of a mousey girl named Melanie who was in love with him and so desperate to get him to notice her that she was naïve enough to be pulled into a threesome with his manipulative best buddy "Barney Miller" (Alan Marlow, THE PRIVATE AFTERNOONS OF PAMELA MANN) and his catty cheerleader girlfriend Rita (C.J. Laing, BARBARA BROADCAST). Meanwhile, Roger was busy becoming disillusioned with his own not-entirely-agreeable sexual encounters, letting himself be seduced by the coach's lonely French wife (Renée Duval, THE AMAZING DR. JEKYLL) and participating in a rigged game of strip poker with Barney, Fred (Bobby Astyr, CAPTAIN LUST), and an easy pair coeds (BLUE VOODOO's Jean Dalton and VIXENS OF KUNG FU's Linda Trussell). Roger's and Melanie's paths finally crossed in the orgiastic aftermath of the big game in an encounter which shattered both of them.

Sexual hijinks, seductive teachers (or their spouses), and strip poker are nothing new in softcore or hardcore college films, but SCHOOL GIRL REUNION is not the fluffy sex comedy the title suggests. Melancholy from the start with Roger's lonely visit to the massive empty field in the winter haunted by the sounds of a past cheering crowd and sinister library music, the film looks back on such sexual vignettes from a perspective of maturity and regret. In relating their sexual misadventures, both questions the other's choice in the matter and why they went along – it should be obvious even without the different looks for past and present that Pope' s character is Melanie – while the climax subverts expectations before ending on a somber note.

There is nothing special about THE SENSOUS FLY GIRLS, but it is well-shot and scored – both films utilize Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" for sex scenes and the same unidentified song – with more varied settings and pairings. Space administration psychiatrist Dr. Rudolph Horne (Marlow again) is tasked with solving the problem of long-range space travel in which the male astronauts alone together for so long come back gay (especially visitors to Uranus). He suggests sending a trained stewardess along for the ride on the upcoming four-year mission to Jupiter. The one hundred and forty-six women he has auditioned thus far have proven unsuitable, so airline executive Mr. Wizer sends him three of his best stewardesses sure that one of them will be the "first girl in space." Horne has Miss Jones watch a film featuring Wizer's secretary Lisa with two astronauts (one of them THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES' Marc Stevens) to test her arousal before she relates the story of her first time while horseback riding with a male schoolmate (director Costello himself who did several loops before going behind the camera). Miss Stryker (Mary Stuart, NAKED CAME THE STRANGER) is also asked about her formative sexual experience – presumably after having also screened the film – taking the viewer back to school for a trip in the back seat of her boyfriend Freddie's (Leo Lovemore, WATER POWER) car. Miss Worth seems hesitant, so Horne and Lisa decide to test her with more interactive methods. Each of the stewardesses has their good points so Horne decides that the astronauts themselves should try them out.

Both films are mastered from 2K scans of 35mm negatives elements, with SCHOOL GIRL REUNION – with the onscreen title SCHOOLGIRL'S REUNION – looking pretty good apart from a splice or two while THE SENSUOUS FLY GIRLS – onscreen title: SENSUOUS FLYGIRLS – looks much cleaner, crisper, and more colorful, and even the recording of "Tubular Bells" sounds cleaner on the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track. The sole extra is a theatrical trailer (3:26) for SCHOOL GIRL REUNION. (Eric Cotenas)