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DVD: Bettie Page - Bondage Queen Special Edition
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Cult Epics
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February 22, 2005



Genre: Erotica  
Compilation DVD of rare & classic fetish shorts & loops.  



Directed by:

Irving Klaw
Screenplay by: none credited
Music by: n/a
Produced by: Irving Klaw

Bettie Page

Film Length: 113 mins Process/Ratio: 1.33:1
Black & White Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:  English Mono
Special Features :  

Text Commentary by Bettie Page / Text History of Fetishism and S&M / Photo Gallery with 19 images

Comments :

Though a court demanded Irving Klaw destroy his fetish work after an indecency charge in the Fifties, enough materials survived over the years that his work - often co-authored with sister Paula Klaw - enjoyed continuing success over the decades among collectors of sexual and exploitation photography, fans of the iconic Page, and the good 'ol curious.

Distributed through their mail order business, the fetish stills and movies - alongside the company's standard library of celebrity stills - remain influential elements in fashion, commercial art, and lifestyles. Back in 1984, the surviving 16mm films were transferred to VHS in themed collections, and a portion of the shorts were later released on DVD by Cult Epics.

The three Bettie Page DVDs that formed Cult Epics' inaugural video releases (see end) lack chapter menus, but each film is properly indexed. Basic extras include a brief written comment by Page herself, a small photo gallery, and a capsule history of fetishism and S&M by Cult Epics owner, Nico B.

The DVD essentially contains the two volumes that collected Page's bondage loops, edited into a slightly chronological narrative, using a largely ongoing and very informative commentary by Shirley Thompson, plus several stills to setup Klaw's pioneering work as a fetish photographer. While taken from old video masters - the video has the fidelity of vintage 3/4 U-Matic - Cult Epics' disc still contains the best selection of Page's bondage films, taken from well-worn, crudely photographed, but watchable prints, including some with their original titles. (Koch Vision has their own collection - Bettie Page in Bondage - with major quantitative and qualitative differences.) The series' original producers also scored the films with cheesy pop-jazz music, and while that too dates the assembled collection, it adds some humour to Klaw's crudely amusing films.

The shorts are definitely in need of new transfers, but this remains the best source on DVD for Page enthusiasts. The titles that make up "Irving Klaw Bondage Classics Volume One and Two" are: "Bettie Page Gets Bound and Kidnapped," "Escape Out of Bondage," "Captured Jungle Girl," "Jonnie Initiates Barbara Into Bondage," "Rumble Seat Bondage," and "Second Initiation of the Sorority Girl." One bondage short is untitled, and both volumes also include similarly campy fetish shorts: "Bettie's Exotic Dance in High Heels," "Bettie Page and Her High Heel Shoes," " Teaser Girl in High Heels," "Bettie Gets Dressed In Satin" (all pretty self-explanatory), and "Domineering Roz Strikes Again" (basically a spanking loop).

This re-released Cult Epics title is available separately or as part of the Bettie Page Collection that includes: “Bettie Page: Pin Up Queen," "Bettie Page: Bondage Queen," and "100 Girls By Bunny Yeager." Also available is "The Irving Klaw Classics" collection, with additional Page material.

Note: For the sake of easy database searches on this site, Bettie Page is the chosen spelling of her name in titles and reviews, although if hunting for the titles via online retailers, you may wish to try “Betty Page” in some instances.

© 2005 Mark R. Hasan

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