Director: Paul Rapp
Code Red Releasing

One of the most oddball attempts at sexploitation comes to Blu-ray in Code Red's THE CURIOUS FEMALE.

In the year 2477, Los Angeles is still the filmmaking capital of the world even though it is now an island after the earthquake of 1969. All life is governed by the Master Computer, including the production of motion pictures fit for the consumption of the polyamorous human populace. A cult lead by Liana (Bunny Allister) and Jorel (David Westberg, LOGAN'S RUN) has developed around a cache of forbidden "underground" films of yesteryear, and they gather for secret screenings. The latest of Liana's discoveries is THE THREE VIRGINS from 1969 in which Bixby (Michael Greer, MESSIAH OF EVIL) runs a computer dating service which trolls the university registry to match coeds to clients. When effete Mr. Burton (Sebastian Brook, THE JEKYLL & HYDE PORTFOLIO) requests a virgin and agrees to pay top dollar, Bixby's computer turns up a record total of three: "negress" Pearl (Charlene Jones, THE WOMAN HUNT) who has been able to keep her maidenhead despite the unwanted attentions of her uncle, Joan (Allister again) who has been saving herself for marriage to the frustration of her fiancé (Westberg again), and Susan (Angelique Pettyjohn, THE MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND) who is afraid of getting pregnant. While Susan answers Burton's ad and finds that his plans do not include deflowering her, Pearl and Joan decide instead of utilize Bixby's services to find perfect mates only to find that some things are better left to chance.

Despite a great title and groovy theme song by Stu Phillips (THE NAME OF THE GAME IS KILL), THE CURIOUS FEMALE is a remarkably uptight 1970s sexploitation film. Liana explains away a missing reel of the film as being due to the production running out of money, and one does indeed wonder if the main body of the film was indeed an unfinished production upon which this futuristic framing device – in which it is not the salacious aspects of the film that arouse curiosity but bygone concepts of morality like virginity and marriage as well as attitudes about interracial sex and homosexuality – was imposed. The story of three virgins seeking fulfillment, especially one titled THE CURIOUS FEMALE, could have succeeded on its own; but THE THREE VIRGINS seems almost determined to disturb its audience with Pearl blamed for her uncle's advances and beaten by her father (and later blamed by her rescuer for another attempted rape) so it is no wonder she would find fulfillment with a lesbian (Julie Conners, COUNT YORGA: VAMPIRE), while Joan – whose mother (Elaine Edwards, THE BAT) has a younger lover (Michael D. Castle, DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE) and attempts to seduce her daughter's fiancé – is also nearly raped by another character who believes she is asking for it only to painfully discovers that sex is not beautiful in a more consensual but unpleasant encounter. Susan is the only one who finds "freedom" through sex, but the encounter itself which places her as the centerpiece of a love-in initiated by boyfriend (David Pritchard, SLASHED DREAMS) takes the back seat to the acid freakout of one of the guests (David Buchanan, BUMMER). The prudish approach seems to be the result of the film's parentage as an in-house production of Joe Solomon's Fanfare Films – with an in-joke about the profitability of films featuring motorcycles and carrying over Greer and Brook from THE GAY DECIEVERS – with direction credited to Paul Rapp who was better known as an assistant director and production manager for Roger Corman, and a cast peopled with actors from episodic television (most whom went back to that medium and stayed there after this).

Transferred from an HD scan of vault elements, it appears that the rights holder did not possess any materials for this title, requiring the use of a German print with the English track resynchronized to the image. The 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen encode is wonderfully colorful starting with the psychedelic opening credits – which call it PORNO-LECKEREIEN (or "Porno Treats") – and when the set design allows for it while colors remain stable in more conventional settings. The shadows are a bit harsh but we are a few generations away from the negative with a foreign interneg or print. The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono track sounds fine although the synchronization has a rare hiccup or two, notably at one of the reel changes. The only extras are the German trailer (1:54) with German dubbing as well as trailers for WARLOCK MOON, SLITHIS, and SIMON: KING OF THE WITCHES. (Eric Cotenas)