Massage Parlor Murders * Vinegar Syndrome* Directed by Chester Fox & Alex Stevens, 1972 * Blu-ray release date - April 09, 2013
Review written by David Paul Wyatt Perko

The original opening scene (nearly seven minutes) was cut when this tense horror first appeared on the scene in the early seventies. But those six-plus minutes–now uncovered–are back! Viewers have the option to view the film with or without a nervous man, too shy to go any further than getting his masseuse topless. But that’s just one reason this 2K restoration will have you hooked, the second you can do your own cutting and hack eighty minutes out of your life to watch it.

Originally titled, Massage Parlor Hookers, the general plot pick-up here is that attractive ladies are getting rubbed out–with no happy ending. Lead detective Rizotti (George Spencer), and his partner, are on the hunt though, and they eventually bring justice to the table. The body of the work stays true-to-title, while also fingering a number of areas that turn out to be quite the surprising trick. Shot on the streets of New York City, the background throughout the entire film is nothing shy of a tremendous, visual time-capsule where everything from cars to theater marquees to clothing fashions to interior stylings–take particular note of the beautifully ornate, jaw-dropping wallpaper–are almost more titillating to view than the dolled-up victims. Almost.

With just as much attention to detail as what they put into, The Lost Films Of Herschell Gordon Lewis, Vinegar Syndrome hasn’t relaxed a single muscle with their working-over of this obscure film gem. From head to toe, Massage Parlor Murders, is a fanciful cult classic that had been wearing a decades old, rust-riddled, cast iron suit–rendering it nearly invisible to even the most eclectic film buff. Now that Vinegar Syndrome has put their electrifying touch to this flick, the obscurity suit has been stripped off and swapped for skimpy panties. You’ll come for the girls and drama, stay for the scenery and walk away, ironically, more tense than ever. //