The Erotic Adventures of Zorro/Review

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Review of The Erotic Adventures of Zorro

When the new Alcalde, Luis Bonasario (Jude Farese), squeezes a small town in California in his evil grip and begins taxing them for everything they've got, the old Alcalde decides something must be done. It seems the old Alcalde's son Don Diego (Douglas Frey) is top of his class in a Mexican military school, so he is called for to assist in helping the townsfolk. When Don Diego arrives though, he portrays himself as effeminate and therefore not a threat to Bonasario. Little does the town know, by night Don Diego becomes Zorro, who effectively battles the Alcalde while bedding most of the beautiful women in town.

The Erotic Adventures of Zorro is an interesting take on the old stories by Zorro creator Johnston McCulley as filtered through the eyes (and pen) of sexploitation producer David F. Friedman. Much like his Adult Version of Jekyll and Hide, Zorro takes a literary classic and adds tons of nudity and sex to the story. By the time this film had come out though, pornographic films had begun to permeate the film world, so Friedman's gang had to up the stakes a bit with their newest film. Where Jekyll and Hide was pushing the limits of soft-core films, Zorro nearly falls over the edge into hard-core. It still isn't as graphic as hard-core (and far more plot heavy), but the impetus is there.

NOTE: Ironically, the plot predates the 1980 similarly themed (but less sex-filled) film Zorro, the Gay Blade. In that film, George Hamilton played the foppish Don Diego/roguish Zorro and also Zorro's gay brother, Bunny Wigglesworth.

This film marked the last big sex film that Friedman made before he made the jump to studio projects. Filmed for $73,000, The Erotic Adventure of Zorro looks like it cost millions. The old California town looks incredible and the costumes are equally impressive. The production value lifts this film high above many low budget films, not only from then but from today as well.

Once again, Friedman's eyes for the ladies doesn't disappoint. The cast is filled with a ton of beauties that not only look good but can also act. Robyn Whitting as Maria, Bonasario's niece and chief lust of Zorro, is a very attractive woman and portrays her character well, as does the woman who plays her aunt, Penny Boran. Though most of the rest of the women in the cast are given very little to do, they still lend authenticity to the theme of the film.

DVD Review

The Erotic Adventures of Zorro has been released on a special edition DVD through Something Weird Video and Image Entertainment. Like their release of Jekyll and Hide, the transfer is in the full-frame format and looks stunning. There are only a few minor scratches on the source print and do not detract from the film at all. Included on the disc is another fine commentary track featuring David F. Friedman and Something Weird owner Mike Vraney. The commentary is highlighted by Friedman's tales of lawsuits over the rights of the use of Zorro's character all the way up to some "hired gun" work he did on the Ilsa trilogy of movies. Friedman is a knowledgeable man and a delight to listen to.

Other features on the disc include a still gallery of exploitation art from some of Freidman's other work, a pretty funny trailer for Zorro (featuring a scene not included in the film!), an equally amusing trailer for a film called The Long Swift Sword of Siegfried, and a strange 1930s short subject called Scarred Face. The short runs just a little over ten minutes long and tells the story of a man who has an illicit affair with a young woman, much to the disapproval of her father. I'm not sure what the connection to this film is, but it is an interesting addition to the disc.

Review by Pockets of Sanity

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