The Erotic Adventures Of The Three Musketeers is one of numerous pornographic parodies to have come out during the nineties. Directed by Paul Norman, who helmed the infamous Edward Penishands and also dabbled in hardcore porno as both and actor and a director in both gay and straight features, it's a goofy romp through the France of yesteryear (1647 to be precise). Unfortunately, despite an all star cast, it's really not very good.
The story revolves around Traci Winn (star of Saturday Night Beaver!), a foxy young lass who wants nothing more than to make it as the fourth Musketeer. She's bound and determined to make it and is willing to sleep with whomever she has to in order to ensure her position. She's also fairly decent with a blade, but that doesn't really matter – what does matter is that she humps a lot of guys. While all of this is going on, a sinister villain is attempting to, as the packaging puts it, 'defile the Queen (sexy Deirdre Holland)'s scrumptious jewels.' Good thing that the Three Musketeers (Mark Wallice, Dino Alba, Jonathan Morgan) are around to save the queen because he rather effeminate husband, the King (Chi Chi LaRue), isn't going to be much help.
With supporting performances from the likes of legends like Ron Jeremy, Nina Hartley, Chi Chi La Rue and lesser known but still recognizable porn stars like Jon Dough, Robert Sacchi, Madison and more, the film is fun as a sort of porn star spotting game. Those familiar with many of the faces in the production will get a kick out seeing who is going to pop up next, but unfortunately the film itself (at least in this cut – more on that in a bit) is rather dull. The movie takes its time getting going and while it builds a little bit towards the end, none of it is convincing enough for us to care much by that point. Adding to that is that the fight scenes, which when you take the sex out of the picture probably should be the highlights of the film, are poorly staged and not in the least bit convincing or exciting.
For a shot on video sex film made in the early nineties, The Erotic Adventures Of The Three Musketeers actually has some decent production values. No one is going to win any awards for set design or costume work and it's doubtful that this is a really authentic looking picture but it isn't impossible to suspend your disbelief so much as to convince yourself that what you're seeing takes place when the movie tells you it's taking place. Unfortunately, while the production values are moderately convincing the performances are not – the cast is made up of porn stars and it shows. That's not to say that porn stars can't act, as there are lots of great performances out there in the world of adult movies, but it is to say that most of the porn stars in the spotlight here don't do a particularly great job. Lines are delivered with no small amount of awkwardness and no one is very believable in their parts. That being said, the bad acting does add to the film's camp value as everything is played fairly straight here, and as such, it's unintentionally funny for much of its running time.
Note that this version of the film, released as The Erotic Adventures Of The Three Musketeers is the softcore version of what was released as The Three Musketeers and The Three Musketeers 2. These two hardcore films, edited quite a bit to fit into this version's ninety-six minute running time, are available on one XXX DVD from Sunshine. Unfortunately, seeing as this was shot as a hardcore feature, this trimmed version feels empty. The edits are very choppy and quite obvious and you'll know when you're watching the movie when the hardcore bits have been excised not only because, well, you won't see them, but because it very definitely feels like content has been taken out. As such, if the point of this production was to produce hardcore material, this heavily edited softcore version is rather pointless. If you want to see this, odds are it's because you want to see people have sex, not because you want to watch these people try to act. Seeing as you don't get that here, you're better off searching out the more explicit release and seeing the movie for the right reasons.
The feature was shot on video in 1992 and as such, it's fairly soft looking. You'll notice some mild motion blurring and that the colors aren't as rich as they probably should be. There is some mild damage that shows up in the form of the odd speck here and there but the movie is at least always watchable even if it doesn't look great. For an older shot on video production there's an acceptable level of detail present, just don't go in expecting razor sharp clarity as the visuals here are very middle of the road.
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono has a little bit of background hiss here and there but is otherwise fine. There isn't much range but the levels are properly balanced and you can hear the performers easily enough. The score used for the movie actually sounds pretty decent in spots, but then in others it's a little on the flat side so this isn't the most consistent mix you'll ever hear, but it does get the job done and there aren't any major issues with the sound on this release.
As with all of the Private Collections DVDs to be released so far in the label's relatively short history, this disc is completely barebones. A static menu is provided and there is a chapter selection sub-menu but that's it, there's nothing else, not even a still gallery or an essay to detail the history of the movie. Something on what is missing from this softcore version would have been a nice point of reference or maybe a piece on the various stars that appear in the picture, but nope, there's nothing here at all.
Adult film fans might find some value in this release thanks to the star-studded cast that appears in the picture but unfortunately, when stripped of its hardcore content, The Erotic Adventures Of The Three Musketeers feels vacant. Content is noticeably missing here and the lackluster presentation doesn't help matters any. Skip it.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.