The French Erotica Collection is a six disc, eight movie set of campy, soft core porn films made in the 1970's and early 80's. Much in the vein of cult favorite Emmanuelle the films break no ground in either the world of art house filmmaking nor in porn but, as is apt for any good collection, each film showcases a different aspect of the genre. Each of the films features ridiculous plots, soft lighting, musically melodious scores and ample nudity. Below is a quick plot summary and comments on each film.
Emilienne (Guy Casaril – 1975 – 1.66 – Dubbed – 16 x 9 Enhanced)
A husband and wife invite a female student into their life and form a ménage-a-trois. At first all goes well but then jealousy ensues and the relationships become fractured. In some ways the film is about Emilienne a 30-something woman who is having a mid-life crisis and confused about whether she is heterosexual or homosexual. The film is the most erotic in the series but doesn't have much sex. It's also the most well-developed story in the series since it's based on a novel and the 70's score is rather good.
What's Hot: Ménage-a-trois, Lesbians, Gapped toothed woman, Blond women orgy, Dog gives oral sex to a woman!
What's Not: Not enough sex, Lot's of dialogue
Secrets of the Satin Blues (Andre Genover – 1981 – 1.66:1 – Dubbed)
This light, comedy sex romp deals with a pair of blue satin panties that make the rounds between one woman and her conquests. The film has the look and feel of an 80's film: from the haircuts down to the music. Most of it is shot in soft, glowing light but features a decent score.
What's Hot: Fetishes, Older women with younger men, Tall women, Lesbians
What's Not: Not enough sex, Lame humor
A Woman Possessed (Mario Mercier – 1975 – 1.33:1 – Subtitled)
A man belongs to an underground sect that uses black magic and occult rituals. The sect won't accept him until his wife also joins. She reluctantly joins and then they beat her into submission until she is totally broken down. Devoid of humor or even sex the film is more like a Troma film than an erotic one and the ending is a downer.
What's Hot: Nudity, Whipping, Leather, Gapped Toothed woman, Cult Activity, Crazy cave demon
What's Not: More whipping and blood than sex
These next two movies are on the same disc
Awakening of Annie (Zygmunt Sulisrowski – 1973 – 1.66:1 – Dubbed)
Beautiful blond goes to Rio for a photo shoot where she hangs around with a bunch of nudists. When a photographer tries to take advantage of her she runs away with a young hippie/hunk who takes her on a trip to the jungle where they are kidnapped. Madness ensues. This is the kind of film where the story stops dead in its tracks for a sex scene about two people who aren't even part of the story. Recommended!
What's Hot: Nudity, Sex, Ménage-a-trios, Outdoor sex, More nudity
What's Not: Plot coherence, Kidnappers
Unsatisfied (Jean-Marie Pallarldy – 1971 - 1.66:1 – Dubbed)
An older man kills his nurse. His two sons go looking for a woman to replace her. They find a prostitute and give her plastic surgery to make her look like the nurse. The brothers are greedy though and they plan to murder the old man to get his money. It's like Hitchcock only worse.
What's Hot: Nudity, Pimps, Identity switching, Betrayal, Murder Sex, Lesbians
What's Not: Ending, Bad dubbing
These next two movies are on the same disc
African Thrills (Zygmunt Sulisrowski – 1978 – 1.33:1 – Dubbed)
A beautiful blond goes on an African Safari with an older photographer and encounters the madness of the jungle. They encounter African orgies and a somewhat hostile animal kingdom. But love conquers all.
What's Hot: Orgy, Nudity, Older man with younger woman, Sex, Outdoor jungle sex, Ape plays with a passed-out nude woman!, Cool grainy look
What's Not: Too much plot, Inane dialogue.
The Couples of Boulogne (Bernard Legrant – 1974- 1.33:1 – Dubbed)
An estranged couple gets word that they have inherited one million dollars but only one can claim the prize (imagine if Survivor was a sex show). They head off to find the one guy who can help them claim the prize. While looking they each find sexual adventures.
What's Hot: Nudity, Lesbians, Sex, Orgy, Underwater nude scene, Cool grainy look
What's Not: Weak comic relief sections, Lame conclusion
Nea: Young Emmanuelle
This film is also in the series but was not included in the disc I reviewed. I understand it's a lot like the original Emmanuelle but not as good. Which is another way of saying it has campy sex scenes that are not up to par.
None of these films look exceptional. Most show the wear and tear of their age and only Emilienne is anamorphic and enhanced for 16 x 9. Most of the early 70's films are grainy while the late 70's and early 80's are cleaner and glossier but still don't feature high quality transfers.
The sound in each of these is Mono and all are somewhere between fair and not particularly good. All but one of the films is dubbed in English and they all have a flat-dubbed sound. The soundtracks are all vintage and sound okay.
The only extras on each disc are trailers most of which are actually enjoyable to watch. In some cases they are better than the actual movies
The French Erotica Collection series is a good introduction to French Erotica of the 1970's each of which feature lame stories with soft lighting, mellow vintage scores, nudity, lots of erotic situations and some sex. The films don't fulfill the requirements of porn nor do any of them tell a particularly good story. But the filmmakers knew this when they made them and so did their audience so if you're interested then knock yourselves out. Otherwise just rent them.