Alvin Purple (1973/Umbrella Region Two/Four DVD Import) + Great Texas
Dynamite Chase/Georgia Peaches/Smokie Bites The Dust (1977, 80, 81/Shout!
Factory DVD Set)
(Dust: C) Sound: C+ Extras: C+/C- Films: B-/C+
PLEASE NOTE: The Purple DVD can only be operated on machines capable of playing back
DVDs that can handle Region Two/2 and Four/4 PAL format software and can be
ordered from our friends at Umbrella Entertainment at the website address
provided at the end of the review. The
Shout! set is Region 1 NTSC.
for a look at a few comedies from the 1970s that capture the spirit of the
genre at the time in what was its last big massive peak all over.
Blundell has the title role in Tim Burstall’s Alvin Purple, a 1973 sex comedy about a kind womanizer who finds
himself over his head in wacky situations his free spirit in the latter part of
the era of free love gets him into.
Every woman he sees that he likes, he can see naked, or at least imagine
very vividly as being such. The film is
truly funny without being dumb or sleazy, with fine performances all around,
featuring the sex symbol Abigail and also featuring future Academy Award
nominee Jacki Weaver (see Animal Kingdom
elsewhere on this site on Blu-ray) as one of the “sugar girls” bringing a cuppa
to Alvin in the nude. Definitely a film
worth seeing at least once, though you’ll be watching some scenes more than
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is not bad for its age sporting some
good color and some of the softness is the naturalistic style it was shot in
that was popular at the time, though I would love to see how this looks on
Blu-ray. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is a
little more worn and distorted, but is good for its age otherwise. Extras include 25 minutes of Interviews, a
40-minutes-long Inside Alvin Purple
featurette, Picture Gallery showing the film being booked as a double feature
with Blazing Saddles and an original
Theatrical Trailer telling us you’ll love it if you loved What’s Up Doc?
meantime, Roger Corman was still turning out dozens of B-movies and among the
many bandit/chase films, three more good examples have been issued in the U.S. by Shout!
Factory in a double DVD set. The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1977
with Claudia Jennings), Georgia Peaches
(1980 with the fascinating teaming of Country Singer Tanya Tucker, actor Dirk
Benedict, Sally Kirkland and Playmate/New Wave lead singer of Berlin Terri Nunn
in what was safe enough to nearly be an intended TV pilot) and Smokie Bites The Dust (1981 with Jimmy
McNichol being chased and raising hell) show us the cycle at its peak and in
decline by the early 1980s.
is joined by Jocelyn Jones in Dynamite
and the genre is still appealing to sexually mature viewers and anyone younger
who will watch as they rob banks with explosives in place of men and more guns,
Peaches larger cast and names with
more comedy shows the genre trying to capitalize on the peak of the cycle,
1978’s Smokie & The Bandit. By Dust,
they are hijacking the big hit, which itself started to run into bad sequel
ideas, trying to life McNichol beyond his teen heartthrob status and maybe
setting him up for a career like sister Kristy was starting to embark upon
before health issues got in her way.
William Forsythe also shows up and it is at least entertaining as
McNichol never sees a car he does not want to steal.
X 1 image on Dust is poor and looks
like it is an old analog transfer, while the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1
image on the other films are better and show better prints survived. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on all is more
evenly matched, though you can tell the age of the recording along with the
budget used to make them, but they have been cleaned up a bit. Original Theatrical Trailers are the only
extras and the films are all amusingly worth seeing at least once each. Nice to have them on DVD too.
above, you can order the PAL DVD import of Purple
exclusively from Umbrella at: