Vinegar Syndrome has released the 1971 indie film Blue Money in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. It has been scanned and restored in 2K from the original 35mm negative. The film is uncut for the first time for home release. So, the question is should you purchase it for your home collection?
Blue Money is written, directed, and stars Alain Patrick (credited here as Alain-Patrick Chappuis). He plays a struggling porn director named Jim that is married and has a baby. He wants to get out of the porn industry and live on a boat with his family. All Jim wants is to do one more big score and make enough money from it so that he doesn’t have to work again. Hot on his heels are vice cops just looking to shut the whole project down. Who will win?
Patrick plays Jim as a cool guy and suave dresser but his acting skills are pretty sparse. His accent and odd way of telling a story made me think of Tommy Wiseau throughout the film. I have seen this movie previously. I own a DVD release of it on one of those Mill Creek 12 packs. Apparently all of the previous versions released were an edited print. Thankfully Vinegar Syndrome got theirs hands on an uncut copy which adds about 10 extra minutes into the film. Even though the movie’s premise is about hard core rated X material it rarely strays into that realm itself and focuses more on the background of porn movie making.
The tagline for the film is “Would you perform for this man for $1000? Would you do it for … Blue Money?” However the film seems content with not really delving into the psychological implications of performing in a skin flick and instead focuses on the main character directing and producing them behind the scenes. Quite a bit of attention is paid to Jim’s affair with an actress, the vice squad out to shut him down, and the progress of him working on his parked dream boat.
If all of that seems like rather boring subplots then you have the general idea. Don’t get me wrong, some parts of the movie are interesting and some dialogue is humorous. A majority however is mundane and dull and never really brings home the point the filmmaker was obviously trying to make. It is an attempt to show something different but ultimately fails. There aren’t tons of films like this out there (at least that I am aware of) and so it at least gets points for trying an unconventional premise.
Sharp eyed viewers will notice Gary Kent in a throw away role as “Vice Cop in Leather Jacket”. He is a fairly popular stunt coordinator/driver for cult films and it was fun to see him pop up here. Other than that I really didn’t notice any other recognizable actors in the film. Unless you count Suzanne Fields who is most known for Flesh Gordon.
Vinegar Syndrome has done a fantastic job with the visual transfer on this film. This is leaps and bounds better than the version I had previously watched. Granted with a film this old and a budget this thin there are bound to be very mild scratches and spots but frankly that would be nitpicking. The transfer shows the film as it was intended with good detail and a natural look. Skin tones, fabric details and lighting look just right for a film from this time period.
The audio is a mono soundtrack with a dialogue heavy focus. Unfortunately parts of the soundtrack get distorted (almost like the timing is sped up and slowed down) and the main character has a thick accent so it is hard at times to understand what he is saying. I personally think this is from the original source rather than a misstep in audio transfer. All in all the audio is good but not great. Thankfully English subtitles are included.
Making Blue Money video interview with Producer Bob Chinn
The Affairs of Aphrodite (1970) – Bonus feature length film directed by Alain Patrick
Original Theatrical Trailer
Promotional Still Gallery
Reversible cover artwork
Blue Money Final Thoughts:
While never really becoming a gritty crime film or a trashy porn flick itself Blue Money is an interesting oddity. I can’t necessarily claim that it is a good film but it does have a place in my collection from a historical point of view. Vinegar Syndrome knocked this package out of the park. They got the original widescreen unedited cut and cleaned up the transfer. I am even thrilled they got an entire earlier film as a special feature, and although it is rough (the print and the execution) it’s a fantastic bonus.
While this film isn’t for everyone this is certainly the definitive release. If you have any interest at all in the description or plot then I suggest you try to check it out. At the time of this publishing Blue Money is available to stream on Amazon Prime for free. If you want it for your own collection you can pick up your copy here on Amazon.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process