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Les Chic

POPcinema // Unrated // February 21, 2006
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Afterhourscinema]

Review by Ian Jane | posted March 13, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

There's really very little plot to this 1972 grindhouse smut movie from Nick Philips. Chic is a guy who likes the girls – he wanders around San Francisco and picks up chicks, and then he has sex with him. That's more or less it. There are a few little quirks that make this more interesting than that basic premise, however – there's some truly retarded narration courtesy of some gal with a strange southern accent, plenty of bad disco era fashions, and the undeniably sexy presence of the one and only Miss Rene Bond, the original sex kitten of the XXX world – and she's rarely been in better form than she is here in front of Philip's camera.

After Chic walks down the street, telling us a little bit about himself, he smokes a doobie with Rene. They head back to an apartment and before you know it, one thing leads to another and it's time for a little mouth to crotch action. They go at it like a pair of rabbits, rolling around on the bed and enjoying what one another have to offer before finishing off at which point the narrator compares love making to drugs and hashish use as both can really get you high, sugah! But then, no they're not done! They're really only getting started and before you know it they're back at it harder than ever before. Sitar music swells up in the background as our two lovers get it on, and while a few of the clips look mighty familiar (they're repeated to pad out the scene), the action is steamier than you'd expect by this point.

After Chic has had his way with lovely Rene, he hits the streets and we get to check out the seedy side of seventies San Francisco to the tune of some crappy Dylan-esque folk music. We see some pimps and some players and nudie bar employees out on the streets trying to get customers to come into their bars, and we see more neon than you can shake a stick at. From there they split up and Rene heads back to someone's apartment and gets it on with another chick, clad in some neon green thigh high stockings that look as hot as they do tacky. The girls get it on and seem to be having a good time with one another when who should show up? Chic! His timing is perfect and he hopes into bed with the two lovely ladies who then proceed to undress him and take care of his every need. Lot's of sweaty sex ensues.

Next up, the female narrator tells us of Chic's passion for flowers and from there we see him out shopping for them. He buys a single pink rose and wanders down the street with it and then the camera cuts to Rene using her favorite vibrator on herself. We then realize that she's having phone sex with Chic – and who can blame her, he's one cool cat! Lots of ridiculously heavy panting and distorted breathing fills the soundtrack as Rene hangs up the phone and takes care of herself. From there we hear train noises and what may or may not be power tools in the background. Cut to sometime in the future, we don't really learn well, and Rene and Chic are hanging out and using body paint on one another. The narrator tells us that Picasso has nothing on Chic when it comes to erotic drawing and from there we get to watch the two love birds paint one another up before getting it on to the soothing sounds of more bad folk music (Rene is sporting some foxy white boots in this scene – meow!).

From there we see a montage of Chic in bed with a girl, then in the shower with her where they get it on briefly, and then we see him hanging out with some friends – two lady friends (the narrator names them Linda and Sandy), to be precise. 'Get it up, brothah, cause there are some girls here in need of some lovin' states our humble narrator as we see the girls strip him down and get him up. When it's all over with, Chic is just spent and he lies there like a lump, and while the girls want more, he's just not up for it – or so we think. The girls eventually work their boner inducing magic on him, and the movie finishes up with another three way.

As stated, there's not much here to work with in terms of a plot but as a sort of seventies time capsule this one is a winner. The location shooting, the fashions, the avant-garde filmmaking style and the narration all just ooze that grindhouse vibe and when combined with the full on hardcore XXX action, it makes for a sexy and fun viewing experience. No one is credited in the film at the beginning or the end and Rene Bond is the only recognizable face but the guy who plays Chic is such a living, breathing, seventies stereotype that you can't help but root for him. At just over an hour the movie doesn't over stay it's welcome and fans of this type of material or of Nick Philip's darker softcore films really should check this one out.



While there is some moderate to heavy aliasing all over the image, other than that Les Chic looks pretty decent on DVD. The colors aren't half bad and the fullframe image appears to be here in its original aspect ratio. Of course there's some print damage in more or less every frame but the detail is there and those familiar with how old 70s smut films usually look on DVD will probably be pleasantly surprised, although unfortunately the image isn't flagged for progressive scan playback and as such there are some saw tooth artifacts present if your hardware is setup that way, and they prove to be annoying.


The Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is a little muffled and not of the best quality, but again, it's taken from a slightly rough source so the limitations of the older technology are going to be there when that's the case. Dialogue is pretty easy to understand, however, and the background music comes through reasonably clear. There aren't a lot of sound effects used in the film, mostly just some random moaning and groaning during the action scenes laid in with some background music, and these are handled just fine, as are the talkier bits of the movie. A couple of audio drop outs are here, but they're not too prevalent, thankfully.


On the first disc we find an interview with 42nd St. Pete that gives us some nice background information on Les Chic and the people who made it. He gives us a good idea of some of the techniques employed in the film, and provides us with some very welcome thoughts and background information on Rene Bond. We also learn about the scenes that were shot on the streets of San Francisco and it's interesting to compare what was there then to what is there now and how films like this have preserved a piece of history that is now long gone. This interview lasts just over six minutes in length.

The first disc also contains two short 8mm loops featuring Rene Bond. My Sister's Boobs is the first one and in this grainy and softly focused little stag film we see a few couples on the couch enjoying some drinks together. The girls take off their tops and the guys take down their pants and everyone has a grand old time at what turns out to be an orgy. This short lasts approximately seven minutes and aside from the lovely Ms. Bond, who puts her oral skills to good use here, none of the other performers looked too familiar. The second loop is called Sexy Striptease and it's another grainy 8mm short. It starts off with Rene on the bed in a nightgown but she soon strips down to her garters and not much else, plays with a feathered boa, and wiggles around a lot. Though the first short was full on hardcore, this one is pretty soft and not much more than cheesecake, really. Both loops are silent save for some newly recorded background music that plays over top of them.

On the second disc (which for some reason features menus that pixelate like made in spots – everything else seemed fine, however) we're treated to Les Chic 2: The King Of Sex which is a sort of remake/sequel done by William Hellfire in 2002. It tries to create that same kind of carefree seventies vibe that made the original so much fun, and it succeeds to an extent but it's not quite as fun. That being said, the movie is pretty steamy stuff. It follows more or less the same plot, as a swinger named Chic trolls around town looking to score. We see a girl masturbate in close up but then find out it's in Chic's head. The next morning he wakes up and goes to his job at the record store, then finds the girl from his dream (a co-worker, we find out), involved in some tongue on tongue action with Darian Caine in the back room. Chic tries to get in on that, but no dice. From there we're back in his head again as he watches Darian Caine diddle herself. The other girl comes in and joins her but again it's all a dream. We see a few more lesbian encounters as the movie progresses, some harder than others and some full on hardcore, including one with a strap-on but they're all in Chic's head until finally he finds one of the girls he works with in the basement of the shop with her sex toy – he sees this as his chance. He moves in on her and she lets him and the two go at it as Chic finally gets his wish.

Director William Hellfire is joined by 42nd Street Pete and producer Michael Raso for a commentary track on this feature. They talk about how certain shots were set up, what kind of look and tone they were going for and how they got it. They also provide some analysis of what's happening on screen and describe a few interesting anecdotes about life on the set – it's a lively track that manages to parlay some decent information about the movie to the viewer.

This disc also includes a trailer for Sexual Delirium starring Katie Jordan and Ivy (again with some more hardcore action in here, surprisingly enough). The After Hours Catalogue option provides cover art for nine other releases from the same sub-company.

Final Thoughts:

Nick Philip's Les Chic is an excellent slice of seventies sleaze that does a very fine job of showing off Rene Bond's considerable skills and charm. Be warned, it's full on hardcore and as such might alienate some but fans of seventies exploitation and smut really ought to get a kick out of this one as it manages to be both sexy and unintentionally hilarious. The extras are a nice touch and the remake on the second disc isn't half bad either. Recommended.

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.







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