Monday, July 10, 2017

Less Busty than Barbara Eden, Here Comes Joe Sarno's A TOUCH OF GENIE (Review)

Director: Joe Sarno

Cast: Tina Russell, Chris Jordan, Douglas Stone, Harry Reems, Eric Edwards, Marc Stevens, Lynn Stevens, Ultramax

Vinegar Syndrome / All Region / Rated XXX / 1.85:1 widescreen / DTS-HD mono / 86 minutes

EXTRAS: Video interview with actor Eric Edwards / Video interview with biographer Michael Bowen / Original theatrical trailer / Reversible cover artwork

BUY FROM GRINDHOUSE VIDEO

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Melvin Finklefarb is a nerdy would-be writer who runs an antique shop while he tries to get his literary career off the ground, much to the annoyance of his nagging mother. Melvin doesn't have much luck with women, and frequently sneaks off to a nearby porn theater to watch the latest porn releases. One day on his way to the movies he finds an old vase and discovers it's the home of Genie, a magical spirit who can grant him five wishes.

Melvin would like to have the sort of adventures his favorite porn stars enjoy so he asks to look like Harry Reems and have a romp with three women at once, becomes an amorous milkman who resembles Josh Ashton, re-enacts a scene where Eric Edwards sells erotic insurance to Lynn Stevens and is transformed into Marc Stevens as he plays private detective with Tina Russell. All the while the dim-witted Melvin refuses to see that Genie wants to jump his skinny, dorky boner.


The "Borscht Belt" is a region in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York chiefly frequented by Jewish people. The resorts there starting in the 1920s just before the Great Depression, offered Jewish comedians whose jokes would become what is known as "Borscht Belt humor". This type of humor consisted of stereotypical Jewish traits, such as self-deprecation, insults, complaints, marital bickering, Hypochondria, wordplay and liberal use of the Yiddish language. Comedians like Mel Brooks, Rodney Dangerfield, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers and many others would make this comedic medium mainstream in the coming decades.

Long Island native and sexploitation pioneer Joe Sarno directed well over 100 adult features during his career under nearly as many pseudonyms. He's known for such classics as Sin in the Suburbs, All the Sins of Sodom, Swedish Wildcats, Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle and his entry into the "Borscht Belt humor" and "porn parody" categories, A Touch of Genie starring the adult film equivalent of the aforementioned Woody Allen, Douglas Stone. In Stone's only starring role, he hams it up opposite of the incredibly adorable Chris Jordan aka Karen Craig. The movie works on many different levels because of the comedic talents of all of the actors including the awesome Ultramax who plays the overbearing Jewish mother and surprisingly the hilarious Harry Reems.


About a decade ago After Hours Cinema released this light and surprisingly funny film on DVD to the delight of fans who had not seen a decent copy since its run in theaters. The transfer was a little worse for the wear but good considering that the movie had been out of circulation for years and there were quite a few interesting extras on the 2-disc edition. But like every time before, the game changer known as Vinegar Syndrome has swooped in and given this classic adult film the royal treatment. Taken from what seems to be a pristine camera negative, this new blu-ray is absolutely gorgeous. This is the first time that the film has been truly uncut. The After Hours DVD has splices and cuts that knocked the runtime down by like three minutes.

This new release is definitely the way to go for those interested in not only good porn, but great filmmaking.

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