Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 6th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: West Germany / Hong Kong, 1974
Directors: Ernst Hofbauer, Kuei Chi Hung
Writers: Yu-Hsun Chen, Yi Hsun Cheng
Cast: Hua Yueh, Hui-Ling Liu, Sonja Jeannine, Diane Drube, Gillian Bray, Tamara Elliot, Deborah Ralls, Hsieh Wang
DVD released: August, 2010
Approximate running time: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono German
DVD Release: Camera Obscura
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL
Retail Price: 25.99 EUR
Synopsis: Five young women are abducted by Chinese pirates, who sell them to highest bidder.
Virgins Of The Seven Seas is a German / Hong Kong co-production that was co-directed by Ernst Hofbauer (Schoolgirl Report films) and Kuei Chi Hung the man behind some of the Shaw Brothers more outrageous films like Bamboo House of Dolls, The Killer Snakes, Corpse Mania and The Boxer’s Omen. Other alternate titles that Virgins Of The Seven Seas was released under include the film’s Chinese language title ‘Yang chi’, the German Language title is ‘Karate, Küsse, Blonde Katzen’ and in the U.S. under the title ‘The Bod Squad’.
Just when you think that you have seen it all. Along comes a film like Virgins Of The Seven Seas. Over the years The Shaw Brothers made several co-productions and while some of these co-productions like The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold and The Stranger and the Gunfighter. Are among the more well known of these co-productions. Virgins Of The Seven Seas like so many of these co-productions have fallen into obscurity.
Right from the moment that the five women (the virgins of the story) are introduced it quickly becomes apparent what direction things are going. Virtually all the male characters in this film are portrayed lecherous perverts. With the only character coming off with any redeeming qualities a character named Ko Pao, who’s sister Ko Mei Mei reluctantly works for the slave traders. Of course the film features a flamboyant villain named Chao, who uses his hair as a deadly weapon. In between moments of debauchery and carnage. The film even manages to throw into the mix a love story between Ko Pao and Donna (one of the five virgins).
Content wise Virgins Of The Seven Seas finds a satisfying mix of sleaze and action. With the emphasis being more on more sexual related themes. Even the five virgins wardrobe or lack thereof offers up plenty of eye candy. The film’s most memorable moment is a scene in which the five virgins are auctioned off. One area not to be overlooked or underestimated is the humorous and at times delirious dialog.
At one point in the film the five virgins are taught by one of their captors a martial arts technique known as Mattress Fu. This technique and some additional martial arts training (in the form of a montage), give the five virgins the skills they need to fend off perspective rapists. Surprisingly the martial arts sequences all very good, especially the scenes in which the five virgins strut their stuff. With the film’s standout action set piece being the film’s final showdown between the five virgins and their captors.
Camera Obscura presents Virgins Of The Seven Seas in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original 2.35:1 ‘scope’ aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is in good shape as colors fare well and flesh tones look accurate. Black levels range from average to good. Even though details generally look crisp. There are few instances where the image looks soft. There are no problems with compression or edge enhancement and the image remains stable throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in German. The sound pretty good considering the rarity of this film. There are no issues with distortion, background noise is never a problem and dialog comes through clearly. And even though the range of the soundtrack can be limited. The action oriented sequences benefit the most from this audio mix. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow and error free have been included.
Extras for this release include a German language trailer for the film (3 minutes 20 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a image gallery with posters, lobby cards and other promotional materials and a super 8 version of the film (48 minutes 9 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in German with English subtitles). Also included with this release is a booklet with informative liner notes about the film written by Christian Kessler. This release also comes with multi-lingual menus, English and German. Overall Camera Obscura rescues another film from obscurity and gives Virgins Of The Seven Seas its best release to date.