(A.k.a. FAIRY TALES)
So, we're in colourful Fairy Land where a goofy-looking prince (Don Sparks) wakes up in his palace bed on the morning of his 21st birthday. He's flanked by three royal doctors (Irwin Corey, Simmy Bow and Robert Harris) who declare themselves to be "sexperts". They greet the prince - who still sleeps with his teddy bear - with a song, advising him that it's time he manned up and got laid. After all, he needs to sire an heir if he's to inherit his father's kingdom.
This overbearing trio have even gone to the trouble of bringing along a comely blonde in the hope that her naked cavorting will lead to the prince losing his virginity. But no. Despite her best efforts, the floozy can't arouse the prince; he only has eyes for princess Beauty (scream queen Linnea Quigley in her first role of any note). She went missing some time ago and the prince has never actually met her, but he has a portrait of her on the wall beside his bed and by his own admission she's the only woman capable of making him horny.
Consulting a "Magic Manual" for advice, the three doctors tell the prince he must travel to the Land of the Fairies if he's to find Beauty. But he must do so with haste - he has but days to secure her, or he stands to lose the kingdom.
The prince embarks on his journey on foot. He almost immediately encounters Little Bo Peep (Angela Aames) who, contrary to her name, is a rather voluptuous proposition. She takes time from fretting about her lost sheep - in song, of course - to indulge in some heavy petting with the prince. Alas, he spurns her advances and explains his singular devotion for Beauty. However, he's worried that if he doesn't prove his manhood within the week, his father will rob him of his inheritance. Bo suggests the prince pays a visit to Gussie (Brenda Fogarty), an experienced madam who lives in a shoe not so far away. And so, off the prince goes ...
I'm sure you can already see where this headed. ADULT FAIRY TALES is a rather curious prospect: a bawdy erotic comedy which also doubles as a musical, based primarily around fairy tales. From Snow White to Old King Cole and Jack and Jill to Little Red Riding Hood, director Harry Hurwitz (working under the pseudonym Harry Tampa) pillages from children's favourites and twists each one into a cheeky, nudity-filled vignette with the emphasis very firmly placed on smutty schoolboy giggles.
The comedy is often risible, coming off as not much more sophisticated than your average CARRY ON film. And yet, there's a charm to the energetic delivery and the agreeable performances. The gaudy colour design and genuinely catchy tunes don't harm matters either. And did I mention that Martha Reeves provides vocals on one stand-out (irritatingly so) disco tune?!
ADULT FAIRY TALES was produced by Charles Band and can proudly proclaim to have been shot by cinematographer Daniel Pearl. So, along with Quigley in the cast, there are definite points of interest here for fans of cult cinema. It's episodic and only sporadically as clever or amusing as it thinks it is, sure, but it's also always amiable and provides enough full-frontal nudity to sate the most demanding soft-core aficionado.
88 Films bring ADULT FAIRY TALES to UK blu-ray on a region B encoded disc. The version on presentation here is uncut, reinstating 5 or 6 minutes that were cut from TV screenings of the past.
Boasting a brand new HD restoration from the original camera negative, the film is presented as an MPEG4-AVC file in full 1080p resolution. Correctly framed in its original 2.35:1 ratio, this transfer offers warm colours, authentic-looking flesh tones and solid blacks. Some of the imagery is soft but that's most likely due to the then-popular diffusion effect rather than any transfer flaw. Occasionally there will be a scene which looks fainter and more worn than others, but by-and-large what we have here is clean and clear, vivid and filmic. This looks good to these eyes.
Lossless English stereo is very consistent and free from background noise. Optional English subtitles are easy to read and largely free from typing errors.
The disc opens to a static main menu page. There is no scene selection option.
Extras begin with an excellent, mirth-filled audio commentary track from Band and screenwriter Ray Frank Perilli. This was recorded back in 2016 for the US DVD release but remains relevant here, chock-full of titbits of trivia and - especially - lots of laughter over the amount of "bush" in the film.
The film's original 91-second trailer doesn't pull any punches with its depiction of the film's nudity but turns into a music video at the midway point. Seriously, how the fuck can I get that damn "You Feel the Magic in Me" song out of my head?!
This release also comes with double-sided cover artwork (both options are rather beautiful) and a limited edition slipcase.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by 88 Films|