No, it's not some dodgy knock-off film starring this Century's equivalent of Shannon Tweed. Rather, this is a cheekily titled - and impeccably timed - compilation of trailers from those fine folk at Nucleus Films (or, to be precise, their sister company Naughty). And if there's one thing they know how to do better than anyone else, it's how to package an entertaining trailer marathon: their sublime VIDEO NASTIES packages refer...

Here, as the title suggests, the emphasis is very firmly (oo-er) on erotic cinema of years gone by. 50 films in total, all represented by their original theatrical trailers, and all of which between them represent erotic cinema in all its most glorious, outrageous and sometimes downright weird ways.

The fun kicks off with Pasquale Festa Companile's THE LIBERTINE. Immediately you know you're in good hands as the trailer opens with the onscreen text "Radley Metzger presents ..." And it doesn't disappoint: sappy pop ballad soundtrack, stylish pop-art visuals, softcore shenanigans, iffy overdubbed groans, coy topless nudity. "Makes Hugh Hefner's Playboy Penthouse look like a nursery school!" decries ABC-TV's one-liner. Nice.

Its soft-focus heaven next as the beautiful Corinne Clery gets stripped, shackled, shagged and whipped in Just Jaeckin's THE STORY OF O. Udo Kier looks unfeasibly young; the score amusingly mistakes melodrama for sensuality. And yet, the whole thing remains oddly riveting.

"The most daring motion picture the screen has ever shown" is how the male voiceover describes Massimo Dallamano's VENUS IN FURS, up next. Lush panoramic photography, chiselled actors and more beautifully twee European sounds complement the colourful clips from this merging of corporeal erotica and "perverse pleasures".

Jaeckin's GWENDOLINE follows, complete with its lush production values, 80s-centric electro score and scenes of Tawny Kitaen getting them out for the lads.

THE NIGHT PORTER, Liliana Cavani's disturbing 1974 examination of the notions of power and control that fuelled Nazi desire, comes next. Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling getting kinky in a Vienna hotel? Yes please.

A lazy saxophone riff opens up the trailer for Jess Franco's SUCCUBUS. Again, the focus is kept deliberately soft as the lounge music continues against seemingly random scenes which do a fine job of representing the director's confused narrative.

CAMILLE 2000, from director Metzger, is a much classier affair - and its immensely enjoyable, visually stunning trailer conveys as such. Not only does this boast one of the sharpest transfers here, it's also one of the most impressively edited trailers ... despite it being the one that arguably has the least amount of flesh on offer.

In stark contrast, the trailer for Franco's JUSTINE DE SADE is full of ugly framing, women's backsides being gratuitously groped and/or whipped, and lines of dialogue such as "How can one not want to whip such a great ass revealed by these chains?" I'm not complaining: it's great fun, from its shockingly un-PC depiction of rape and sadism to the inappropriately chirpy score that plays over such moments. And Alice Arno is always easy on the eye.

The inclusion of Tinto Brass is inevitable, of course. As is the site of perfectly formed female buttocks in close-up in the trailer for FRIVOLOUS LOLA. Who cares if the English dubbing is horrible, when the production design, female flesh, photography and rock 'n' roll soundtrack are all this good?

TURKISH DELIGHT is my favourite Paul Verhoeven film, despite not having seen it in years. Told through flashbacks, the film chronicles Rutger Hauer's doomed romance with a redheaded tiger while tackling opposition from her family. It's great, and this bombastic trailer had me itching to revisit it once more. Where else, after all, are you going to find a young Hauer tucking his cock between his thighs and prancing about with a mangina in full view?

IMMORAL TALES, Walerian Borowczyk's brilliant portmanteau depicting scenarios of female sexual empowerment throughout the ages, is next. The trailer is quite brief, and focuses only on the admittedly stunning Elizabeth Bathory tale.

Another favourite of mine is Barbet Schroeder's MAITRESSE. Gerard Depardieu is skinny, Bulle Ogier is oddly sexy, and the clandestine world of her nocturnal endeavours still feels a little dangerous to witness.

EMMANUELLE, the trailer's male narrator assures us, is "the first film of its kind that lets you feel good without making you feel bad". Even so, the trailer is very careful to omit even a single clip from the film (another Jaeckin hit). The power of suggestion, you see...

Metzger's SCORE, a rather ahead-of-its-time account of a swinging party in which two married couples pair off into same-sex trysts, is a surprisingly well-made, insightful and serious-minded probing of carnal inclinations. The preview gets this point across successfully, without forsaking the chance to accentuate the film's more exploitative aspects.

Chris Boger's CRUEL PASSION, starring Koo Stark, is a tremendous mix of art, period drama and melodramatic softcore tomfoolery. Its trailer is suitably striking, saucy and strange in equal measures. Again, it left me desperate to revisit this old fave.

More Brass means more ass mixed with keen visuals in THE KEY; Ryu Murakami's TOKYO DECADENCE is an odd but welcome inclusion here, demonstrating a desire to see beyond the obvious and give the more casual punter something seriously kinky - a tale of a jaded hooker's escapades, which gets pretty twisted at times - into the bargain.

Remember BUTTERFLY, the pretty terrible Matt Cimber film from 1982, co-starring Pia Zadora, Stacy Keach and Orson Welles (!)? You probably don't care to, but that gets a look-in here too. The trailer successfully makes the film look more appetising than it should.

Arguably a proto-FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, Piero Schivazappa's THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN follows. In it, wealthy sadist Philippe Leroy enjoys subjecting women to his perverse whims. He abducts sexy journalist Dagmar Lassander and puts her through some pretty surreal 'training' ... but she slyly begins to subvert their relationship as the film progresses. The trailer cannily picks up on the film's fetishist bent, along with its pop-art stylistics and air of sexual tension.

Franco's EUGENIE ... THE STORY OF HER JOURNEY INTO PERVERSION plays here under its alternate title PHILOSOPHY IN THE BOUDOIR. Christopher Lee and Maria Rohm in the same film ... bring it on.

The trailer for Nagisa Oshima's IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES is in pretty rough shape, but is still a joy to behold. A key release of 1970s erotic cinema (itself a landmark decade for the genre), this brilliant adaptation of the true story of former prostitute Abe Sada's ill-fated affair with her businessman boss is a must-see for fans of any kind of cinema.

SALON KITTY is Brass' take on Nazisploitation. As a film, it's a curious failure. The inclusion of its trailer here is odd, as although there's a fair bit of humping and nudity in the film - and the trailer - I wouldn't say there's much eroticism in this one. Still, I'm not grumbling...

Jerry Gross' FEMALE ANIMAL is a film I've seen before (I think I've even reviewed it for this site) but none of what I saw in the trailer looks familiar. Arlene Farber stars as a foxy chick who descends into prostitution, even though this preview does its best to make the film look like it's about a highly unnatural relationship between Arlene and her cat.

BELLE DE JOUR is, of course, in a class of its own. Possibly the greatest erotic film of all time, Luis Bunuel's tale of a woman (Catherine Deneuve) who meanders into high-class prostitution to compensate for the lack of sexual expression in her marriage, is a joy on every level. The trailer can't do the film justice, but does at least look attractive and benefits from having the original French audio track (with English subtitles).

VANESSA, Hubert Frank's 1977 film, stars BLOODY MOON actress Olivia Pascal alongside a cheesy theme tune and an agreeable bit of close-up nipple kissing.

Klaus Kinski and Anton Diffring are not names synonymous with erotic cinema. But Franco's own version of VENUS IN FURS is just about wacky, psychedelic and sleazy enough to do the job.

I've never seen Jean-Claude Roy's EDUCATION ANGLAISE but it looks very kinky indeed. I need to seek this one out.

THE CRUEL WOMAN is a little-seen gem of German cinema from Elfi Mikesch and Monika Treut, starring Udo Kier in a role where he's allowed to speak in his native tongue. This arty, earnest tale of a performance artist whose act becomes complicated when one of her 'slaves' develops feelings for her, is a dark and unusual slice of Euro cinema from the 1980s that deserves to be more widely seen.

Ken Russell's WHORE is another film I've not seen in aeons. The trailer here is far too brief to titillate, but it does serve as a reminder that the film is great - and that Theresa Russell has never been sexier.

VANESSA and THE VOYEUR (more Brass!) inject welcome humour into proceedings, and consequently emerge as two of the most effortlessly beguiling trailers contained herein. BLIND BEAST is a different kettle of fish altogether, a visually breathtaking adaptation of a story by the notorious Edogawa Rampo. If you haven't seen this excellent film, this trailer will surely have you salivating to do so.

Carroll Baker ... Luigi Montefiore ... Fumetti ... witchery ... bondage costumes. Don't let the trailer entice you too much. Corrado Farina's BABA YAGA is nowhere near as inviting as this expertly edited clip suggests.

LADY CHATTERLEY'S LOVER stars Sylvia Kristel and looks very handsome. Borowczyk's THE BEAST, meanwhile, is a consummate blending of arthouse aesthetic and grindhouse excesses. The trailer wisely concentrates its footage on the graphic, bizarre dream sequence which earned the film its notoriety.

Shuji Terayama's FRUITS OF PASSION is all shades of wrong, showing just how perverse the notion of "erotica" had got by 1981. In comparison, Metzger's THE LICKERISH QUARTET - a film as lusciously photographed and performed as it is sexy - loos positively tame. Ken Russell's CRIMES OF PASSION is a delirious slice of prime 80s oddness that isn't done justice by its all-too-brief and far-too-shy trailer.

Brass' MIRANDA offers women sucking seductively on ice lollies, suitors brandishing switchblades and - of course - fulsome derrieres getting given the attention they deserve.

BLACK EMANUELLE is a pretty terrible film from 1975. At least the trailer is heavy on nudity (and elephants), even being considerate enough to open with a slow-motion shot of fan favourite Laura Gemser masturbating while naked. The music is particularly annoying on this one.

Throat-slashing, lesbian clinches, ugly male nudity and bad jazz music punctuate the trailer for the wonderfully sleazy-looking EUGENIA.

A WOMAN IN FLAMES is another German attempt to marry the exploitative elements of a story centred on a discontent prostitute, with slick production values and artistic allusions. MAITRESSE clearly has something to answer for...

PAPRIKA looks decent enough; THE IMAGE, another Metzger film, ranks alongside BELLE DE JOUR as possibly the most genuinely erotic film among this selection. It's a masterpiece and comes highly recommended: even the trailer is pretty special.

DRESSAGE is rather frivolous in comparison, but no less filled with innovative set-pieces. It's a cheap, cheery proposition, as evidenced by its preview clip. Absurd highlights include a voluptuous brunette being cajoled into sleeping with her lover's elderly father, and the sight of a Santa shagging a comely beauty as fake snow falls around them.

It's nice to see THE AGES OF LULU in here too, complete with Lou Reed on the soundtrack. One of Bigas Luna's most satisfying films, the trailer is a rare treat in that it conveys the tone of the film well despite not one line of dialogue being proffered.

There's lots of full-frontal nudity present in the trailer for 11 DAYS 11 NIGHTS, "un film di Joe D'Amato". I rented this on video when it first came out over two decades ago, and yet again I don't recall a single second of the footage shown here! Great (awful) 80s-style pop song on the soundtrack though.

THE DARK SIDE OF LOVE is kinky enough to qualify as being erotic, even though it's a cheap little film filled with rather hideous fashions. ALL LADIES DO IT is far better, a beautifully-shot film with gorgeous females, a cheekily sexy story, welcome humour and - yes - a fascination with girlie bottoms. Guess who the director is?!

John Holmes' legendary cock gets a flaccid close-up during the trailer for FANTASM, "filmed in Hollywood by Australians". The film is an oddly compelling curiosity, as is its trailer.

And there you have it: 50 trailers for vintage movies, some more erotic than others, and all clocking in collectively at just under two hours in length. Nice.

Picture quality - along with aspect ratios - varies wildly throughout, due to the numerous sources used. Most trailers look quite good, with decent levels of detail and warm colours.

2.0 audio is reliable throughout. The predominant language spoken is English (including English dubbed), while the odd Foreign-language trailer comes with the benefit of burned-in English subtitles.

All menus are static. The scene selection allows you traverse this compilation by each individual film preview - that'll be 50 chapters, then - while there's also an option to view trailers in order of their year of release, which makes for a different running order.

Bonus features include the promotional teaser trailer for this compilation (a good way of testing your knowledge of celluloid erotica against the 50 clips briefly displayed); an enjoyable 2-minute gallery boasting poster artwork - much of which is quite rare - for each film; trailers for other titles in Naughty's roster: SCANDALOUS PHOTOS, JUSTINE'S HOT NIGHTS, FANTASM COMES AGAIN, GOOD LITTLE GIRLS, SOME LIKE IT SEXY, ESCORT GIRLS, GIVE US TOMORROW and VARIETEASE AND TEASERAMA.

Nucleus Films triumph again, serving up another quality evening's entertainment in the form of a fine selection of trailers. From THE BEAST and BELLE DE JOUR to THE IMAGE and BLIND BEAST, and beyond, this is a great compilation. And there's not a single Shannon Tweed film in sight...

Review by Stuart Willis

Released by Nucleus Films
Region 2
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review