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Virgin Report (Image Entertainment) DVD Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Virgin Report (Image Entertainment) DVD Review

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    Released by: Image Entertainment
    Released on: December 20th, 2003.
    Director: Jess Franco
    Cast: Howard Vernon, Eva Garden, Hans Hass Jr., Diane Winter
    Year: 1972
    Purchase From Amazon

    Virgin Report - Movie Review:

    Just one of a few hundred films by prolific cult director Jess Franco, Virgin Report (a. k. a. Jungrauen Report) is an almost mondo style pseudo-documentary on the history of virginity and the pleasures and problems that maintaining and losing it has caused throughout the world and throughout the ages. Sex Report/Schoolgirl Report films were a popular phenomenon in Europe during the seventies, and Franco was never one to not get in on a phase, so it makes sense that he's got at least one of these in his massive and ever growing filmography.

    There isn't so much of a plot, per se, more a series of recreations of what the filmmakers would like us to believe are actual practices and customs from some of the more exotic cultures that the world has to offer.

    The film begins with an off screen reporter interviewing some happy go lucky night club goers about virginity. Questions like "Are you a virgin?" and "Would you only marry a virgin?" are the hot topic at hand, and from here, we journey back to take a look at the way Adam and Eve did things. Biblically accurate this movie is not.

    After Jess gives us his spin on the beginning times, we're treated to various other bizarre and outlandish set pieces, one after the other. Franco regular Howard Vernon (probably best known from The Awful Dr. Orloff) makes an appearance in one of the highlights of the film in what is essentially a satire of the old silent movies of yesteryear. The lovely Britt Nichols (who appeared in Tombs Of The Blind Dead also appears in one of the segments, and is always easy on the eyes. Other set pieces include some African tribal customs, a look at the deflowering rituals used in old Native American customs (ouch!), the use of big silver dildos by the Romans, some Monk and Nun action in a convent, a lot of swinging seventies style love action, and a couple of different international wedding night rituals.

    You'd think that given Jess Franco's reputation and track record with erotic films, many of which blend horror and fantasy elements with (sometimes hardcore) sexual situations, that Virgin Report would be a classic and rank among many of the director's better films like Vampyro's Lesbos, Doriana Grey, or Barbed Wire Dolls. Sadly, save for some unintentional laughs (ok, plenty of unintentional laughs, but they're still unintentional) courtesy of the stoic narration and ridiculous reenactments, the film is actually rather plodding despite its short sixty seven minute running time. And speaking of its running time, it looks like the film is cut as its uncut running time is supposedly around eighty eight minutes in length.

    Virgin Report - DVD Review:

    The fullframe presentation features nice deep blacks and pleasantly robust color reproduction. Some of the stock footage included is a little worse for wear but the actual feature itself, save for some mild print damage, looks quite nice indeed. The film appears to be presented in its correct aspect ratio as the compositions used in the film look well placed and properly displayed. There doesn't appear to be anything major missing from the film in terms of picture. One scene, involving a woman and a statue about thirteen minutes into the film, exhibits some nasty scratches that make a strange blue effect appear on the film but once the scene passes, thankfully these effects don't appear again.

    Virgin Report is presented in a German Dolby Digital 2.0 track with non-removable English subtitles. There are a few spots where the background music is a little too high in the mix with results in a little bit of distortion. Likewise, there is a bit of hiss present throughout most of the film, and a couple of spots where there are a few noticeable pops on the track. For the most part though it's reasonably clear and is of average quality for a low budget film made over thirty years ago.

    The extras on the DVD include a still gallery consisting of nine images from the film displayed as a slideshow over a forty five second duration, and a German promotional trailers that runs almost four minutes.

    Virgin Report - The Final Word:

    Virgin Report isn't nearly as interesting as it sounds if taken seriously and is recommended for Franco completists only. Image has done a nice job on the video presentation but the sound is mediocre at best and none of the extra features make this a must own DVD. Unless you're a hardcore Franco fan or looking some funny sleaze appeal (not that we would ever condemn this!), you might want to just rent it first.

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