Monday, 18 February 2013

Erotic Inferno

When their father dies in a yachting accident Paul and Martin Barnard are summoned to the family’s mansion for a reading of the will. Also summoned is Adam, their father’s loyal chauffeur and procurer of women. Adam does not know that he is the dead man’s illegitimate son and, being two years older than Martin, the one whom primogeniture should favour. Martin and Paul thus determine to inveigle their way into their father’s mansion, locked up until the reading of the will is to take place, and destroy all evidence of their half-brother’s claims. In the meantime, Adam, Martin and Paul are each ensconced in the servant’s building, along with various women...

Whilst entitled Erotic Inferno this 1976 British sexploitation entry remains firmly (ooh, er!) on the legal side of softcore. This said, the plentiful sex scenes are effective in their suggestive way, in that you don’t see what’s going on, that being left to the imagination, but not much imagination is required.

Moreover, even if the version under review, sourced from a pre-cert VHS, purports to be uncut, the casting of Heather Deeley and Mary Maxted (i.e. Millington) suggests that the filmmakers could have prepared a harder version for foreign and/or clandestine domestic distribution.

Produced by Indian-British sexploitation mainstay Bachoo Sen, the film has various other intertextual connections: Writer Jonathan Gershfield, credited as Jon York, had earlier appeared on the James Kenelm Clarke directed Man Alive documentary Xploitation, about the British sex film. Xploitation had also featured Sen and Erotic Inferno’s director Trevor Wrenn, who had earlier collaborated with Jose Larraz.

Together, Clarke, with Expose, and Larraz, with Vampyres and Black Candles, emerge as the filmmakers closest to Wrenn, for the isolated setting; the propensity to use sex scenes as a means of advancing the narrative; and the prominence given sapphic activity.

There are some ambitious and indeed effective shots, as when Wrenn racks focus to capture Adam in the wing mirror of a Rolls Royce.

While all three of the male protagonists are equally unpleasant both in general and in their Neanderthal attitudes towards women a broad ranking of most to least obnoxious does emerge; if none undergoes a Damascean conversion there are thus perhaps enough hints to make their respective positions comprehensible.

KPM supply the music, very much your typical selection of library themes.

Overall, worth a look for the completist.

1 comment:

gavcrimson said...

The British pre-cert appears to be the most explicit version of the film released on tape, although it is apparently missing tiny bits of dialogue due to print damage and lacks a few seconds from the opening scene that are unique to versions of the film that carry the ‘Adam and Nicole’ title.

Also worth searching out is The Intruders (1974) aka Let Us Play Sex, an earlier film that first brought together Bachoo Sen, Jonathan ‘Jon York’ Gershfield and lead actor Chris Chittell. Its virtually a companion piece to Erotic Inferno, and shares the same characteristics and aggressive streak.