The Playmates in Deep Vision 3-D (1974)

What can I say about this movie? I have seen it at least 30 times and it’s one of my favorite films. It’s both good and bad. Bad for people who expect too much from a shoe string budget 3D semi-porn. Good for those who love the creative films that came from California in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.

This movie was originally shot in 1973 using the Deep Vision 3D process. The film was finally shown in 1975 and 1976 in different cuts. Some were for drive ins and some were more explicit. While this never was a hardcore flick, it gets close to it at some points in the DVD cut. This movie was shot off and on when money came in, so it feels a bit jumbled at times.

I managed to track down the director of this movie, Steve Gibson, he was very kind in informing me about his 3d process and shooting. This is the first full length Eastman (Kodak) color 3d movie.

The story is about Jane Kinsey who is making a documentary on swingers and is unable to find romance for herself. Throughout the movie, she presents different ways of “hooking up” which includes everything from the Renaissance to the various tactics of the 70s (which consist of bad pickup lines and girls hitting on guys).

After wandering around and studying various examples, she runs into Joe Strovack (who is a TV host). She ends up going on his show and falling for him. After some weird dreams, she finally gathers the courage to tell him how she feels. The movie has a good ending with them on a bed in a field with a great overall soundtrack (especially the last song “Peace is a flower”).

I happened to catch one of the last 35mm revival flicks of a soft cut at a local theater. It was funny seeing it on the big screen because while the color was faded, the 3D worked quite well. The weird thing about the DVD cut of this movie is that it contains more sex, but less dialog scenes and dirty jokes than the theatrical version (which makes no sense because the DVD cut is listed as an “Unrated Director’s Cut”.

Overall this movie is definitely worth checking out because of it’s rarity and cast of classic porn stars from L.A. in the 1970s. It’s a little weird because some scenes are in faded 3D and some are 2D (perhaps because of lack of budget). The reason I mention that is because I have an anaglyph (Red & Blue) 3D lens myself and I know it can be hard to setup 3D shots. If it is not setup properly, you get eye sores from the colors being shifted too far (plus, the effect won’t work).

Because this was shot on sound stages and various parts of LA without permits, they probably had to skip using the 3D lens in a few places (parks, alleys, etc). The other fun part of this movie is that it was shot when making porn was illegal in California in the 1970’s.

Hopefully, they will one day release a full cut that makes a little more sense. Until then, check out the DVD and don’t take it too seriously. If you love weird old hippie nostalgic flicks from California in the 70s, then you’ll love this!