A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine/A Sweet Sickness/The Brick Dollhouse

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

In A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine, a beautiful young woman uses her sexuality to damage innocent men. Sharon Winters (Stacey Walker) is gorgeous, has a hot figure, and seems to be a fan of sexual hijinks, at least at first. She loves to meet men, seduce them with her charms, then turn the tables on her conquests. The men she encounters can’t believe their luck, as she is hot and seems to willing to do the deed. She lets them get her motor started and makes sure her men are aroused, but then her dark side surfaces. Just when the time comes to take that final step, she turns vicious and cries rape, as if she were a victim of forceful men. This has resulted in several broken lives, as the men have lost their families, went to jail, and even went insane. But when she picks the wrong mark, will she get a taste of her own medicine? In A Sweet Sickness, a young woman named Dee (Vincene Wallace) ventures to Hollywood to become a movie starlet. But of course, she soon learns how good intentions can go bad. Will she be able to overcome the dark, brutal side of the town, or will she another hapless victim? In The Brick Dollhouse, an exotic dancer has turned up dead and the police need a lot of answers. As the fateful event is retold by the dancer’s friends, who will the police believe?

If you’re a fan of exploitation cinema, then batten down the hatches, as Something Weird has released a triple tidal wave of genre madness. A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine is one fans have been dying to own and even by itself, the film would be worth the asking price of this triple feature. So when you toss in two movies like A Sweet Sickness and The Brick Dollhouse, it is impossible to pass on this edition. A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine is one of the best films of its kind, a twisted little tale of one mean bitch and her sexual manipulations, brought to the screen by 60s sleaze kingpin David F. Friedman. The premise is classic and while the focus female is a tease, you’ll still see ample naked flesh. Stacey Walker, also seen in The Notorious Daughter of Fanny Hill, is fun to watch and its a shame her career was so brief. You couldn’t ask for more of a bitch than Walker is here, though of course, she has to face the music at some point. The Brick Dollhouse is thin on plot, but delivers the goods in terms of nude women. In truth, the film plays like a parade of naked femmes in assorted sexual situations. A Sweet Sickness stars Vincene Wallace (Vixen) in a basic, quite predictable, but sleaze laden production. A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine is the main reason to snatch this release, but two other passable exploitation pictures and substantial supplements also on deck, this is a must own release.

Video: How does it look?

All three films are presented in full frame. As these were all quickie, low rent productions, we have to expect somewhat worn treatments. As usual, Something Weird has rounded up solid prints across the board, but don’t count on excellence. I have seen all three films in assorted home video versions, none of which were that impressive. In this edition, I found the transfers to be improved and easier to watch, but ample flaws remain. The prints on all three films have nicks, speckles, and grain, but that is unavoidable. I would love to have fully restored versions, but let’s be realistic, as that will never happen. So while these treatments are rough around the edges, they’re passable and I am glad we still have these flicks at all.

Audio: How does it sound?

All three films feature mono tracks and all show signs of age, but manage to complete the needed elements. Some of the elements have worn better than others, but all are decent enough, considered their age and nature. If you’ve seen them before and could live with the audio, then you should be happy with these mixes. The music sounds a little hollow, but then again, these are older mono tracks, so I will cut them some slack. The voices are all easy to hear and understand, which is to me the most important aspect of the audio for these films. These aren’t pristine audio tracks, but they more than get the job done in the end.

Supplements: What are the extras?

I was thrilled to see an audio commentary with David F. Friedman, who sat down to discuss A Smell of Honey, A Swallow of Brine. As always, Friedman is a jovial and candid speaker, both about the movie and the business as a whole. He seems to remember a lot about the stars and locations, which is interesting information. Friedman does cover some of the same topics as previous tracks, but all in all, another terrific session. A bonus short film titled A Visit to the Apple Theater is also found here, as well as a selection of exploitation artwork. The final supplement is the theatrical trailer for A Sweet Sickness.

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