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Erotic Blackmail

Review by: 
Sinferno
Release Date: 
1974
Studio: 
One 7
Genre: 
Horror
Format: 
DVD
Region: 
1 NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 
1.33:1
Directed by: 
Eddy Naka
Cast: 
Valérie Boisgel
France Nicolas
Daniel Foucault
Movie: 
2
Extras: 
1
Bottom Line: 
1

From One 7, purveyors of classic soft-core foreign films of intrigue such as EROTIC ESCAPE Or EXOTIC MALICE, comes another flick which tries to hit us with two kinds of plot intrigue; whether speaking thematically as a taut mystery story or visually as dark potboiler with rampant nudity and a series of sex scenes that are often based on anything but tender loving embraces among consensual adults. Let us now take a look at this EROTIC BLACKMAIL and see if it is the very sweet nature of sexploitation coercion that desperate viewers of soft-core sexploitation everywhere will willingly pay for.

While most films naturally and normally revolve around at least one likable main character, the world of EROTIC BLACKMAIL runs counter to this basic credo as it does to the laws of most good film making.  All of the characters in EROTIC BLACKMAIL are some shade of opportunist, criminal or sexual offender and those of you who still watch films like this hoping to find any normal, human onscreen emotional surrogate you can remotely identify with will be sorely disappointed and more than a little bored when you ask yourself: “If none of the characters care about each other so why should the viewer? Just for the sake of synopsis let’s go through a character list. A wealthy swinger couple named Hugo and Valerie decides to invite a nice couple named Max and Dauphine out to their remote mansion where they may separate them and seduce them at will.  Max and Dauphine by their own right are far from innocent and are actively looking for a way to blackmail, beg or steal their way up the social ladder themselves. Meanwhile unbeknownst to them all, a young man named Etienne and his buddy Julien become wise to the fact there is something odd going on with these people and after photographing one of them sexually cavorting with the wrong partner they engage on their own campaign of blackmail which will soon culminate into a senseless (if not plotless) sexual assault upon the two women.  Admittedly, on paper none of this looks too terrible but you must allow for the following factors which mar the actual flick.  The film print looks like it was transferred from its original format with very little restorative procedures. Also according to IMDB it appears that the original version was actually 10 minutes longer than this cut of the film which (as usual) is my biggest pet peeve for a forgotten erotic film. And finally for those of you who already hate these vile characters based on my meek description of them, let it be said that the dead bodies really start to pile up in the final frames of the film which does give this thing the feel of an unintentional moral fable and almost serves to provide some sort of visceral satisfaction to the more “fair minded” viewer until they realize that it is probably only because everyone knows know that dark, trashy films like this with no “empathetic character” will only end once everyone dies violently and they find themselves secretly yearning for this exact moment. I know I did.

I am giving it a weak two skulls, the actresses who played Valerie (Valérie Boisgel) and Dauphine (France Nicolas) are most endearing as both aggressors and victims of various sexual power games gone awry and some of the erotic work did have some cinematic art film quality to it that made it seem somehow pleasant, almost attractive when divorced from context. Despite its shortcomings, I struggle and shudder to think what this story could have been forged into if directed by Darren Aronofsky which is ironic as the there is a reoccurring background song which sounds reminiscent of the unmistakable, haunting theme to REQUIEM FOR A DREAM which was made many years later. Even with these caveats, know that I am being incredibly generous here for a meaningless, muddy, cut film with recently reshot cover art featuring a model that does not appear in the actual movie whatsoever.

Extras Include Nothing

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