|Year Released||1975||Commentary Tracks||None|
(not 100 minutes as stated on packaging)
|Other Extras||Filmographies - Cast & Crew
Menu Audio and Animation
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||??1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or
I suppose the best way to approach this sort of film is as an art film. By doing so, one can in some respects overlook the gross problems with the film. Little things like complete lack of a story, appallingly soft definition transfers, shockingly bad edits and enough film artefacts to sink the Lusitania (just trying to be a little different). But that ultimately is like trying to convince your mother when you were a kid that you only buy Playboy to read the articles. In other words, it does not work.
Now I will not be providing any sort of plot synopsis here, for two reasons. One, it is a French soft core porn film of the seventies, therefore it does not have one. What might laughingly be referred to as a plot is actually a flimsy frame upon which to base the usual excuse for these films, namely to get the lead "actress" as naked as possible as often as possible. If variations of bondage, S & M, lesbianism, menage-a-trois and so on can be added in to the mix on a regular basis, so much the better. In these aims, the film succeeds admirably. And two, who gives a rodent's rear end whether the film has a plot or not anyway, as long as number one is fulfilled adequately. And you would have to be very hard (sorry) done by not to be satisfied with the extent of the nudity, poorly simulated sex, whips, chains, branding and so on on offer here, basically from go to whoa.
Naturally there is no actual acting ability on display here, just a variety of tasty naked bodies to tantalize. It certainly does not hurt that Corrine Clery is rather nicely constructed. Really there is little point in discussing the technical (non) merits of the film though, as they are not what the buying public buys these films for. Just enjoy whatever it is you enjoy about films such as these.
The transfer is presented in a Pan and Scan format
and it is not 16x9 enhanced. Whilst I am not at all sure of the original
aspect ratio of the film, but given the age of the film I would presume
that it would be 1.85:1 and therefore we have our first serious problem
with the offering.
[Ed. Perhaps it was more likely to have been presented at 1.66:1 as a lot of European Cinema is.]
Now apparently Chapter 2 of the "French Soft Core Porn Filmmakers Guide" says that porn films must be shot as over brightly as possible with as soft a focus as possible, so that everything comes out lacking any sort of definition whatsoever. Well at least that is what I think it must say, as I was immediately struck by how similar this transfer looked to my poor old VHS tape of Emmanuelle. Indeed, so poor in sharpness and definition is this effort that I might as well have been watching a VHS tape (which I might add is probably a lot cheaper). There is generally no depth at all to the transfer, and when the over brightness gets too much, there really is nothing at all to commend the transfer. There was one particularly bad edit at 19:52. Whilst you would be hard (sorry) pressed to notice, there does not appear to be any low level noise problems with the transfer.
Overall the colours seemed to be quite muted and often extremely washed out by the style of the transfer. Even when the colours have some sort of body (sorry), they do not display any sort of vibrancy at all. There are certainly no problems at all with respect to oversaturation of colours in the transfer - undersaturation is a constant problem however. At 18:45 there is an especially obvious drop out in the colour. Very wishy washy stuff indeed in general.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, although there was one stutter in the film at 76:05 which smacks of being an artefacting problem. Video artefacts were quite prevalent, especially early on in the film - mainly in the form of shimmer during the credits. This was quite noticeable and mildly distracting. There were plenty of film artefacts during the film, probably more than I was expecting, and those that were present were at times quite distracting to the film.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the 5.1 soundtrack whilst sampling the 2.0 soundtrack. Be aware that these are dubbed languages as the original soundtrack was of course done in French.
Dialogue was reasonably clear and easy to understand.
There were obviously audio sync problems with the disc since the soundtrack is dubbed.
The score is apparently uncredited, which is probably a wise move since it is not much to worry about.
Where do I start with the soundtrack problems? Well, for a 5.1 soundtrack, this almost totally lacks any use of the surround channels at all. Indeed, it is so lacking in surround presence that the 2.0 soundtrack (which may be mono tweaked into a two channel quasi-stereo) sounded as if it had a lot more presence and body (sorry). The 5.1 soundtrack is quite poorly mixed as well, with the dialogue very much recessed in the mix, thus presenting a most odd soundscape that lacks any sort of believability at all. There is no noticeable action whatsoever in the bass channel here, providing even more suggestion that this is a very bad mix indeed, as there were opportunities for such use. The only action that the subwoofer got was between 82:30 and 82:32 when there was a most annoying, and most extraneous, buzz. Adding to the situation is the fact that the soundtrack lacks any sort of detail at all, most disconcerting when the old whip is applied to bare flesh. The overall sound picture is completely false and lacking any credibility whatsoever, and frankly should not have passed quality assurance. Stick to listening to the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack - it offers less problems based upon my sampling, although it is not exactly stunning either.
The video transfer is very poor, due to poor source material.
The audio transfer is woeful.
The extras are hardly worth bothering with.
© Ian Morris
30th December 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|