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Mascara - Mascara(Blu Ray & DVD) [Vinegar Syndrome - 2019]

Directed by Henri Pachard and the originally uncredited Roberta Findlay, who also produced and shot the film, Mascara is an erotic psychological drama from 1983 starring Lisa De Leeuw and Lee Carroll alongside Lisa Cintrice, Tiffany Clark, Bobby Astyr, Robert Kerman and the legendary Ron Jeremy in smaller roles. The film has been newly scanned and restored in 2k from the original 35mm negatives and looks better than ever.

Harriet (Lisa De Leeuw) leads a fairly dull existence working as a secretary, a job she clearly doesn’t enjoy. After a somewhat disastrous double date, she returns to work to find her boss secretly liaising with a prostitute, Lucy (Lee Carroll). In order to overcome her inhibitions, Harriet seeks the guidance of Lucy in the ways of carnal desire. The pair eventually strike up a good friendship, culminating in them moving in together. As the two women become ever closer, Lucy begins to realize that she is losing her identity to Harriet.

Mascara is a pretty solid adult film for its time, delving into the psychology of sex, as we see Harriet change from the meek office worker we are introduced to at the film’s opening to the wanton sex goddess she becomes under the tutelage and guidance of Lucy.  The newly permissive Harriet gets to act out all of the formerly unspeakable fantasies she shared in an early conversation with Lucy. This represents Harriet’s very own sexual liberation at a time in the 1980s when the male gaze was still very prevalent in film and in fact, was probably more prevalent than it had been during some of the more permissive times of the 1960s and 70s.

Vinegar Syndrome’s new transfer looks sharp and clean, the colors are natural yet vibrant and the whole thing looks fantastic, a real credit to all the hard work the company puts into reviving these often-forgotten gems. The overall package is top-notch, featuring the film on both Blu-ray and DVD, an excellent reversible cover and a host of special features topped off by commentary track from producer/co-director/cinematographer Roberta Findlay and a feature-length interview with one of the film’s stars Lee Carroll, alongside the usual galleries and trailers. If you enjoy 80s erotic cinema then Mascara is a must for you, a good solid adult film with a good cast and with decent production values that looks better than it probably ever has on this new Blu-ray disc. Thanks once again to Vinegar Syndrome for the time and energy they put into these discs it is most appreciated.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Darren Charles
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