DVD: Erotic Blackmail / Le corps a ses raisons (1974)

March 6, 2014 | By


EroticBlackmailFilm: Poor

Transfer: Poor / Extras: n/a

Label: One 7 Movies

Region: 0 (NTSC)

Released:  January 7, 2014

Genre:  Erotica / Adult

Synopsis: Two men blackmail a pair of wealthy women while their husbands are out of town.

Special Features:  (none)




If Erotic Blackmail is any indication of Eddy Naka’s skills as a writer & director, it explains why the filmmaker’s career consists of two feature films and a pair of TV series with great big time gaps in between each set.

Not all porn directors can leap from the mechanical structure of a smut film and craft a functional scenario, and Naka is certainly an outstanding example of someone with zero skills.

The story is ostensibly about a girl who discusses with a reporter her knowledge of a former flame’s death after his involvement in a blackmail scheme. That patio chat launches an extended flashback sequence in which a driver, searching for gas, spots a couple boffing in their car, culminating in an extended act of fellatio.

The driver soon encounters the blonde, and aided by a friend, concocts a blackmail scheme with an initial goal to take the woman and her friend out for drinking & dancing, but it all degenerates into a night of sexual assault, post-rape blackmail photos, and a second round of blackmail threats.

When the women’s husbands return from an extended trip, they quartet concoct a plan to lure the blackmailers back to their country estate and claim the photos and negatives, but in having to split up and track the negatives to a train station, the film’s six characters  end up succumbing to tragic ends.

Worked into the tale is the blonde’s affair being with her best friend’s husband, but that’s really pushed to the margins and matters little in the end, since each character is just plain banal.

Naka’s storytelling is amateurish and spastic: there’s no logic to any scene order; the badly shot footage (most of it’s terrible handheld rubbish) is sloppily edited into montages which don’t even work with adult content; and composer Max Gazzola may well have written dramatic music, but Naka’s hacked it up and cross-mixed chunks.

Gazzola’s music is very much in the style of Stelvio Cipriani, but he was he also asked to mimic Serge Gainsbourg’s Melody (1971) by crafting a terrible song where two men and a horse-voiced woman croon a ridiculous and repetitive English libretto with thick French accents.

Some pulse-pounding music initially plays over trippy sex scenes, but it’s also re-applied haphazardly in the idiotic finale in which the fettered blackmailers die from toxic furnace fumes in the mansion’s basement (); and a ‘car crash’ that consists of the two couples screeching out of control in their car before coming to a steady stop, and the vehicle suddenly shown overturned and in flames.

Naka also seems to have gotten a special three-style combo deal at a local film optical house, because he’s slapped in three trippy sequences that have no bearing to the film whatsoever. In classic porn style, scenes are suddenly bisected by sex montages with solarization effects and a superimposed grid pattern. He also pads the ending by slapping together a montage of shots from prior scenes, even repeating the ‘car crash’ in faux stop-motion.

If One 7 Movies were presenting all of this mess intact, this DVD might warrant a Weak rating, but what we have is a porn filmmaker’s dramatic debut from which actual hardcore or hard soft material was wholly hacked out from a print which in turn was used for the VHS or ¾” U-matic tape transfer which was the source for this DVD.

Worse, the 66 min. tape source has two scratched sections near the film’s beginning + end; the audio levels of this Italian dubbed version of an original French film are terribly low; and the transfer’s quality often resembles an avi file inflated to DVD-size.

Naka did shoot the film in widescreen, but unsurprisingly the 1.33:1 home video transfer lops off side info, making characters sometimes disappear or be cut off at the edges. O7M’s sleeve, again sporting an image not in the film, claims “this film is presented in its only surviving form,” which may be true insofar as the makers and owners of this orphan film were nowhere to be found. The sad thing is, even if an uncut 76 min. film print were found, it wouldn’t matter, because Naka’s film is that bad.

Some of the cast did manage to have a bit of a career. Valérie Boisgel appeared in further erotic-themed films, whereas co-star France Nicolas had a small role in Jess Franco’s Chains and Black Leather / Exorcisms (1975).

Co-writer / production manager Andre Koob later wrote & directed the Harry Reams headlined French Deep Throat (1977), whereas co-writer Andre Chazel returned to acting in erotic films.

Composer Gazzola scored just a handful of films between 1973-1976, whereas cinematographer Jean-Paul Pradier filmed Naka’s next feature and a smattering of erotic films, including French Deep Throat, and Nikos Papatakis’ erotic-political stomach punch, Gloria Mundi / Tortura / In Hell (1976).

Naka’s credits include “technical advisor” on La goulve / Erotic Witchcraft (1972), co-writer / director of Le corps a ses raisons / Erotic Blackmail (1974), and director of Les chevaliers de la croupe (1975). TV credits consist of episodes of Le schmilblic (1969) and L’inspecteur mène l’enquête (1980).



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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