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Three Between The Sheets (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

    Ian Jane

  • Three Between The Sheets (Severin Films) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Severin Films
    Released on: April 25th, 2023.
    Director: Bud Townsend, Claude Mulot, Hubert Frank
    Cast: Tiffany Bolling, Frank Luz, Julie Newmar, Josephine Jacqueline Jones, Helga Line, Montse Bayo, Sonja Martin
    Year: 1984/1983/1986
    Purchase From Amazon

    Three Between The Sheets – Movie Review:

    Severin Films offers up a trio of softcore classics from the heyday of the era in their aptly titled Three Between The Sheets Blu-ray collection.


    The first movie in the set (also known as Love Scenes), directed by Bud Townsend and released in 1984, follows the exploits of a young man named Peter Binnes (Franc Luz), a filmmaker whose most recent effort has made him a critical darling and seen his star start to rise amongst the Hollywood rank and file. Now that he’s got a bit of clout to his name, Peter wants his next project to be ‘Lovescene,’ a script that he’s interested in, the debut script written by a former actress named Belinda (Julie Newmar) and that he intends to direct – the catch being that it’s more than a little bit sexier than the fare he’s had a hand in thus far in his career.

    His producer, Sidney (Jack Carter), isn’t so keen on bankrolling the film, but he agrees to put up the money to get the picture made on the condition that Peter can get his beautiful wife, an actress named Val (Tiffany Bolling), to play the female lead. The thinking behind this is that by casting his wife, Peter’s film will come across less like a sex film and more like an art film.

    Although Val is initially hesitant about starring in such an erotically charged production, she soon gets comfortable with the part, even going so far as to pose nude for Annie (Britt Ekland), a photographer who has been hanging around the set. However, things get complicated for all involved with Val starts to develop feelings for her co-star Rick (Daniel Pilon) that are more than just plutonic affection. As Peter does his best to see the project to completion, issues with his wife creep into his professional life and things get tense with Belinda, who clearly has a different vision for the film than he does.

    A fairly standard love triangle styled melodrama made interesting thanks to a good amount of nudity and an interesting cast, Ecstasy doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it’s nicely shot and entertaining enough. It was clearly made on a modest budget and Townsend seems more focused on upping the exploitation angle himself than going for ‘art’ but that isn’t a bad thing if you’re in the right frame of mind for it.

    Bolling, even here pushing forty, still has a lot of screen presence and magnetism and she basically carries most of the film with those qualities. Luz is okay, if not especially memorable, in his role, while Julie Newmar is weirdly watchable here as Peter’s high maintenance writer. As far as ‘movies about movies’ go, this doesn’t even try to reinvent the wheel, and ironically enough what makes it worth watching isn’t its art film qualities, but its exploitation movie qualities – though on that level, it’s a decent enough time killer.

    Black Venus:

    Claude Mulot's Black Venus begins when a man named Jacques (Emiliano Redondo) decides to take a tour of a house of ill repute wherein the various parties employed there can be viewed by the convenient placement of some two-way mirrors. He stops when he recognizes one of the ladies, and he decides to tell us her story and how he came to know her.

    Enter Venus (Josephine Jacqueline Jones), a beautiful woman who soon finds herself the apple of Armand's (Jose Antonio Ceinos) eye. He doesn't have two pennies to rub together but she allows him to create a sculpture of her and soon they begin a torrid affair. He finds in her the muse he's been looking for and they figure they'll be alright until the landlord comes looking for the rent. When Armand doesn't have it opts to take it out on Venus in trade. Venus resists and soon heads out to find work of her own as a model, but this causes tension between her and Armand and soon he sends her on her way, his pride wounded and his ego smashed.

    Venus is taken in by a married woman named Marie (Karin Schubert) who uses her as a plaything until her husband shows up with Louise (Florence Guérin) – it seems he more or less had the same swinging idea. He insists that Louise and Venus perform for him, and they oblige without debate but when he insists on having them perform at his next social gathering, she finally resists and confronts him on this. Having learned how hard the world can be, she runs off to work at a brothel with Louise while Armand, his statue now complete, slowly begins to fade. It's here that the story comes full circle and Jacques' character becomes important once again, offering the two ladies a chance at what he feels will be true happiness.

    Written by the legendary Harry Alan Towers (best known for his collaborations with Jess Franco such as Eugenie... The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion) and directed by Claude Mulet (the man behind the infamous Pussy Talk and I Am A Nymphomaniac), the film suffers from a few slower spots here and there but does manage to deliver on atmosphere and mood. The love scenes are genuinely erotic and what they lack in overtly explicit activity they make up for in enthusiasm and style. The Victorian-era costumes add an element of class to the proceedings and while the story is fairly standard the cinematography makes the utmost of its attractive cast of females.

    Josephine Jacqueline Jones, who would later star alongside Cybil Danning in Chuck Vincent's Warrior Queen (also written by Harry Alan Towers) has got fantastic screen presence and she's well suited to the role. She certainly looks every bit the part and it's no stretch at all to see how the rest of the characters are all drawn to her. She exudes heat from her first scene and isn't a half bad actress either. Emiliano Redondo (of The People Who Own The Dark) is amusing in his book end appearances while Jose Antonio Ceinos is quite sympathetic as the tortured artist. Look for a cameo from Monique Gabrielle (of Chained Heat) in one of the brothel scenes playing Ingrid.

    In the end, the film is little more than a melodrama with some fancy costumes, pleasant art direction and an attractive cast of lovelies. No one here is reinventing the wheel but neither are they trying to. The movie serves its purpose in that it provides some soap opera style drama and more than a few steamy softcore scenes but brings little originality to the screen. What carries the film is Jones' performance - whether or not she's a great actress is debatable but she's certainly an impressive looking woman and she's given enough to do here that she is able to make the most of it.

    Melody Of Passion:

    Finally, director Hubert Frank’s Melody Of Passion (La chica que cayó del cielo in its homeland) is a Spanish-Austrian co-production from 1986 that tells the story of a beautiful young woman named Betty (Sonja Martin) who lives a perfectly fine life in Munich, Germany as a fashion model. One fine day, while they’re fooling around in bed, she gets word that a distant relative has passed away and she, as her only heir, has inherited a castle in a remote area of Spain.

    Excited by this prospect, Betty wants her boyfriend to accompany her on the trip to inspect the castle she now owns, but due to the fact that he's busy with schoolwork and that he thinks this is probably not exactly all on the up and up, he declines. Not one to let a grouchy boyfriend spoil her adventure, Betty makes the trip to Spain without him and after her arrival learns that, yes, she really did inherit a genuine castle but the lawyer handling the estate and his foxy female assistant are using the place as a brothel!

    The lawyer wants Betty to sell the place to him and isn’t above putting a bit of pressure on her to get his way, but she’s not as naïve as he seems to think she is and has plans of her own for the place. Also, the castle might be haunted.

    The wackiest film in this collection by a very large margin, Melody Of Passion is offers up all of the softcore sexploitation action you’d expect, complete with a fair amount of kink and some impressive lingerie costuming, along with weird bits and pieces of melodrama and ghost story/gothic horror. To call the movie disjointed and tonally uneven would be an understatement but don’t let that dissuade you, as those who appreciate the stranger side of eighties Eurotrash will definitely appreciate this one.

    Nicely shot and set to a frequently bizarre score, the movie offers up plenty of naked female flesh and is loaded with eye candy in that regard. Austrian-born sex bomb Sonja Martin, who spent a lot of time with her clothes off in Emmanuelle IV, looks stunning here and director Frank clearly knows it, with the camera doing a very fine job of showing off everything she has to offer. Her acting is fine, but she was clearly cast for her looks. Either way, it doesn’t matter, she’s really well-cast here as are the majority of the supporting players as well.

    Not necessarily one to watch for the plotting, the movie boasts pretty decent production values and gets a lot out of the castle location where much of the film takes place. The cinematography is quite nice and the whole thing is just strange enough to work.

    Three Between The Sheets – Blu-ray Review:

    All three films in Three Between The Sheets arrives on a 25GB region free Blu-ray discs taken from new 2k scans of the original 35mm negatives. Ecstasy is framed at 1.78.1, Black Venus at 1.66.1 and Melody Of Passion at 1.66.1, each seemingly in their proper theatrical aspect ratio or at least close enough not to notice. These were all shot a little on the soft side, common for eighties softcore movies, but the transfers are pretty solid and do the movies justice. You might spot some small scratches and specks now and then but for the most part, each of the three movies is quite clean. The images always look nice and film-like, with plenty of natural grain and no obvious noise reduction or edge enhancement messing things up. Compression generally looks fine and both black levels and color reproduction all fare quite nicely. Skin tones always look properly lifelike and overall, these look quite good.

    English language tracks are provided for each film in 24-bit DTS-HD 2.0 Mono with optional subtitles provided in English only. Black Venus also has German and French 24-bit language DTS-HD 2.0 mono options and Melody Of Passion (which was definitely shot without live sound and dubbed regardless of which option you go for) has a 16-bit DTS-HD 2.0 German mono track as well. Audio quality is generally just fine. Levels are properly balanced throughout and there aren’t really any problems to note with hiss or distortion. Range is a bit limited, as you might expect for older mono mixes, but overall these work out well enough.

    Extras are limited to trailers for Ecstasy and Black Venus as well as menus and chapter selection options.

    Three Between The Sheets - The Final Word:

    Severin’s Blu-ray release of Three Between The Sheets might be light on extras but it does present three entertaining softcore exploitation moves in generally strong presentations. Each movie is worth seeing for different reasons, but let’s be honest here - fans of naked ladies will find that common denominator among the three features to be the main draw. If you find yourself in that demographic, consider this release recommended.

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    • Jason C
      Jason C
      Senior Member
      Jason C commented
      Editing a comment
      Tiffany Bolling, Helga Line and Monique Gabrielle is an insta-buy for me. Glad to see the presentations are good.
    Posting comments is disabled.

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