Face it. We like to see flesh. Tender, naked flesh. I know I do. Oh sure, you can lie all you want about it, but it’ll do you no good. I once managed a video store for six years — and not a day went by without someone renting a softcore flick. Many of them pretended they didn’t know what they were picking up, saying something to the effect of “Oh, this looks like it’ll be a good science fiction film.” Many more of them would later claim to have not rented them when their wives inquired about the late fees. Of course, this was all years ago, before the Internet became a mainstream commodity in every home, thus making it easier to pass over the softcore and get down and dirty with the harder stuff.
But things haven’t changed much as far as softcore movies on video go. To this day, there are a near-infinite number of minor video labels out there distributing vintage and modern skin flicks alike. One such company is Sinful Mermaid, which has recently released two classic Euro nudies for all the masses to behold: Reflections Of Light and The Hostess Also Likes To Blow The Horn.
In Reflections Of Light (aka Riflessi Di Luce), the “serious” entry of the two, Federico Brandi (Gabriele Tinti) is a former composer who is now confined to a wheelchair. Why? Well, that’s beside the point as best I could tell — all you need to know is that he’s miserable. His first wife, Chiara (Laura Gemser, courtesy of a few flashback scenes) drowned. His present wife, Marta (Pamela Prati) tries her best to make the man happy, but his live-in secretary (Loredana Romito) has her libido all primed and ready to go for Marta.
Meanwhile, Federico’s son, Marcello (Gabriele Gori), is a horse-riding champ (who looks like he’s about as hung as a horse, too, when you see him in those tight riding-pants — a little something for the ladies, I guess), who is growing fed up with the drama going on 24/7 in the Brandi villa (where most of the movie takes place). He soon meets a young motorcyclist named Gaia (Jessica Moore), who — ah, enough of the so-called story! Reflections Of Light has one purpose and one alone: to show some big-bootied, big-haired Italian babes getting nekkid. There, I exposed the movie for what it really is. Deal with it.
With a name like The Hostess Also Likes To Blow The Horn, you’d expect something along the lines of the Classic Danish Erotica Collection. Sadly, this 1970 cinemascope German-Italo effort (also known as Le Piacevoli Notti Di Justine and Frau Wirtin Bläst Auch Gern Trompete) is more along the lines of a Barry Mahon or A.C. Stephens nudie comedy. The story (I feel as if I’m cheating you by using the word “story”) takes place in 1814. Napoleon’s troops are running wild across the land, prompting the sultry Justine (Terry Torday) and her actor-colleague Ferdinand (Harald Leipnitz) to flee the country.
The two buy an inn (?), only to find the local count has taxed every form of pleasure imaginable, from smoking to sex. The objective of the count (who is really an impostor) is to make enough money to buy the country (you can do that?), while the real count (Glenn Saxson) is off in Vienna. And so, our heroes do what any civilized person would do: turn the inn into an underground brothel — a brothel that poses as a convent at that, which brings new meaning to “the Second Coming” (ta-dum — thank you!).
As previously mentioned, the latter title is presented in widescreen. The 2.35:1 picture is also anamorphic, but the print quality is rather poor and the colors are very muted (at times, the picture gets “squished” — something you’ll have to see for yourself). Reflections Of Light is shown in a full frame (1.33:1) ratio and is the better looking of the two, boasting a richer color palette than its sister release. Both DVDs contain the original Italian mono soundtrack with optional English subtitles. The only special feature to be found on either release is a slide show presentation, which amounts to little more than a handful of stills from the respective picture.
While neither movie is destined to be either a mainstream sensation or an underground cult item, you have to admire Sinful Mermaid’s devotion to releasing classic sleaze like this. Fans of Black Emanuelle’s Laura Gemser may want to add Reflections Of Light to their Shrine of Laura (and the select few of you who I refer to know you have one, so don’t deny it), while others who prefer racy Euro nudie comedies from the '60s and '70s will want to pick up The Hostess Also Likes To Blow The Horn for its wonderful costume-piece antics (complete with sword fights and everything!). The only thing to remember here is this: if you rent either of these titles from the video store, don’t bring ‘em back late — else your wife might find out.