Release Date(s)1969 (March 19, 2003)
- Film/Program Grade: C-
- Video Grade: B-
- Audio Grade: B-
- Extras Grade: D-
Zeta One is another release of a long lost adult film on Kino Lorber’s Jezebel off-shoot label. The film is a spoof of secret agent movies, most notably James Bond, but throws in a bit of a sci-fi element with women from space looking for other women from other earth so they can procreate with only the finest male specimens, or something.
The appeal of something like Zeta One is as transparent as a sheet of glass. It’s not a very good film, in the least. There’s not much of a plot to it at all either, and what is there is laughably bad. You can pick out the spoof moments, but the film spends most of its running time showing off the, ahem, goods. Really that’s what you’re paying for when you this and what the real draw to these things is. I personally don’t find them all that appealing. I think there are some healthy young women on display, but to get a thrill out of watching something like this you had to have lived in the era when it was made, or you have to be a thirteen year old boy. And that’s not an insult from me towards the quality of the film. I know there are people who believe it to be important, which is fine, but it’s not all that titillating to me. The cover actually promises a more Barbarella type movie than what it actually ends up being, so perhaps my feelings about it reflect that a bit more. Disappointment will do that.
As what you’d expect from Kino Lorber, the Blu-ray presentation of the film is an undoctored and unadulterated transfer from a 35mm negative. It hasn’t been cleaned up or modified to look any better than it is, so you’re getting exactly what was on the celluloid itself. There’s a pure and heavy grain structure with wonderful colors, skin tones and contrast, but the image itself is marred by scratches, hair, dirt and other debris of the like. It’s not necessarily a negative thing though, depending on how you look at it. It’s pretty much how you would have seen the film when it was released, in an old theater with a projectionist who didn’t take very good care of his prints while projecting them. In that way, it’s authentic. But as for a transfer to high definition, you might be disappointed a bit. The audio is a mono DTS-HD track, and like the video presentation, it’s presented very much “as is”. It sounds very old and worn, but still clear and clean enough to get the job done. However, there are no subtitle options, so some people might be left in the dark.
The only extras that have been included are the film’s theatrical trailer and a trailer for The Girl on a Motorcycle. I can’t say as I’m too disappointed though. I might have liked to have heard a little bit more about why the film was made and what the director’s intentions were, but those are completely obvious while you’re watching the film. The intent was to show scantily-clad women in a variety of ways with a slight story structure, and not much else. I can’t say that I’d recommend the film, but if you’re a fan of “softcore” films from the era, then you might enjoy Zeta One more than I did.
- Tim Salmons