Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Satire > Sex > Australia > Bandit > Chase > Cars > 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)

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)


Picture: C+ (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.



And now 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.


Graeme 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 that.


The 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?



In the 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.


Jennings 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.


The 1.33 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.



As noted above, you can order the PAL DVD import of Purple exclusively from Umbrella at:





-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com