Entertainment » Movies

There's Always Vanilla

by Ken Tasho
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Mar 14, 2018
There's Always Vanilla

If your dating life happens to be in the doldrums, pick up a copy of Arrow Video's new Blu-ray to put your relationships into perspective. The little-known and little-seen "There's Always Vanilla" was writer/director George A. Romero's second feature film, and was the head-scratching follow-up to the enormously successful "Night of the Living Dead." He decided to stray from the horror genre and, with "Vanilla," took a scathing look at dating in the early 1970s.

The title comes from a simple line of dialogue at the very end of the movie, and during the rest of the 90 minute running time you'll witness the relationship trappings between Chris (Ray Laine) and model girlfriend Lynn (Judith Streiner). They're not very likable characters, and it becomes obvious after a while that Romero didn't actually write the screenplay this time around.

Most of "Vanilla" take its cues from soap operas, with its dramatic flourishes of dating and the ensuing disagreements that occur. The movie even includes the obligatory abortion scene toward the film's end. That very scene is all you're going to get in the horror department, and even Romero himself (as seen in one of the special features) doesn't like this film very much.

Because of how the film was shot - it was filmed over a few years time due to budgetary considerations - the source footage has its limitations. Arrow Video's 2K scan presents the material in its best light; It's hazy and faded at times, but definitely has a dated, retro '70s look. Arrow also includes a brand new half-hour documentary called "Affair of the Heart: The Making of There's Always Vanilla," which features interviews with the main stars Judith Streiner and Richard Ricci.

The frank and honest archive interview with director Romero, called "Digging Up the Dead: The Lost Films of George A. Romero," has the filmmaker discussing both "Vanilla" and "Season of the Witch." He bluntly states that he doesn't have much interest in re-visiting "There's Always Vanilla" but here, the film lives on with this Blu-ray release.

"There's Always Vanilla"

Ken Tasho is a Corporate Drone by day and Edge Contributor by night. He has a love for all things ’80’s and resides in the Wayland Square area of Providence, RI...but would much rather be sharing an apartment in NYC with ’80’s rock goddesses Pat Benatar and Deborah Harry.


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