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  • Vinegar Syndrome is practically running out of Carlos Tobalina vault porn to issue on DVD, and this late in his game entry is truly poor. Chalk it up to modern-day distribution - a video company acquires a trove of items from a given rights holder, rather than cherry-picking specific worthy-of-reissue individual titles; caveat emptor.

    Bearing a 1981 copyright but designated as a 1983 film by both IMDb and VS, "Las Vegas Girls" is more of an assemblage, almost randomly, of sex scenes than a real movie. Sure it runs 82 minutes and was evidently suitable for showings at movie houses owned by the director, but otherwise it doesn't pass muster, and has no script credit at all to reflect its hodge-podge nature.

    Even simple expository scenes are muffed, and what passes for a storyline is less rich and developed than a one-minute meet & greet opening to a vignette in a Mandingo video. Guest star Liz Renay, her deep décolletage perking up the listless opening reels, places a call for her sugar-daddy Texan husband (identfied verbally as either Tom Harrison or J.B. Harrison within this single scene, as sloppy a start as possible) to a detective agency to find the whereabouts of their runaway daughter Lynn.

    Agency sends crack operatives Dan (Dan Boulder) and Joyce (Karen Hall), our nominal stars for the evening's entertainment, to work on the case, and they exact a hefty $5,000 advance for expenses from Harrison. Budding screenwriters will search in vain for any further development of said plot line during the hour-plus of humping that follows.

    With a southern drawl, Hall is a non-starter as an actress or porn player -she is not appealing, not particularly attractive, and unimpressive in bed. Boulder plays it smug -he has a big dick so is acceptable in the sex department, but his acting performance stinks. Hall also starred in INTERLUDE OF LUST made at the same time (in 1981) in Vegas, in which Boulder had a supporting part, and these two Tobalina quickies are the sum total of their screen careers. My takeaway is a business school grad's reaction: if you're horizontally integrated like Tobalina, owning your own production studio for porn, being a distributor and an exhibitor as well, you can generate product that is adequately self-serving but not necessarily ready for general consumption (as long as you keep your costs down).

    The not so intrepid duo head for Vegas on a tip, and Dan frequents local whorehouses in search of intel (yeah, right) while Joyce does the same at local bars. They show Lynn's photo around but the viewer never gets to see what she looks like - a stupid detail from a cinematic point-of-view but perhaps part of Tobalina's secret design. I vote for sloppiness again.

    Rest of the boring movie is a series of orgies, Tobalina's default position in a career spanning dozens of lousy films that rely on that particular gimmick. He decided early on that an orgy is the sizzle that sells a porno fan's need for steak, so if CT substitutes rump roast for filet mignon no one will really care. At least that's his theory.

    The mainly unknown cast at these orgies is OK looking but the format does not permit any single player to make much of an impression, the reason why group- sex and orgies are intrinsically inferior to heated one-on-one couplings in terms of eroticism and arousal value. Exception is casting Tobalina regulars William Margold and Drea in an orgy, where Bill gets to spit out a few lines angrily (he thinks that's "characterization") after jerking off twice, his big limp dick in evidence for his legion of fans.

    Boulder spends most of his role as voyeur, watching the extras hump at these orgies, but he also gets into the act explicitly later on and is credible at XXX content, perhaps suitable for a loops career. Hall has a couple of masturbation scenes, and ultimately is ho-hum in the requisite "You know Dan, I love you, I always have" sex climax with our hero.

    What's left of the movie falls apart with 30 minutes to go when our spendthrift couple gets a call from Renay announcing her step-daughter has been found, in Mexico, newly married to a rich Frenchman. Tobalina kills off the remaining reels with a truly random insert of a lengthy bed scene starring (uncredited) Brooke West and Blair Harris, which he inter-cuts with the upcoming Hall/Boulder match-up. This is like archive footage, but perhaps was never previously used by Tobalina, who must have amassed considerable material over the years owning his own facilities.

    Structurally, it appears in the finished film as if Brooke were playing Lynn (remember, we poor customers don't know what the teen looks like) and Blair her Frenchie groom. Am I really (groan) the only viewer who cares about these things - is Tobalina's assumption that any old sex footage is all that constitutes a movie, at least in his realm, correct? Such mysteries, like the true identity of these two characters, are unfathomable.

    Again as a structuralist, I was amused by the in-your-face way CT flaunts his attempts at audience manipulation. We are dangled a glorious Pontiac muscle car for the duo to drive in while in Vegas, but they don't go anywhere with it - where's the action scene or something diverting? And the lameness of his story is underlined several times as we watch 2nd unit footage of Karen walking around on the strip as she voices over such priceless exposition as: "Damn, she's not here either" and later on: "She's not here either; wonder how Dan's doing". I would have to nominate "Las Vegas Girls" for the competition to determine the most uneventful private eye movie of all time.
  • Las Vegas Girls (1983)

    ** (out of 4)

    A Texas millionaire hires two New York detectives to track down his daughter, which sends them on a wild sexual hunt.

    LAS VEGAS GIRLS comes from the one and only Carlos Tobalina and for the most part it's pretty much like the majority of the director's films, which means it contains very little plot and just a bunch of sex action. It's funny because as I go through his films more times than not the "plot" is just there for the opening scene and then it's straight to the sex.

    The sex scenes here are pretty much what you'd expect from a Tobalina movie as they certainly aren't filmed in that great of a way and I'd also argue that they really weren't erotic either. I honestly didn't care for too many of the cast members so there really wasn't much happening in this film for me. It certainly wasn't awful but the plot adds up to a big zero and we've basically just got a bunch of sex scenes that could have been outtakes from other movies and we wouldn't have noticed.