A Prince has to have an offspring in order to keep his title, but he’s not interested in any of the nubile women at his disposal. Unfortunately, he’s become ridiculously smitten with one dream woman and he goes on the search for her, stopping at the Woman Who Lived in the Shoe’s brothel attempting to conjure up his interest in women, even opting for a special magic love potion. This adult musical is sort of like Into the Woods if Into the Woods had a whole bunch of sex, nudity, and raunchy jokes.
AKA: Fairy Tales
Director: Harry Hurwitz
Actors: Don Sparks, Sy Richardson, Angela Aames, Linnea Quigley
Release date: 1978 (original) / 2018 (Blu-ray)
Note: screenshots not from the Blu-ray.
Adult Fairy Tales Film Review
Out of the soft porn craze of the ’70s comes the Charles Band-produced Adult Fairy Tales – or known at that time as just Fairy Tales – an intriguing mix of humor, whimsical musicality, and quite a bit of sexploitation. Director Harry Hurwitz (credited as Harry Tampa) imagines a world where all of characters of popular fairy tales live together and, upon meeting, find it imperative to drop their mores and have sex with each other in a grandiose orgy. While the decidedly adult idea of pairing sex jokes and boatloads of nudity with the nostalgically-tinted “child-oriented” fairy tales could easily have become a simple softcore pornography with nary a plotline, writers Frank Ray Perilli and Franne Schacht actually take the time to a compose a (mostly) story-driven film about a prince who can’t get it up, even when other fairy tale femmes are practically throwing themselves at him.
The overall tale follows this Prince (Don Sparks) as he ventures out looking for his Dream Girl (Linnea Quigley), along the way meeting up with Sirus (Sy Richardson) who attempts to help him get a girl in the process. He’s forced to sire an heir so it’s a big problem that he can’t perform with anyone, and so all kinds of jokes abound as the Prince heads to a harem only to shrug off pretty much anyone who offers to do the deed. This is like an early representation of what harem-style anime shows have become: in this male fantasy, the women oh-so-willing to help the Prince with his “problem,” but the Prince frustratingly turns down every opportunity.
It’s an interesting idea, especially pairing some of the other fairy tale characters into this sex-laden storyline. Most of the time, the supporting characters like Little Bo Beep (Angela Aames) rarely touch upon the stories of their related fairy tales; they’re mostly there to incorporate the character and give them a sexy spin, occasionally referencing an element of the tale just to to keep the conceit going. But others, like Snow White (Anne Gaybis), offer an interesting sex perspective: her life with seven dwarves is mostly consumed with orgies and then treating them like children and putting them to bed, sort of an unnamed reference to paraphilic infantalism.
While Adult Fairy Tales mostly just wants to have fun with sex the main topic, it does also feature what many mainstream moviegoers might find more taboo topics like homosexuality, S&M, and other kinky subject matter. It’s nice to see Hurwitz tackling some alternate elements besides the usual man-on-woman sex appeal; while this film rarely features men in the same compromising positions as the women, a tacked-on orgy sequence – which, for the most part, serves no purpose to the main plot and is part of the director’s cut – does showcase the occasional glimpse of male schlong and becomes much more pornographic than the softer elements the film usually features.
Surprisingly, the musical aspects of the film are also well-done thanks mostly to the writing and a couple of catchy ditties. While Aames isn’t that great of a singer, some of the other actresses, like Martha Reeves in particular, really do their part to spice up the music. It’s few and far between, but the sing-along moments add some lightheartedness and comedy to what could be slower moments in the film.
And at around 82 minutes this is a perfectly paced film, one that doesn’t overstay its welcome or become too bogged down in unnecessary sex scenes besides that aforementioned orgy to which the film continually cuts back. Adult Fairy Tales is an enjoyable experience all around, mostly for the guys because of its plot matter but also featuring some elements that both sexes will find funny and ridiculous. This is one of those Charles Band productions that really manages to capture its intent, and it joins a number of solid non-horror works from the ’70s like Auditions and Cinderella.
No violence in this one.
Tons of nudity. Most of the primary cast gets nude at some point; Angela Aames, Anne Gaybis, Lindsay Freeman, Nai Bonet – all of them are nearly completely naked most of the time. The orgy scene is also pretty explicit throughout, featuring some fleetingly visible sex.
- Martha Reeves didn’t know this was an adult film (since it was released as just Fairy Tales) and brought her church group. Oh a sight that must have been.
- 1977’s Cinderella is a precursor to this film, specifically centering on Cinderella. It was also written by Perilli.
- HD restoration from the original camera negative
- 2.35:1 presentation with newly created English subtitles
- Audio Commentary by writer Frank Ray Perilli and producer Charles Band
- Fairy Tales Trailer
- Reversible Sleeve with alternate original poster
- Region Code: B
- Picture Format: HD 1080p 2.35:1
- Audio Format: LPCM 2.0
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Certification: 18
- Running Time: 82 Mins Approx
Adult Fairy Tales Blu-ray Review
88 Films has given Adult Fairy Tales a new HD transfer from the original camera negative for this Blu-ray, but one thing that most viewers will find is that the picture quality is somewhat problematic. Most of the film is somewhat soft especially in outdoor scenes, and color and skin tones are very inconsistent, often changing from scene to scene. It’s hard to say how much of this is due to the quality of the camera negative, but suffice to say that Adult Fairy Tales does not look particularly good on this Blu-ray transfer. Still, the important bits and bobs are still visible, so job well done there.
88 Films gives Adult Fairy Tales a linear PCM 2.0 track and it sounds good with no crackles or hiss and a solid representation of the musical displays. There are really no concerns here about the audio quality and it appears to be a faithful transfer. English subtitles are also included.
The sole extra here is an audio commentary featuring writer Frank Ray Perilli and producer Charles Band, and both of them seem to be having a blast laughing at the film’s content and reminiscing about the experiences on-set. Charles Band has always been a good sport about coming back to talk about the films, and this commentary is worth a listen to here them crack up about elements of Adult Fairy Tales they see in hindsight.
There’s also a trailer on this disc as well as alternative cover artwork and a slipcover if you order from the 88 Films website. Overall, this is an enjoyable release with an okay transfer and a commentary that will warrant a second viewing of the film.