Written by: Pieter Boven on January 2nd, 2006
Theatrical Release Date: France, 1972
Director: Gilbert Roussel
Writer: Henri Bral de Boitselier, Pierre Quérut
Cast: Jean-Michel Dhermay, Evelyne Scott, Alice Arno, Roger Darton, Mikaela
DVD released: August 14, 2003
Running time: 79m20s
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Non-anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: French MPEG 2.0 Mono
DVD Label: ESI
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL (France)
Retail Price: 14,95 EUR
The Film :
Apparently the story revolves around Zorro having an affair with the Governor’s mistress. I say apparently since I didn’t actually detect any story when watching the movie. It felt more like a compilation of unrelated scenes featuring Zorro rescuing some peasant or having sex with a local beauty. The reason is quite simple. This Belgian/French co-production is in fact a Spanish/Italian Zorro film from 1963 called Le Tre spade di Zorro aka The Three Swords of Zorro with inserted erotic scenes shot by Gilbert Roussel. The result is a rather lame and failed attempt to create a sex comedy starring Zorro. IMDb also lists the infamous Bruno Mattei as a director but this is almost certainly incorrect.
The movie is presented in its, I assume, original 1.66:1 widescreen aspect ratio but without anamorphic enhancement. Although better than I expected, the transfer is not very good. Small blemishes are present throughout the movie, colours look washed out and detail is absent. Annoying frame jumps can be seen regularly as well as more serious frame damage. The inserted erotic scenes look significantly different from the rest of the movie and are of worse quality.
The only available audio track in French MPEG 2.0 mono sounds scratchy and hollow. Sufficient to understand the dialogue but nothing more. There are no subtitles.
We get a simple but fairly nice looking animated menu and a scene selection consisting of 8 chapters. The extras start of with an English language trailer (2m45s) titled Zorro’s Amourous Campaign which is more entertaining than the movie itself. Strangely enough the trailer is encoded as the last chapter so it also plays when the movie ends. There are also a couple of small galleries containing original poster art and on-set photos. An interview with the director or at least some liner notes about the history of this film would have been interesting but it’s better than nothing. The DVD cover looks rather bad especially considering some fine looking posters are available.
Outside its curiosity factor this movie has no redeeming features. The inserted scenes are badly shot and not erotic or funny in any way. Unless of course you crack up at the repeated sight of an ugly fat lady looking to receive sexual favours from Zorro. Bar a few exceptions, it seems hardly an attempt was made to blend in the new scenes with the original movie. Even the average Godfrey Ho ninja film succeeds better in having characters from two different films interact with each other. And although it’s hard to judge from this hack job, the original Zorro film also seems like a rather boring experience.
Although the DVD exceeds my expectations it can hardly be recommended. There are no English language options for those who don’t understand French, it is rather expensive and being another one of those elusive French kiosk releases, it is hard to track down. It took me almost 2 years and as often the case, the hunt was more interesting than the catch. If you want to see a decent erotic comedy starring Zorro I suggest you get The Erotic Adventures of Zorro released the same year and available on DVD from Something Weird Video.