Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Odyssey: The Ultimate Trip (1977)

Gerard Damiano was certainly one of the most talented director of this period, if not the most talented. But most of what is on the market does not do him justice, since more often than not we are entitled to vhs transfert on dvd. It is sad to say, but the lovers of cinema that we are is a minority and the U.S. industry isn't too concerned with of us (of course there are exceptions, but they can count on the fingers of one hand). So I turned to Europe to get this film which is part of a series of classic movies that will be released by  the french label Wild Side Video throughout this year.
This film is an anthology in three parts but there are no apparent links between each story and each of them is not of equal interest. The anthology starts well with The Beginning about a couple (Robert Kerman and Nancy Dare) whose union is at its breaking point, what we quickly realize in the discussions between them and another couple (Michael Gaunt and Crystal Sync) from the beginning. Following the advice of his friend, the husband will visit Madame Zenobia to help his marriage. What happens next is a series of fantastic images and superb staging (the mixing of genders scene between Sharon Mitchell and Tony Mansfield is particularly successful), all this accompanied by a soundtrack of classical and romantic music until the grand finale.
The second part entitled The Middle is for me the least interesting and presents a series of meeting between a psychiatrist (Sue Bright) and her clients (Samantha Fox, Gloria Leonard and Linda Maidstone). The scenes are rather short and not sufficiently developed. Personally I believe that this segment would have benefited from focusing solely on the culpability issues of the character played by Samantha Fox.

The last and most successful part entitled The End follows Nicole (Susan McBain), a New York model from one job to another. This story is depressing and ends on a sombre note (hence the film title). The mix between the outdoor scenes that expresses the optimism (superb old New York footage by the way) and the apartment of Nicole who represents everything that goes wrong in her life  is particularly successful. 
Between these times we live in the imagination of Nicole as a spectator of her fantasies. These are a beautifully filmed orgy (usually I do not like them really) with Wade Nichols, Vanessa del Rio and CJ Laing among others as participants and a romantic scene between Nicole and an unknown man (Peter Andrews).
A high quality Gerard Damiano's production (like Portrait, Devil in Miss Jones and The Story of Joanna) that I highly recommend despite the fact that you need to import it from France and at a  not so low price if we count the shipping cost.

The film is available on Amazon France like all the other films who are part of this collection.


  1. Odyssey is one of the most stylish adult films I've ever seen. It should be required viewing for anyone considering themselves appreciator of adult cinema!

  2. I got this film without knowing anything about it (except that it's a Damiano's movie). I like to take chances and it was sure a winning bet, but the quality of the material used for this dvd sure help (one of the best transfert I've ever seen). I will certainly add more movies from this serie to my collection this year.

    I almost feel like rewatching the film again tonight wich is a sure sign of quality to me.