Digi-Schlock: APHRODISIAC! (Synapse DVD)

When Something Weird’s distribution deal with Image Entertainment breathed its last, fans lamented the loss of one of the few sources for early 1970’s American skin-flick weirdness.  Sure, you have Severin Films to cover the Euro-trash end of things but who would pick up retro-sexy titles with a domestic, Harry Novak kind of feel to them?  Thankfully, Synapse’s sexploitation-oriented offshoot called Impulse that has thrown its hat into this ring with their recent release of Aphrodisiac! The Sexual Secret Of Marijuana.

This disc features a full-frame transfer.  It unfortunately looks a bit rough because the only available element was a beat-up print.  That said, it looks as good as it can under these circumstances: detail is solid and the flat color scheme is merely a reflection of the kind of quick-and-dirty shooting style used on a cheapie like this.  More importantly, it is fully uncut, featuring the brief hardcore bits that were edited out when the film made its prior appearance as a bonus feature on a Something Weird disc.

The only real disappointment here is the lack of extras.  Though it would probably have been difficult to track down anyone living and willing to talk about their work here, it would have been nice to have a porn expert do a commentary track or text essay to offer the viewer some basic information on the film.  At the very least, they could have had fun talking about the cast, which features a who’s who of performers from the 1970’s West Coast skin-flick business.

To sum up, it would have been nice to see a little more material on this disc (particularly since it has a $25 retail price) but fans of this era of sexploitation will no doubt be happy to have a solid, uncut version of this film available.  It’s getting more difficult to find and distribute this sort of sexed-up oddity in the DVD distribution business so it’s nice to see someone making the effort.

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