After going all the way back to the 20s with the last entry in this series, now Cult Epics gives us a collection from 1960s, a period that marks the beginning of the end for this kind of pornographic short. Theatrical hardcore is just around the corner, and things will never be the same. In the meantime, though, things are remarkably the same. Other than some clothing styles (in those brief moments when clothes are actually on), it’s interesting to note that there is very little to distinguish these twelve entries from those of any other decade, a point driven home by the bonus short from the 1940s, which doesn’t feel very different from the rest of the offerings. Artistically, there is not much going on here (surprise, surprise), but the star rating indicates the fact that, despite this, there is some clear archival value here.
In the manner of the 1920s release, the audio track that had been standard for the rest of this series (the sound of film running through a projector) has been replaced with a music score. In this instance, it’s a series of swinging grooves, very much in keeping with the 60s, and acting as one of the only reminders of when these movies were actually made. The music is treated well by the 2.0 mix. The movies themselves are, of course, silent.
It is not surprising that these old loops look pretty rough. The contrary would have been shocking. But what is a bit surprising is that these films often look as bad, or worse, as their equivalents from 40 years before. A number of the shorts are so grainy and washed out that it is rather hard to make out what is going on. This is, though, nothing to do with the transfer itself, and simply reflects the condition that the source material is now in (and it is doubtful that this stuff ever looked pristine). Hence the nondescript rating – I can’t fault the DVD itself, but I can’t hide the fact that some of these films are barely watchable.
As mentioned above, there’s a bonus short from the 40s. There’s a also a gallery of nude shots from the era. Otherwise, that’s it. One other thing that’s different from past entries is that the scene selection screen doesn’t identify the films by title. They are here reduced to mere chapter numbers.
These films are what they are, which is not much, except, as I keep pointing out, as a historical record. But it is important to preserve the history of cinema, no matter how seamy some of it might be, and that gives this series a certain importance. This is presumably the end of this particular series, and taken with its fellow releases, opens a curious window onto a largely ignored aspect of cinema’s past.