Adult Fairy Tales AKA Fairy Tales (Blu-ray) [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - 88 Films
Review written by and copyright: Rick Curzon (26th April 2018).
The Film

Little Bo Peep, Old King Cole, Little Tommy Tucker, Snow White, and many others, have all grown up and are ready for action! These enchanting characters from beloved nursery rhymes sing, dance, lust, and romance their way through this hilarious, naughty, and twisted tale where music, mirth, and merriment are the rule of the day. In a clothing optional land of make believe where everything is possible. See “Scream Queen” Linnea Quigley star in her first feature role in this erotic musical funfest!!

Video

Lame-brained comedy essentially mixes soft core sex and nudity with Jackie Gleason style wisecracks, stand-up humour and songs but it’s all too cheap. There are some laughs but they’re not as frequent as I’d like considering the short running time. The songs (by Andrew Belling) are actually pretty catchy and witty mixing musical style tracks, some ‘40s pastiche and disco and are probably the best aspect of this mess.

It’s photographed by Daniel Pearl who shot The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) but it’s a much more conventional production produced by Charles Band and is rather flat and undistinguished. The production design is also pretty dull; had a more stylised design sense been adopted and this could’ve been a visual stunner. This plays like a very bawdy pantomime.

The direction by Harry Hurwitz is flat and static with many sequences framed as if in a proscenium arch as seen on a stage and the Panavision 2.57:1 frame accentuates this. On previous transfers the type of lens used had distortions at the left and right sides of the 2.35:1 frame that made things seem squished; here, the distortions have been corrected and the ratio increased to 2.57:1 as a result.

The image is decent, probably better than this film has ever looked before although there are caveats. There are colour density shifts here and there mainly on some of the exterior footage shot on location in Griffith Park but these aren’t too distracting. According to the commentary this transfer has been taken from a recently discovered negative and is of the uncut director’s cut which includes some pretty grotty and unsexy orgy footage that was trimmed from the original release. The film would actually play better without it.

It’s not the most dynamic looking film and has a natural colour palette. There’s print damage with some wobble and the odd speckle but nothing to get in a tizz over. I couldn’t detect any signs of digital tinkering although the opening credit sequence did have frozen grain which looked odd but I suspect may have something to do with the stock shot under the credits taken from a colour scope film shot in the ‘50s or ‘60s.

Detail is variable and never really blew me away although it’s present but the image doesn’t have much depth, the encoding is serviceable but the source isn’t the most dynamic.

Black levels are generally pleasing but there is some crush on interior sequences especially in some scenes involving deep red velvet costumes in which the red parts seem to have crush as well and stand out over the blacks. Contrast is rather acceptable throughout occasionally perking up in more starkly lit scenes and I think much of these woes are down to the original production which I suspect was shot very quickly and on a low budget.

Grain is present to a varying extent throughout the film and is most noticeable in dark scenes and exteriors although a fine layer is ever present. All told fans will be very pleased with the transfer as it seems to represent the original film well and is almost certainly - flaws and all - looking better than it ever has.

1080/24p / MPEG-4 AVC / 2.57:1 / 81:40

Audio

English LPCM 2.0 Mono
Subtitles: English HoH

A nice clean mono track that has been restored. It does it’s job well with dialogue, music and sound effects all coming through clearly with no clashing. I could detect no distortions or other issues.

The US DVD and Blu-ray had a 5.1 up-mix which might have been a nice addition and had 88 Films included it in a lossless option it would have trumped the US Full Moon BD due to that company’s mystifying insistence on including only loss Dolby Digital tracks on their releases.

English subtitles are welcome.

Extras

Audio commentary with Ray Frank Perilli and Charles Band

A track recorded in 2016 for the US Full Moon DVD / Blu-ray release. This is a maddening track. Band and Perilli are old mates and Perilli was about to turn 91 when this was recorded and they’re both a couple of bawdy dudes with Band constantly pointing out “bush” when it appears and stopping mid story to comment on naked women. There are plenty of great stories about the shoot and of various people both in front of and behind the camera. Several of the cast were active stand up comedians and you can tell be their performances. Not the best commentary as the sexist comments do become wearying but if you can stomach it then it’s a rewarding listen and I must admit I laughed out loud at a couple of points.

Trailer (1:31)

Daffy period trailer selling a daffy film.

Reversible sleeve with choice of artwork

Two choices of vintage artwork, both have their charms but I preferred the default cover seen above.

Collectible Card Sleeve when ordered directly from 88 Films website

A nice collectable sleeve that mirrors the default cover.

Overall

88 Films have released this very odd, uneven Charles Band production from 1978. A sort off bawdy pantomime that takes beloved fairy tales, sprinkles them with some fun songs and a generous dollop of stand up style comedy and of course plenty of nudity.

It’s a low budget production that wasn’t blessed with loads of time to complete it (five days!) and as such there are signs of production expediency. However, fans of this should be happy; I can’t see this getting the 4K UHD treatment any time soon. The price is right and the extras - although limited - have value. And, you gotta love the poster art!

The Film: D Video: B Audio: A Extras: C Overall: C+

 


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