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Star Blue TV presents
Roxy Saint: The Underground Personality Tapes (2004)

"There's no humans in this world anymore..."
- lyric from Humans

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 02, 2004

Stars: Roxy Saint
Director: Roxy Saint, Eric Zimmerman, Steven Hanft, Simple Fly

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (occasional mature themes, brief nudity)
Run Time: 43m:04s
Release Date: May 11, 2004
UPC: 751937234296
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

It's hard to tell whether or not Los Angeles-based underground rocker/filmmaker Roxy Saint, who according to her press release is "straight off of Fairfax and Santa Monica Blvd", is the real deal or a well-packaged bit of manipulative marketing. With The Underground Personality Tapes, it's a collection of ten music videos interrupted by arty/grubby interstitials featuring Ms. Saint and all sorts of weird folks chattering on a variety of subjects—including a strange section on the infamous Lobster Boy—until the next song starts up.

On The Underground Personality Tapes, she's looking and sounding quite a bit like Exile In Guyville-era Liz Phair's younger sister, or perhaps even daughter (sorry about that Liz). Aside from what I considered to be blatant Phair comparisons, Roxy Saint also comes across with obvious glimmers of the pre-fab machinations of Marilyn Manson. the "I'm a dirty girl" antics of Courtney Love and thrift store gypsy look of Lene Lovich, with the guitar-driven songs—all built on standard issue fuzzy, manic power chords—featuring Roxy with slightly distorted and mechanical-sounding vocals.

My initial concerns about the manipulative marketing factor, which is where the suspicious hackles on my neck start to quiver, stem from the fact that with The Underground Personality Tapes there is what seems to be a constant glut of video images that all play off of Roxy Saint's ever changing "look". Yes, she's very attractive—even when she tries to look unpresentable—and it seems very, very apparent that a huge part of her whole push, of what she wants to sell herself as, is built on her presentation of the sex kitten/heroin chic/bad girl/rock waif, even during her cover of Iggy's I Wanna Be Your Dog, a tune that has become a required anthem amongst up and coming underground acts.

But this isn't anything new. Look at the looong career of Kiss, whose entire existence has been erected on a foundation of glitz, costumes and a stage show. Marilyn Manson, for example, built an empire on recycling Alice Cooper's act and selling it back to teenage boys, and it is no big secret that the music world is, and always has, been filled with either genuine talent or questionable talent that has to be bolstered by a well-crafted image. Does Britney Spears have genuine talent, or did she sell sex appeal and stripper-quality dancing, which in turn sold CDs? I think we all know the answer to that.

And that brings us back to Roxy Saint, and her finely crafted long-form marketing tool The Underground Personality Tapes. It's finely crafted because I ultimately can't tell whether I'm being force fed an image or seeing some new rock rebel. The optimist in me wants to believe she's playing from the heart, but all the eternal cynic in me can see is a pretty female singer parading herself about in all sorts of sexy outfits (though all with an intentional street whore look), adding bits of veiled lesbianism to the mix, honing a dirty girl style that will have armies of teenage boys pulling money out of their wallets. She can cavort in a bathtub with another girl in Another Face, or become a flag-waving hooker in Firecracker, but it is sex she's selling, and I have to question if the music then becomes secondary.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: All videos and interstitials are presented in 1.33:1 full frame. There is quite a bit of intentional stylization, grain and alteration of colors during The Underground Personality Tapes, but even with these arthouse gimmicks the transfer looks consistent.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: The PCM audio mix is especially resilient, offering unexpectedly pronounced instrument separation and a fairly wide spatial feel. A pronounced bottom end is somewhat lacking, but overall very nice without being overtly flashy.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu
Scene Access with 18 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 10 cues and remote access
Packaging: Book Gatefold
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras or subtitles.

Extras Grade: F


Final Comments

I want to accept Roxy Saint as the new face of street whore rock, but I have a problem with the slickness of this product, even if it's made to look rough around the edges.

With that said, The Underground Personality Tapes was not a chore to watch. It's fast-paced, full of interesting visuals, and Roxy Saint uses her looks to good advantage here. Even if none of the songs stuck with me, there was what seems like an authentic urgency to the music that gave me at least a little hope.

I do want to believe.


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