Director: Harry Herwitz/Harry Tampa
Script: Frank Ray Perillie & Francis Schacht
Cast: Don Sparks, Sy Richardson, Robert Harris, Simy Bow, Robert Staats, Prof Irwin Corey, Brenda Fogarty, Linnea Quigley
Producer: Charles Band
Running time: 82 minutes
Year: 1978
Certificate: 18

Back in the 1970s a whole bunch of weird and wonderful erotically-themed films were made; films that weren’t shy in coming (or should that be ‘cumming’?) forward with plenty of T & A (tits and arse) action, but not much in the way of full-blown pornographic imagery. In the UK we had the Confessions… series, starring cheeky chappie Robin Askwith, and in the States they had the likes of the animated Jungle Burger (aka Shame of the Jungle, 1975), The Other Cinderella (1977) and this, err, treat (?) by the same producer – step forward ‘King of the Bs’, Mr Charles Band.

Now I’m a big fan of Mr Band and his oeuvre, or at least some of it, hence my interest in reviewing this weirdly arresting oddity. Being a fan of some of Band’s later stuff, including underrated movies like Parasite (1982), Trancers (1984), Eliminators (1986) and The Pit and the Pendulum (1991), I was hoping that some of his hit-and-miss magic might have impregnated itself into this piece of less cerebral celluloid. Sadly, I was mostly disappointed, but Adult Fairy Tales does have its moments, even though they are mostly fleeting ones!

The plot, (coughs), concerns a young prince (Don Sparks) who is struggling to meet his princely obligations of producing an heir to his kingdom. His advisors remind him that if the situation doesn’t change soon he’ll be forced to relinquish his claim to the throne forever. He therefore reluctantly tries to get-it-on with a palace floozy, but can’t get it up, so he heads out on a quest to find his princess-to-be.

On his travels he encounters a variety of fairy tale figures including: Little Boo-Peep (who has lost her sheep), Jack and Jill (who fall down a hill in a state of undress), and old mother Gussie Gander, who lives in a shoe, which, in this case, also happens to be a brothel in a forest! Ms gander introduces the prince to various ‘attractions’ in her establishment, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a witch, some bondage babes in a dungeon, and finally sleeping beauty, who turns out to be a hairy bloke, or is she/he?!

The other thing I haven’t yet mentioned is that Adult Fairy Tales is actually a musical, and it’s these show-tunes that are actually its saving grace, as some of them are really rather good. The standout of which is probably the witch’s song, which is an awesome disco classic, performed by the equally awesome Martha Reeves, the lead singer of ‘Martha and the Vandellas’.

I’m quite impressed by how many decent performers and actors Mr Band has actually gotten into this film, since they must have known they were actually making smut, albeit pretty harmless, and largely inoffensive smut! They all seem to be ‘up for it’, excuse the bad pun, and everyone looks like they’re having a ball, especially the King who’s clearly enjoying his fumblings with an actual belly dancer (Nai Bonet).

Considering the film was shot in about a week, Band and his cohorts did remarkably well with this strange concoction of pantomime erotica, although I’m not sure who this film was aimed at – the dirty mac brigade would have found it lacking in the titillation stakes, and those who enjoy more plot and comedy in their movies would have found it lacking in those departments too. A shame really as it has lots of potential… It’s all rather dated now, especially in some of the rather dodgy language used here and there, but for fans of strange, one-of-a-kind films it’s worth a look.

88 Films are distributing Adult Fairy Tales on Blu-ray. Special features include:

A trailer (1.31 mins) – with the tagline: ‘Where anything is possible and everyone’s horny!’

An audio commentary featuring writer Frank Ray Perilli and producer Charles Band. This is a fun commentary, although Frank and Charles spend too much time just watching the film with us and laughing at it. An interesting fact I learned from this is that the giant shoe was transported, in the middle of the night on the back of a flat-bed truck, to Griffith Park, in LA, and they shot, guerrilla-style for a day before leaving said prop in the park, where it remained for months afterwards!

Adult Fairy Tales
Justin Richards reviews Charles Band's weird 'Adult Fairy Tales'; an erotic musical!
2.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Justin Richards is a journalist by day and a scriptwriter by night. His work has appeared in the darker recesses of the internet and in various niche publications including ITNOW, The Darkside, Is it Uncut?, Impact and Deranged. When he’s not sitting hunched over a sticky, crumb-laden keyboard he’s paying good money to have people in pyjamas try and kick him repeatedly in the face.

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