Erotic Adventures Of The Three Musketeers (Paul Norman, 1992)
The setting: Medieval France. The scheming Cardinal (Chet Anuszek aka Jon Dough, looking like he was costumed by Andy Milligan) has his eyes on the throne. He starts off by manipulating a tryst between the Queen (Martine Helene aka Deidre Holland) and English ambassador Duke Desmond (Steve Drake). Then he expresses his concerns about her fleshly transgressions to the queenish-King (Larry Paciotti aka Chi Chi LaRue) but he doesn’t seem the least bit surprised (“We don’t… you know…”). The Cardinal suggests that people are questioning the King’s ability to control the country if he can’t control his wife. The Cardinal is unable to catch the Queen and Duke in the act but discovers that the Queen has given the Duke a five-stoned emerald necklace as a keepsake before he returned to England. The Cardinal enlists the aid of Lady D’Summer (Britt Morgan) to go to England and steal two of the jewels from the necklace (“When the queen arrives at the ball, the king will expect her to wear it,” he says. “He’ll probably want to wear it himself,” she replies) but the queen fortunately overhears their plans. Lady D’Summer takes off to England (the next room, I guess), seduces the Duke, and makes away with the jewels. Meanwhile, Alexandra (Tracy Wynn) wants to join the Three Musketeers (Marc Goldberg, Jonathan Morgan, and Dino Alba – all porn stars acting under pseudonyms). She proves to be an excellent fighter but not quite a match for their bawdy behaviour. When the Queen comes to them asking for help to get the jewel back from Lady D’Summer, it is up to Alexandra since D’Summer prefers female company. Can she finally prove herself a musketeer?
Although produced by one David Goldstein, the film looks very much like one of David F. Friedman’s period erotic films from the late sixties and seventies. In fact, had Norman’s film been a little more graphic and gritty in its softcore sex scenes, it would not be out of place being shown alongside THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF ZORRO and THE NOTORIOUS DAUGHTER OF FANNY HILL; while those films lingered on clumsily choreographed faux sex scenes without regard for hiding the naughty bits, Norman’s film is obviously a softcore cut of a hardcore feature (the XXX version was released on tape as a two-parter as THE THREE MUSKETEERS but it does not seem to have made the jump to DVD).
Morgan and Dough are engaging in their scenes together but most of the performances are not so much hampered by the accents but by the raised eyebrows and “mannered” delivery of dialogue which is very high school play level. The fine cinematography is credited to prolific TV cameraman Tom Fraser (THE UNNAMABLE) but he also shares camera operator credit with the late exploitation cinematographer/director/adult filmmaker Gary Graver; however, like much of the cast, most of the crew are either one-offs or hidden behind pseudonyms. Had the film been shot as a softcore comedy, it might have played better than this. As such, it is only intermittently entertaining in between the boring sex scenes.
Private Screening Collection’s DVD is typical of their product in that it is a barebones presentation featuring a solid transfer of a video master (most of the Private Screening Collection releases that were original Private Screening titles were shot on film but edited on video so there are likely to be no film masters). Designed with television (in its cable softcore version) and video (In its hardcore version) in mind, the film is shot full frame and does not look cropped.
Shot on video, the extra digitization of DVD is not kind on complexions all the time. The mono sound is clear. As there is no hardcore material, the DVD is distributed by Ryko (Severin/Private Screening Collection seems to have found CAV to distribute their hardcore content titles). Although most will find the retail price of $29.95 ridiculously expensive for this title alone, Private Screening Collection has made the film available in a two-pack with Claude Mullot’s BLACK VENUS as SKIN CLASSICS VOLUME 1 for $29.95, but one has to wonder why they didn’t pair this with the American LOVE SCENES and BLACK VENUS with the Spanish CHRISTINA.