TABOO II (1983)/TABOO III (1984) Blu-ray/DVD combo
Director: Kirdy Stevens
Vinegar Syndrome

Vinegar Syndrome drinks a "toast to young men" with a double bill of TABOO II and TABOO III on Blu-ray/DVD combo.

TABOO II focuses on the burgeoning incestuous relationship between Sherry (THREE RIPENING CHERRIES' Dorothy LeMay) and her "oversexed weirdo brother" Greg Jr. (Kevin James, NIGHTDREAMS) upon learning of the relationship between her boyfriend Paul (SAME TIME EVERY YEAR's Mike Ranger, who only appears in recaps) and his mother Barbara (Kay Parker, DRACULA SUCKS). After running into Barbara, who has taken a bookstore job after quitting her realty job when Paul moved in with his father, Greg Jr. takes advantage of her invitation and finds himself in a threesome with Barbara and her best friend Gina (Juliet Anderson, PRETTY PEACHES). Even more determined to get into Sherry's pants, he convinces her best friend Mary Lou (Tammy, COED TEASERS) to help him. Dissatisfied in the sack with Greg Sr. (Eric Edwards), wife Joyce (Honey Wilder, LUST TANGO IN PARIS) is at first mortified to discover son and daughter in the sack but is soon lusting after Greg Jr. while Sherry transfers her attraction to older men to her father in hopes of getting a new car.

In TABOO III, an offscreen Paul packs his bags and runs out on mother Barbara, leaving her with previously unmentioned younger son Jimmy (Jerry Butler, ROOMMATES) who has suspected something off about the relationship between his older brother and mother to the extent that he believes that she loved Paul more than himself. Although Jimmy does spy on his mother getting ready for a date, he is too busy promoting a New Wave rock band, dealing with his needy and manipulative groupie girlfriend Diane (Lisa Lake, HOT FLASHES), and his too-horny-to-focus best friend and business partner Brian (Blake Palmer, MAKING IT BIG), the previously unmentioned son of newly-divorced Joyce (Honey Wilder again). Whereas Joyce and Brian have fully embraced their incestuous relationship, Barbara finds herself possessively jealous of Jimmy when she spies him with Diane. Although she is shocked to discover confidante Joyce in bed with Brian, Joyce encourages her not only to seek comfort with him but also to branch out to young guys in general starting with the pizza delivery boy.

Both TABOO II and III function as sequels to the first film, addressing different story threads, with the third entry perhaps the more satisfying one for those interested in Parker's character. The third film is also truer to the original in Barbara's psychological concerns while the second film just wants to have fun with the incest concept. Conversely, TABOO II moves along at a nice clip from sex scene to sex scene while TABOO III gets bogged down in the middle by the band subplot. Wilder makes up for the absence of Anderson in the third film, while Lake's particularly stilted acting does not take away from her interesting presence. The New Wave aspect of TABOO III makes itself felt throughout in the eighties hair and gel lighting (which is used to psychological effect during seduction which moves from cool blue as Barbara and Joyce seduce the pizza boy to more naturalistic and warmer lighting as they get into the action. Both films feature orgy scenes that prominently feature Ron Jeremy (EAT AT THE BLUE FOX) turns up – although he actually has a character to play in TABOO III – along with some other familiar faces (including a throwaway appearance by LADY DYNAMITE's Colleen Brennan who may be familiar to fans from softcore efforts like A SCREAM IN THE STREETS where she was credited as Sharon Kelly).

Derived from 2K restorations of 35mm archival film elements, TABOO II looks battered in places with vertical scratches, splices, and various bits of debris but the 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen image boasts the expected detail underneath the grit TABOO III looks cleaner overall with any damage passing by without distraction. The DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono tracks are clean, with part three's synth music possessing a bit more presence than the easy listening vocals of the part two. Extras include an interview with actor Palmer (19:39) who recalls getting into the industry when he met photographer/pornographer Suze Randall at a party given by Hustler Magazine's Clive McLean. He discusses the differences between shooting loops – which consisted of a stills shoot with simulated egg-whites money shots and then a 16mm live action shoot – and features, as well as being branded the black sheep of his family only to discover that his former burlesque dancer mother went around proudly showing off her son's magazine pictures (with genitalia blocked by stickers) to friends. He recalls being a little intimidated acting against major leaguers in TABOO III but fondly recalls working on ALL AMERICAN GIRLS 2 in Hawaii with co-star Shauna Grant (SUZIE SUPERSTAR) and seasoned DP Ken Gibb (DRIVE-IN MASSACRE). A theatrical trailer (5:01) for TABOO II is included along with a stills gallery of Kay Parker's seventy-seven page script for TABOO III. (Eric Cotenas)