FAIRY TALES (blu-ray)

This review here is being done due to a request I got via twitter from the administrators of the Softcore Reviews forum here:

Although I am longtime fan of Linnea Quigley I’d never seen or even heard of this film before, as it’s a bit before my time. Released in 1978, when she was 20 years old, this is one of her earliest films. Her role is small, but crucial.

Written by Frank Ray Perilli and Franne Schacht, based on an idea by Charles Band, and directed by Harry Hurwitz, this film isn’t quite what you’d expect from “softcore” today (it was actually rated X at the time). It’s closer to the bawdy sex comedies of the 80’s. I believe they referred to is as “sexploitation” back then. There’s no male nudity, only one proper “sex scene”, and (despite the X-rating) no penetration, but there’s lots and lots of naked (or at least topless) women prancing around and singing.

Yes, singing. Did I forget to mention that this film is a musical? Various characters break out into song and perform choreographed dance numbers throughout the film.

The plot, such as it is, is that in some ancient fairytale kingdom, an unnamed Prince, played by a young Don Sparks, has just turned 21. And it is decreed that he must prove he is capable of siring an heir. But the Prince has a problem is that he appears to be unable to get sexually aroused by any woman. Even when the three royal doctors present him with a naked woman (Idy Tripodi) who climbs into bed with him, the Prince just isn’t interested. The only woman he finds desirable is some unnamed Princess whose painted picture is hanging on his wall. But this Princess disappeared years ago. The Prince is given a week to travel the “fairy lands” in search of this Princess, but if he can’t find her and get back to his Kingdom in time, he will lose his role as a Prince forever.

So the Prince goes out on his journey, where he encounters such fairytale/nursery rhyme luminaries as Little Bo Peep (Angela Aames) and Jack and Jill (Jeff Doucette and Lindsay Freeman), both ladies try in vain to tempt the Prince. Eventually the Prince makes his way to the Little Old Lady who lives in a Shoe. Except, in this film, the lady (played by Brenda Fogarty) is not so old, and she’s turned her shoe into a brothel, which she operates as a Madame, alongside Sy Richardson, who played Sirus, a flashy racially-stereotypical Black pimp, straight out of a blaxploitation flick. It is in this shoe-brothel where the majority of this film takes place.

The Madame and Syrus attempt to arouse the Prince by presenting many women to him, and we’re treated to naked musical performances by Snow White (Anne Gaybis), Little Red Riding Hood (Melinda Utal) and a pair of Dominatrix’s (Marita Ditmore and Evelyn Guerrero). There’s also Nai Bonet as a singing and belly-dancing Sheherazade.

But the most memorable musical performance is from Martha Reeves.

Yes, as in the legendary R&B group MARTHA AND THE VANDELLAS. That Martha Reeves.

She sings (while fully clothed) a catchy uptempo R&B/Disco song called YOU’LL FEEL THE MAGIC IN ME.

I guess she needed the money.

In the end, the Prince finds his Princess, who was sleeping (ala Sleeping Beauty) in the top floor of the shoe. And, yes, the Princess is Linnea. She and Sparks have the only (brief) sex scene in the film and, presumably, they live Happily Ever After.

The film is enjoyable for what it is. It almost feels like watching a time-capsule of the 70’s. Everyone in the case does a good enough job, as it seems like they’re all just having fun, not necessarily taking this too seriously. It’s a crazy, campy, good time.

This blu-ray release is said to the “directors cut” with 5 extra minutes of previously un-released material, but since I’d never seen the original, I don’t know what the difference is. The blu-ray also includes an audio-commentary by Perilli and Band, plus a bunch of trailers for other film by this studio.


2 replies »

  1. This was the very first softcore film I ever saw on cable tv way back in the day. I probably saw it a million times! The Ble ray looks fantastic, and there are a lot of new scenes, mostly the orgy that peeping Tom is looking at (nine of that was in the original cut) and the sex scene you describe with Linnea, which was severely truncated in the cut as seen on tv. I highly recommend this one for fans of old school 70’s sexploitation.

    Liked by 1 person

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