Vinegar Syndrome recently opened a new streaming service for some of their films, including many of their pornos, called Vinegar Syndrome Direct. Thankfully, every time you purchase something from Vinegar Syndrome, you’ll unlock two more months of VS Direct services, which is a really nice feature for those people who buy regularly from the company. Right now, VS Direct has Hot Summer in the City streaming from their collection, a 1976 black sexploitation porno about the enslavement and gang rape of a virgin kidnapped running away from her mother’s gangbang.
Hot Summer in the City isn’t an erotic film; it’s actually pretty disgusting. From the outset, our protagonist Debby (first-timer Lisa Baker) is painted as a naive, Catholic good girl, the kind who wants to hold off on having sex until after she’s married to her boyfriend. It’s director The Hare’s (otherwise known as Gail Palmer) attempt at characterizing Debby so that it makes her later rape even raunchier – she’s raped, and that’s terrible enough, but it’s also while she’s a virgin attempting to uphold her Christian values.
The Hare doesn’t lighten things up any more than throughout Hot Summer in the City‘s 60 minute runtime either. The sex scenes are filmed with ugly camera shots, from underneath the men’s genitals or right up close and personal, highlighting the loads delivered; it’s aggressive, violent stuff too, the actresses giving it their all to fight with their performers to accentuate the lack of consent given. It’s disturbingly realistic, to the point where it’s clear that most normal people will not be turned on by Hot Summer in the City, but rather looking for something to like about it.
Its sleazy plot has little going for it besides a minute reference to a crime caper. The four men who kidnap Debby – Duke (Duke Johnson), Shorty (Shorty Roberts), Stitch (Stitch Umbas), and Coke (Coke Cain) – are also working on staging a racial attack fueled by their distaste for honkies, but this is only mentioned with little action to back up its place in the plot. Still, Hot Summer in the City does play off race wars, including role reversal with the relatively well-off Debby as a slave doing their dishes, pouring them whiskey, and tied up to a bed. It’s a stretch to call any of this intentional from the Hare – Hot Summer in the City is just a dirty rape porno that happens to have a very loose plot in the process – but for those looking for a reason to watch besides seeing poor Debby and Jody (Black Orchid) forced to do nasty things to their captors, that’s probably the best you’re going to get.
Vinegar Syndrome Direct’s stream of the film isn’t the greatest quality, but it does uphold the cigarette burns and film pops that you’d see in a grimy red light district theater. It feels like you’re really watching this in a dumpy, shady adult cinema, and if that’s your cup of tea, then unbutton your pants and go to town. Just keep in mind that Hot Summer in the City, despite its close-up sex scenes and apparent fascination with cumshots, it’s all based around a disturbing woman-in-captivity rape scenario that feels quite scummy.