It's mind-boggling to think that the director of such British sci-fi classics as THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, QUATERMASS II and THE DAY THE EARTH CAUGHT FIRE could end up doing sex comedies like this (he also did CONFESSIONS OF A WINDOW CLEANER with Robin Askwith in 1974). Guest co-wrote this Tigon production (with David Adnopoz) and perhaps it was stimulating work like AU PAIR GIRLS that kept him going strong for years, as he lived well into his 90s. For those unfamiliar with the term "Au Pair," it refers to young foreign girls who come to England to perform domestic chores, but here, the duties go beyond scrubbing the floors and washing the windows.
AU PAIR GIRLS tells four different stories about four different girls arriving in London to work in various situations after being hired by the The Overseas Employment agency. All of them of course are gorgeous. Randi (Gabrielle Drake, CROSSPLOT) is a Danish brunette who is assigned to work for a grumpy businessman. The dorky son (played by Richard O'Sullivan, star of "Man About the House," the British prototype of "Three's Company") is assigned to pick her up from the airport, but screws up everything and screws Randi too. On route to her employer, Randi rolls in the hay, has her clothes drenched, has to remove them and eventually ends up sleeping with the son in an office parking lot.
Anita (Astrid Frank, THE RESORT GIRLS) is a playful blond Swedish girl who moves in with an average middle-aged couple. The husband, Mr. Howard, is played by Hammer/Amicus character man Geoffrey Bayldon, easily spotted in films like HORROR OF DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN MUST BE DESTROYED, THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD and ASYLUM. Anita roams around the house in the buff, much to the delight of Mr. Howard. But while on a date with the fellow who drove her from the airport, she is picked up at a casino by a wealthy sheik (THE FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLER'S Ferdy Mayne), who wants to make her part of his harem.
Christa (Nancie Wait, THE AMOROUS MILKMAN) is a German babe who is escorted into swinging London by her employee's wild daughter. Her heart is broken as she looses her virtue to a hairy, arrogant rock star who nonchalantly just moves on to the next bird. Lastly is the Chinese Au Pair, Nan (Me Me Lai, CRUCIBLE OF TERROR) who is taken to a stuffy manor and starts a romance with a child-like concert pianist (Julian Barnes, the star of Tigon’s HORROR HOUSE/THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR). These two stories end on a more serious and sad note, while the other two are more jolly. By the time enough skin has been shown and the running time has been appropriated, the four allegories end abruptly and all the girls depart with the aforementioned sheik. How shallow!
Also recognizable in the film are two members of the "Are You Being Served" TV cast: Trevor Bannister (here as a nude photographer), who played "Mr. Lucas" and Harold Bennett, who played "Mr. Grace" ("Are You Being Served?" also had its pilot episode in '72). Also look for horror film regulars Rosalie Crutchley (BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB), John Standing (TORTURE GARDEN), and Milton Reid (the bald Hammer heavy from such films as NIGHT CREATURES). The familiar gothic manor known as Oxley Court (an exterior witnessed in a number of British horror films, as well as THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW) is featured prominently in the Me Me Lai segment.
Through Redemption's "Jezebel" arm, Image Entertainment had previous released AU PAIR GIRLS on DVD in a full frame transfer. This Blu-ray from Kino Lorber is a great improvement, mastering the film from the original 35mm negative. Presented in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio with anamorphic enhancement, the 1080p resolution image has extremely bold colors and the contrasts that were too dark in the older DVD transfer look so much better now, with detail being sharp throughout. The mono English audio is also fine. Though the Image DVD had several extras (a U.K. trailer, a still gallery and liner notes), this Blu-ray is presented barebones. (George R. Reis)
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