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Casanova II

Messed up sequel goes in weird direction
This is Casanova Part 2 which has ben padded out to give us another film with the legendary John Holmes. This film supposes that Casanova has had a son who grows up to be Don Juan. Like father like son, Don Juan becomes another great lover and there are some good sex scenes to bear this out but the whole production of this inserted porn looks too clinical - as if it was made as a porn advert for a Glamorous Homes magazine. For me, the only good sex scene was the one with the injured swordsgirl (Cathy Linger) who wants to know what great sex is like before she expires. Who better to show her than our very own Mr John Holmes? Then he turns his attention to the Gypsy girl (Bridgette Felina). This scene was part of the original film. The rest of the film is a mess.

We get a series of so-called talking head experts (no, not that sort of head despite this being a porn film) espousing stuff that I have now forgotten about, but who wants that intellectual stuff in a porn film anyway? There is some old footage and lots of free love and a mushroom cloud! Yes, really. What's that about? In this case, more is less.

The New Erotic Adventures of Casanova

Classic film of its type
I first saw this film many years ago when it was a single film but at some point, some-one decided to chop it in two and while most of the film constitutes Part 1, the second part was given a new scenario which is something to do with Don Juan being a descendant of Casanova. Anyway, this review is for Part 1.

The film is certainly lavish with its costumes and sets but the film starts off with a clip showing Gene Wilder and Donald Sutherland from Start the Revolution Without Me. After that we get to the main story which is the modern descendant of Casanova, played by John Holmes, inheriting a potent perfume which renders any female who smells it putty in his hands. This, of course is just what porn films are all about. Besides the obvious sex scenes this film takes on darker themes - the term, family relations, takes on a whole new meaning; and the scene with the three young ladies may be at odds with today's sensibilities. As a porn film though, this delivers the goods.

John Holmes gets to show off his legendary manhood in some hot scenes but for me the best is the one at the motel with Iris Medina. She is fabulous, so much so that it seems unlikely she could ever me a motel maid, but this is a porn film after all. This scene is not just sex but sexy as well. A missed opportunity was the scene with Susan Silver as Doctor Sharpe. This could have been a great scene if some-one had used a bit of imagination. Overall though, a good film of its type.

Ghosts Can't Do It

Nobody does it in this film - that's the problem
Bo Derek has a fantastic body. Right then, that's the positive taken care of but what about the negatives? Ye Gods, where to begin? Anthony Quinn's talent is wasted as he spends most of the time as an ethereal talking head surrounded by some sort of shimmering light that looks like an early Star Trek special effect. Bo Derek just cannot express facially, any different emotions despite going through a range of experiences during the film. There are laughs to be had but unfortunately they are unintentional. The biggest laugh for me was when Bo dives out of the cockpit of a seaplane (she is flying solo) but leaves the still powered-up plane to float off to who knows where. Then there is the ethical question of actually inciting some-one to commit murder - and this is supposed to be a comedy of sorts. The biggest let-down is the end. In a sexy film the ending should have a great sex and nudity scene but there isn't one. This has got to be the anti-climax of all anti-climaxes.

This review is based on a US DVD and the UK VHS which was released in 1990. The US DVD runs for 94 minutes compared to the UK VHS at 83 minutes. Some of this difference can be put down to the NTSC and PAL frame speeds but the UK edition has had the following cuts. The NTSC DVD is used as the reference.

The first cut is at 2:45 when Quinn says, "I'm having a heart attack". The UK film cuts directly to the hospital ward instead of showing Katie comforting Scott. The second cut is at 13:29 when Katie says, "You're scaring me Great One". The UK film cuts directly to Scott writing a final draft of a letter instead of Katie and Scott comforting each other. The final cut is at 46:27 and in the UK version the clips showing the Pill Man spying on Katie in the swimming pool before confronting her in the shower have been cut. The BBFC makes no mention of these cuts so they must have been made before the film was submitted for classification. Why were the cuts made? Who knows, but they help move the film along.

Forbidden Games

It shouldn't have been allowed
Forbidden Games? It is this film that should have been forbidden. Generally, I like erotic films but this one does not rank highly in my opinion. The film starts off with a supposedly erotic scene which is meant to be the initial crime but then gets steadily worse. Jeff Griggs plays the private Investigator with psychic powers but he is not quite psychic enough to know instantly who did it - which is a pity because it would have saved me the ninety minutes watching this.

There are a good number of beautiful women in this but they generally sit or lounge around a swimming pool. In a film such as this of course, there are the obligatory sex scenes but there is more to it than just showing acres of female flesh, welcomed though it is. As for the ending, that was less than an anti-climax and him being a psychic cop, he should really have seen it coming. The film could have been better than it is and the people who shoot erotic scenes should really learn how to do it.

The Glitterball

It's a small world
This was the sort of film that us kids used to watch at Saturday Morning Pictures but by the time this film was made, I was long out of short trousers and making my own home.

Watching this film now, this reminds me of that other scared alien film ET, although this was made a few years before Mr Spielberg - and one would imagine with a much smaller budget. The pace of this film though does not allow any weepiness and there is not a wasted minute in this Boys Own style adventure. The fairly short film is about a small scared alien, in the form of a small ball, befriended by two boys who help it in trying to find its way back to its mothership. On the way there is the unscrupulous (and hapless) local crook and the authorities trying to track it down.

A couple of familiar faces from the past crop up - Ron Pember as the crook and Derek Deadman as the ice cream van driver. There is also an uncredited appearance by Linda Robson as the cashier. Special mention must be made of the special effects, especially in the supermarket and taken all round, the film is an entertaining hour of family viewing.


What were they thinking?
In the UK, this film is called Armageddon of the Dead but the film is so bad I am surprised it did not have the words zombie and apocalypse in the title. In reality it is another zombie film in which a group of people are holed up in a building while the zombies are massing outside. It would not be so bad if some of the decisions taken by the people made sense. For instance, the people know that being bitten by a zombie is fatal yet some injuries are ignored and no-one seems to think anything is wrong when an injured person dies, but then are surprised when dead person rises again. The Sherriff seems to be the only one with his head screwed on properly but even he must have had a senior moment when he handcuffs a suspected infected person to the emergency exit door: think about it because these people certainly didn't. I could go on but it would take too long, not to mention the debacle at the sanctuary so I will stop here.

Zombie Apocalypse

Best comedy in years
Whether or not it was intended to be a comedy, this film was a riot. All the best clichés were there including the line that all British panto lovers will know - there're behind you. The thing that makes this a hoot though, is that it is played straight - everyone is just so serious; but first, a bit about the plot.

The special edition DVD comes with a comic booklet explaining the origins of the zombie virus and the film picks up when the zombies are inadvertently let loose. The film revolves around a group of people who have to battle the zombies in order to survive but also a corporate or government plot to kill a rogue agent who mumbles and murmurs like a Bruce Willis wannabe with a sore throat. The action clichés are equally unimpressive.

You have to wonder how fit people are caught by shuffling zombies and watch carefully as just about every cliché is incorporated here; and don't get me started on the martial arts fighting. Still, it is great fun and worth watching for a laugh.

Me and My Mates vs. The Zombie Apocalypse

And the stupid shall inherit the Earth
When I saw this DVD for sale I was hoping for a worthy zombie comedy along the lines of Shaun of the Dead but while there are good comedy moments, most of the humour failed to hit the mark. The plot was a simple one: a group of mates are holed up in a telephone exchange while the zombies are surrounding the building. The banter keeps flowing with the characters discussing the usual Aussie subjects of cricket and beer. In typical Aussie style, they even managed to include a couple of scantily clad women, one of them topless. Discussing the fate of their friend's wife was a good moment and so was the rooftop firework scene but this latter scene looked too similar to the Roadrunner cartoons. The real let-down was the timing of some of the action: some of the zombies took ages to shamble a few yards but if this was meant to be the joke then it failed. Generally, I like Aussie films, both comedy and drama but not this one.

Night Rhythms

Hot erotic scenes amid improbable plot
Gregory dark has directed quite a number of these erotic thrillers and in this one he delivers the goods. Nick West (Martin Hewitt) is a late-night radio host whose reputation for his sexy talk show has earned him legions of fans but also some enemies so when Nick is heard having sex with female fan Honey, (Tracy Tweed) on-air, his listeners are shocked when the moaning and groaning turns into choking and croaking. Nick goes on the run and with his barmaid girl friend Cinnamon, (Deborah Driggs) he has to trawl the sleazy haunts in search of clues.

This all leads to some great sex scenes, not forgetting of course the early scenes of a couple of his female fans pleasuring themselves as Nick seduces them over the air. The sex scenes are hot and feature girl/girl as well as a hot scene with Nick and Cinnamon. David Carradine also appears as Vincent, the psycho club owner - there's no Kung-Fu grasshopper here. However, it is the erotic scenes that viewers will be watching for and with the great eye-candy on show, this is one of the better films of the genre.

Edges of Darkness

Should have stayed on the stage
The end credits says that this film was based on a stage play and it certainly seems that way with almost all the action happening indoors. The film consists of three intertwined stories against a backdrop of a zombie plague but actually the stories could easily have been three separate half-hour plays with no zombies at all. It is my belief that the zombies were mostly a marketing ploy.

The first story is about a couple whose marriage has hit a rough patch with the wife being neglected by the husband who is obsessed with writing a play (or book) and spends all his time on his computer. Unbeknownst to the couple, the computer is cleverer than they realise.

The second story features a vampire couple who take in a young woman who is not what she seems. The couple cannot believe how lucky they are when the young woman lets them drink her blood but there is a price to pay for this largesse.

The DVD cover which shows a Lara Croft look-a-like about to blow away a zombie was the reason I bought the DVD and is the main character in the final story. Our glamorous heroine has rescued a young boy from the zombies, (it did not have to be zombies - it could have been any plague) but two priests believe the boy to be the Antichrist and want to kill him. The question is, is he really the Antichrist or are the priests just religious zealots gone mad?

You see? There really was no need at all for the zombies. To give the film its credit, the zombies were well done and so was the chomping and chewing but perhaps the budget spent on the film could have been better spent in some other way.

The Other Woman

Interwoven plots with good erotica
This is actually quite a good erotic drama if you do not mind the poor acting and the rather laughable action scenes. Lea Anne Beaman is the journalist investigating mobster Mike Florian (Sam Jones, an actor so wooden a fence post would give him a run for his money) when she sees photos of an unknown woman, found in her husband's jacket. This start her off on a journey not only to discover this mystery woman's identity, but also to discover the truth about herself. Her troubles are not only personal but also professional as she has to deal with sexual politics and corporate rivalry.

Jag Mundhra occupies the same position as Gregory Dark when it comes to erotic film making and this film has a good amount of erotic scenes especially the one with Miss Beaman and the exotic Juliet Reagh, who for some reason calls herself Jenna Persaud for this film. I think Jag Mundhra missed a trick at the start of the film when the first love scene is curtailed by a phone call: always start the film with a hot sex scene to hold the viewer's attention. Despite this, the film delivers what it is meant to deliver.

Sins of the Night

Deborah Shelton makes this movie
This has got to be one of the best erotic thrillers ever made. It may be a bit far-fetched at times but the erotic content in this movie is fantastic, especially Deborah Shelton. She plays Roxy, the ex-girlfriend of insurance CEO Ted Quincy (Matt Roe) who wants her back and her husband dead in order to collect the insurance. The plot is a bit convoluted but the obvious standout scene is the one with Miss Shelton and Nick Cassavetes, Jack, the ex-con insurance investigator who is - sorry, no spoilers. A mention also goes to Michele Brin who plays the suspected insurance fraudster early in the film. It is a pity we do not see more of her.

Despite the praise for this film mentioned above, two stars have been deducted because I feel that there were missed opportunities for more erotic content; Michele Brin mentioned above; Courtney Taylor has legs to die for so we could have seen more; and there is a hint of a girl/girl relationship. In conclusion, if you are a fan of the erotic thriller genre, this film is a must-see.

Sylvia im Reich der Wollust

Do It! Dooby-Dooby-Dooby-Dooby Do It!
I think I have got the right number of Doobys. This is one of those songs that will haunt your head while the film is gathering dust on the shelf. Maybe the film could be labelled as Eurotrash which was a popular genre back in the day. The film is meant to be a comedy as Sylvia (Corinne Brodbeck) goes in search of sexual fulfilment when her TV-mad husband ignores her sexual overtures. It may have been funny once but it has not aged well.

A couple of scenes which may have been acceptable back then would probably raise objections now but I am not going to write spoilers. On the plus side, the leading ladies are not shy doing their nude scenes and thankfully look totally natural. Ajita Wilson is also in this and bearing in mind how trans people are coming to the fore, it could be said that she was way ahead of her time. The locations from the Côte d'Azure to the Austrian Tyrol look good, so what a pity we do not see more of them. Finally, the last shot of the aeroplane is pure Benny Hill but it does not save the film.

Lady Macbeth

The same old cliché lets the side down
Not to be confused with the Shakespearean character, this Lady Macbeth is Katherine, a 19th century wife in northern England who is left to run the estate after her husband and father-in-law are called away on business. The loneliness is well conveyed by the slow pacing of the film as Katherine sits alone in the house and the cinematography which captures the isolation amidst the open moorland. The lack of music adds to the bleakness of the situation as do the echoes of Katherine's footsteps in the house. It is no wonder that Katherine seeks passion in the arms of another man and goes to desperate measures to keep her freedom and the film takes on a very sinister form. However, it is the speed with which the affair begins.

It is the same old cliché we have seen many times before - a woman resists a man but he only has to give her a kiss and she is putty in his hands. James Bond did it with Pussy Galore; then there was Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara and I an pretty sure that other leading men such as John Wayne and Robert Mitchum have done it with their leading ladies. One would have thought that in the 21st century, that old idea would have been laid to rest but apparently not; or maybe I don't know women. That, for me really let the side down and I do not think the film deserved many of its plaudits.

Eat the Rich

Spot the celebrity
Set in London, this is an anarchic satire on the consumerist yuppiedom of the Thatcherite 1980s. Written by and featuring the cast of The Comic Strip series, the film could be a Who's Who of the 1980s UK show business. All credit to them for getting people such as Paul McCartney, Bill Wyman and Koo Stark and Motorhead who contribute much of the soundtrack.

Director Peter Richardson creates the restaurant (the IMDb does not permit me to mention its name) in which much of the action takes place and the feasting of the patrons and their behaviour as they stuff their faces is a metaphor for the excesses of the 1980s but the film does show the ugliness of all levels of society.

The film is a bit uneven in its pacing but maybe this was intentional as the frenetic pace of the city is offset by a rather pedestrian pace when the location changes to the countryside. Overall though, the film is of its time and with the screen filled with celebrities of those days, some forgotten, some who made it big, this film deserves repeated viewing, even if it is only to play spot the celebrity.

Darker Shades of Elise

Clichés a-go-go in a tale of our times
This is actually a good film covering subjects which have come to the fore in recent times, such as controlling and abusive behaviour, revenge porn and social media. It tells of how a woman having marriage problems falls under the influence of a tall, dark, handsome stranger and slides down the slippery slope to humiliation and abuse. It should serve as a warning to anyone, especially women who are tempted by the modern trends of finding themselves and exploring their sexuality.

Becca Hirani plays Elise, the woman who finds that the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence but the real honours should go to Aaron Blake as Felix the photographer who shows a darkness that grows steadily darker - Darker Shades of Felix, maybe. His best scene though is actually on the DVD extras called Goodnight Tessa. It beggars belief that this scene never made onto the final cut. The ending for me was poorly written and weak but overall the film confirms that old adage, be careful what you wish for.


Like Friends but really depressing
Perhaps a male of mature years is not the target audience of Girls but maybe this allows a different perspective on Girls after watching the first four series. Lena Dunham, the writer, refers to Sex and the City (SATC) but I feel that Girls is more akin to Friends. The four women in SATC are mature, established professionals, whereas in Girls they are drifting twenty-somethings, much like those in Friends. The characters share similarities too.

I feel that the six main characters in Girls have their counterparts in Friends. For instance, Hannah is cut off financially by her parents while Rachel cuts herself off. Hannah and Adam have their relationship whilst Rachel and Ross have theirs; and both couples have their breaks. Shoshanna is the kooky one, like Phoebe. The other characters are more difficult to evaluate but here goes; Jessa equals Monica: Marnie equals Joey; Ray equals Chandler. I am sure anyone reading this will disagree but that's free speech for you - so feel free to disagree. What sets Girls apart from Friends and SATC is the writing.

SATC and Friends contain their share of setbacks and disappointments but are, especially Friends, optimistic and funny. Lena Dunham set out to make her characters, especially Hannah, victims of their own mistakes and so the series are downbeat and full of the mistakes and ire of young people trying to survive in a harsh environment. Sex plays a big part in the lives of the characters and Lena Dunham is not backward in writing about the search for love and affection and the disappointments that come with it. There is much more sex on display here than in SATC and especially Friends but this only adds to the pathos of it all. I am not sure that I want to see any more.

2 Broke Girls

The noise! The noise!
I have seen this show from the start when it aired in the UK. What prompted me to watch was the promise of down-to-the-knuckle jokes and not caring about political correctness. For me, too much ground has been given away to the easily-offended and the snowflake generation. I like this show because it reminded me of that other favourite of mine, Married With Children, a show in which everyone took the flak and gave as good as they got. The other redeeming feature was Beth Behrs in her mini outfit but some-one should teach her how to descend stairs whilst wearing high heels. Unfortunately, that is about the sum total of the good news.

The problem for me though was the noise. The opening theme tune was not too bad but the repeated stings throughout each episode were an assault on the ears. Annoying too was the way Jennifer Coolidge made her entrance to the cheers of the studio audience. The two stars, Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs almost screech their lines. This is not a criticism of female leads (I am a fan of the Alien, Terminator and Resident Evil films) but Garrett Morris and Jonathan Kite were moderate in comparison. Please note to whom it may concern: shouting one's lines does not make the lines funnier - please turn down the volume.

La maison des filles perdues

A film of two films - or maybe more
This could be described as a weird film or maybe just cheap, but when the name Jess Franco appears this should come as no surprise. This bit of Euro sleaze looks to have been assembled from two or more films giving the impression of a girl-trafficking film with a secret agent on the case. The film starts off well enough.

Magda Mundari plays Yvette, a girl rescued from a brothel and her story told in flashback. This is OK for about half an hour but then the film switches to a Jack Taylor film (the IMDb says Agente Sigma 3 - Missione Goldwather) in which our secret agent is put on the case. Silvia Solar also appears in both films, in both cases being part of the criminal gangs, so perhaps the two films merge - up to a point. Then there is the part on board a ship where some more girls are being held captive. Again, it looks like a Jack Taylor film but is this also from Agente Sigma or another film? Who knows?

Is this film worth a look? If you like really sleazy Euro sexploitation films then it is a definite yes. Apart from the sleaziness of pinching some-one else's film, there are also plenty of sleazy scenes in which the very attractive girls get naked, both willingly and unwillingly; and also the sex scenes, again both willing and unwilling. These are the scenes that make a Euro sleaze film, but despite these comments, this is a bad film, so only two stars.

The Hexecutioners

Loses its way
The story centres on two young women recruited into a euthanasia company; Malison, (Liv Collins) a timid girl who does it because she needs the money; and Olivia, a cynical street-wise woman who, well, just does it. The job in hand just happens to be at the usual creepy Gothic mansion, overseen by the usual creepy keeper, Edgar, (Tim Burd) who instructs the women that the death must be carried out to a strict ritual.

It should be said that there is no problem with the acting which is superb, even by the minor characters, but some of the CGI is not so good and then there is the supernatural element when faceless figures appear and then there is the little girl. Also, some things do not add up. For instance, rooms which are pitch black suddenly have lots of lit candles - how does that happen? The ending, for me anyway, did not make much sense, but by then I was losing interest. A pity because it could have been different.

Dirty Dancing

Then reality kicks in
I had the time of my life, goes the line. Well, not sure about her but he certainly had the time of his life, seducing a virginal seventeen year old, but never mind, he teaches her to dance. That was very generous of him - it's obvious who got the better part of that deal. However, this is a feel-good film so never mind; and never mind the darker subjects of possible under-age sex and abortion. It is all wonderful when everyone ends up having a great time dancing the night away and they all live happily ever-after.

In the real world though, what would likely happen is that in a few weeks time, Baby will miss her period and be thrown out of the house, never to darken those doors again; and Johnny will be a fast disappearing dot on a distant horizon.

So, for all those impressionable virgins out there, when your boyfriend is about to do it to you for the first time, it is not you who is having the time of your life, it is him.


A peek into the horsey world
It surprised me to find only two reviews of this film so far. Bearing in mind that the source novel was on the best-sellers list for ages and selling over a million copies, this film version seems to have been massively overlooked. It is not a bad film but for me, it does not live up to the bonkathon tag much hyped by the popular press.

The characters were well presented and one could not fault the cast in their acting but there was the nagging feeling that the equine world of this film was not a world most people would have noticed had it not been for certain royal personages to be involved in equine events. Still, the horse riding scenes were well done with the stunt people and the actors merging seamlessly together.

The biggest problem for me however was the running time of almost 200 minutes - too long for a film. My feeling is, a mini-series would have been better.

Rolls-Royce Baby

Stunning Lina Romay
There is really only one reason to watch this film and it goes by the name of Lina Romay. She is at the top of her form here as she plays a rich, lonely and seemingly troubled woman who satisfies her wanton lust by picking up hitchhikers, both male and female and discarding them after having her way with them. This all stems from an incident in her past when she was abused by a couple of lorry drivers. Eventually, through lucky contacts and contracts, she becomes very well-off which is when we pick up the story.

As in a lot of these films there is nudity aplenty and Lina Romay is well worth the price of admission and the film also contains plenty of spread legs and female genitalia shots which would be banned if submitted to our beloved BBFC for certification. However, it lacks the penetration and climax shots so it is not truly hard core. Lina Romay is definitely the star here and absolutely captivating - so watch and be captivated.

Die Nichten der Frau Oberst

Not much plot, not much clothing
There is some dispute over the real authorship of the original book. Widely attributed to Guy de Maupassant, the book looks to have been originally published with the French title Les Cousines de la Colonelle, by Vicomtesse de Coeur-Brûlant, possibly aka Madame de Mannoury aka Marquise de Mannoury d'Ectot (according to the blurb on the book cover).

This is another erotic film from Swiss filmmaker Erwin C. Dietrich who specialises in this sort of countryside nude romp. If the film lacks a plot then this is more than compensated for by the amount of very attractive female flesh on display, which after all is what interests the viewers.

Karine Gambier plays the widowed Frau Oberst who likes to try out potential suitors for her two nieces played by Brigitte Lahaie and Pascale Vital but the nieces seem to have eyes only for each other, not that they are not interested in the guys but the guys seem a bit half-hearted in their attempts to make it with the girls. Still, never mind, with several girl/guy scenes they all come good (no pun intended) in the end.

One aspect of Mr Dietrich's filmmaking that I find interesting is his ability to secure picturesque locations such as castles and grand houses for his films. If this sort of film had been made in the UK, there would no doubt have been screaming headlines in the press calling for heads to roll and questions asked in Parliament but the Swiss and the continentals in general seem to take it all in their stride - and, in this reviewer's opinion, thank goodness for that.

Le segrete esperienze di Luca e Fanny

Well crafted but missed opprtunities
One of the problems with the reviewing of foreign language films is that sometimes things can be missed or misinterpreted so if I get the characters and cast wrong then I apologise in advance. Noteworthy is that there is a 93 minute Dutch edition which seems to be as rare as hens teeth so this review is of the 82 minute Swiss edition from ABCDVD Classics.

The plot is well thought out with Simone and Gina (Brigitte Lahaie and Lidie Ferdics) the two put-upon maids who plan to get their revenge by matching up the son, Luca with his cousin Fanny but as this is a porn film then there is more than just this. For those who like close-ups of female genitalia, then they should be satisfied but there are missed opportunities for more erotic scenes between Luca and Martha, the older woman, surely every schoolboy's fantasy. The film benefits by being shot in beautiful locales which all add to the film's attraction. The tennis court area has since been redeveloped into a tourist establishment. I still think that a little less porn and a bit more erotica would have really been the icing on the cake.

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