Sunday, January 5, 2014

Erotic Blackmail (DVD Review) - One 7 Movies

Directed By: Eddy Naka
Written By: Andre Chazel, Andre Koob, Eddy Naka
Starring: Valerie Boisgel, France Nicolas, Daniel Foucault
Color/66 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE

The Film
A couple invites their friends to a getaway in the country to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day living. The friends have ideas of their own including swinging, blackmail and making money at the expense of their so called friends. All the while there's a pair of horny young men who aren't satisfied sitting back and watching the swinging and love making go down without getting a piece of the action.

EROTIC BLACKMAIL is a simple title for director Eddy Naka's Le Corps A Ses Raisons (The Body Has Its Reasons). While I like the original title and its translation better, the DVD title of this film certainly are straight forward and let us know what we're getting into. We get a handful of attractive young couples baring it all and pushing the limits of softcore film making. There's a thin plot to drive the skin and sex and even a few psychadelic scenes. The main issue here is that there are plenty of films that do what EROTIC BLACKMAIL does and better. And those films also don't feature an extended belly dancing scene where the dancer has a very noticeable and rather nasty looking C-Section scar. One surprise I found in the film is that it has a rather good score from Max Gazzola who only has 6 credits on the IMDB. The ending also reminds me of Argento's Four Flies On Grey Velvet, so it has that going for it. EROTIC BLACKMAIL was a film considered lost for many years. Nothing in the world of film will change now that it is found but I will always support more sleazy Euro flicks being rescued and released.

The Audio & Video
One 7 Movies has sourced EROTIC BLACKMAIL from a somewhat worse for wear VHS source. Within the first minutes of this full frame presentation that has been cropped from it's original aspect ratio, we get to deal with VHS tracking lines, color fading in and out, video wobble and a generally dull, washed out print. These problems pop back up a few times through the duration of the film. Since it is likely the only way this film will ever be released it is at least watchable but it isn't pretty. The audio also features some leftover joys from the days of aging analog... pops, crackling and a constant background whirling noise are present on this Italian mono track which has decently translated English subtitles from waht I can tell. It isn't wonderful but it isn't that bad of a track all things considered.

The Extras
Extras? What Extras?


The Bottom Line
While the film doesn't look great, the back cover of the DVD claims that this is the only surviving form of the film and I'm certainly incluned to believe that. This film certainly isn't for everyone but fans of Euro-sleaze will find this rarity a worthy addition to their collection. It is wonderful that One 7 Movies was able to rescue this from obscurity and eternal damnation.

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