French Wives (1979)

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John Christopher

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29 September 2010 | lor_
Fake foreign porn, imported all the way from...New York
Like the joke about imported sunglasses ("Yeah, imported from New Jersey") this sow's ear of a porn film goes to great pains to pretend to be a saucy French film, when I'm sure even the most retarded of '70s fans spotted all their Manhattan-based favorites in the MOS (shot silent) footage.

Filmmaker John Christopher, who I never met but who worked with a friend of mine (scripter Rick Marx) back in the '80s, has no shame in recycling generic porn loops into a feature length unit. Something Weird reissued it on Vol. 60 of its Dragon Art Theatre series, for which the excellent co-feature LOVE SECRETS makes up for this waste of time.

Running about an hour, FRENCH WIVES is extremely tedious, due to its endlessly boring voice-over and disco music. The femme narrator with a hokey French accent purports to be one of the players on screen, opposite the always easy on the eyes Tina Russell, but her pidgin English doggerel is annoying. Worse yet is endless playing of a French cover version of disco hit "I Will Survive" sung by Régine no less (boy, is that nostalgic for us Manhattanites, given her local prominence back in the day) as well as endless milking of the once-sexy sounds of Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg.

Poor color grading and editing finish up this junker, filled with stock travelogue footage of various locations in France. It was definitely shown as a chaser, to clear out grindhouses of those pesky patrons who didn't know it was time to head home, but had a rude awakening (literally) when subjected to such boring stuff as this.


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