Compared are the Blu-ray (2013) by Vinegar Syndrome with the 4K restored Blu-ray (2023) by Vinegar Syndrome.
Rosie, the favorite prostitute of cop Jimmy, is murdered in a massage parlor. Together with his partner Danny, Jimmy does everything he can to find the killer. But the killer is always one step ahead of the cops and kills more women in the shady massage parlors of New York...
Massage Parlor Murders is a sleazy grindhouse tearjerker about the gritty side of New York. In fact, the scene where Jimmy roams the streets of New York with all the movie posters in the background is a highlight of the film. The bloody murders and the bare breasts somewhat save the sluggish filmmaking. Especially the insane finale in which the film takes another turn is worthwhile. Sandra Peabody (The Last House on the Left) is seen in a larger role as a prostitute.
Restored version slightly longer
Massage Parlor Murders first appeared on Blu-ray in 2013 from Vinegar Syndrome. This was one of the first releases from the then young label. The release was quite notable, as the film was unseen after its theatrical release. In 2023, a re-release of Vinegar Syndrome comes in a set with a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray. This time, the original 35mm camera negative was used. The markings on the reel changes indicate that the 2013 Blu-ray was pulled from a theatrical print. The restored reissue runs a good minute longer than the first edition.
The differences between the versions are mostly inconsequential, however. The 4K version has a great many short scene extensions, throughout the film. In addition, the scene with the swingers in the pool has a few extra seconds. In the love scene between Gwen and Danny, a film tear was also concealed in the first edition.
If you own the first edition of Massage Parlor Murders, you don't have to buy the new release, because the extensions are inconsequential. Qualitatively, the 4K edition is a bit better than the first edition, but in my opinion does not justify a new purchase. If you don't have the film yet and are curious, you should definitely get the 4K version. The restored version can currently only be ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome.
Blu-ray (First Edition): 79:40 min.
The production logo can be seen longer in the 4K.
This is followed by an alternative title overlay. The 4K version uses the title "Massage Parlor Hookers".
BD: 12 sec
4K: 15 sec
Here is an example of one of the many scene extensions in the 4K version:
Danny can be seen longer.
4K: 1 sec
The swingers in the pool can be seen longer.
4k: 2 sec
The camera continues to pan over the swingers sitting and standing at the edge of the pool.
4K: 3 sec
When Danny and Gwen kiss, the Blu-ray fades to the moment when they start to undress. A film tear was apparently concealed here.
In the 4K, Danny and Gwen can still be seen. Gwen leans back.
BD: 1 sec
4K: 4 sec