“Grimms Marchen von lusternen ParchenGERMAN TITLE
Who made it? Directed by Rolf Thiele | Written by Jacob Grimm / Wilhemlm Grimm (hardly) / Peter Laregh / Rolf Thiele | Director Of Photography Wolf Wirth | Special Effects (not credited)
Who’s in it? Marie Liljedahl | Eva Reuber-Staier | Ingrid van Bergen
If you weren’t watching this the week it came out, you might have been watching… Midnight Cowboy | True Grit | On Her Majesty’s Secret Service | Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
Production notes and whatnot
What’s It All About?
The story, that that there is, of “The New Adventures Of Snow White,” is something of a mish-mash of a portmanteau of a fable of an episodic rambling chapter play. It brings together familiar tropes and tales from the brothers Grimm (Cinderella, poison apples, dwarves, handsome princes, lute playing folderol and lush arborial settings) and mixes it awkwardly with a cavalcade of painfully exhausting Chuckle-Brothers style knockabout gaffes and soft-focus topless Euro-porn smut.
If you require more detail than this, here we go…
We begin with our two fools. Bickering and falling over as they wend their way o’er German hill and dale like a couple of panto idiots. If you were to look up “clot” in an illustrated dictionary, it would be these two gurning twits. They act as our Greek Chorus of sorts as their mishaps and misadventures act as sort of chapter headings for each “Grimm” section.
Next up, to an odd iPod shuffle of Krauty country twang guitar and Hendrixy wah-wah meets jazz piano, we meet the first of our fairy tale heroines, putting the “tit” in “titular,” Snow White. Like almost all the women in the plot, she is running, all nubile and perky, topless through some fields. Camera gets very smudgy and soft-focus. If she was eating a Flake or washing her hair with Timotei, you wouldn’t be surprised.
Running as she is, a talking dog (honestly), a talking bear (yep) and an enchanted frog (also big on the chat) all ask if she wants to have sex. She declines and continues to lollop and gambol in soft focus.
Meanwhile (there’s a lot of “meanwhile” in this), a wicked witch or queen desires to have her killed. “Mirror mirror on the wall,” etc. dubbed over from the German into shouty Carry-On lingo. She rubs her nipples. Think Jonathan Ross’s wife Jane Goldman being extra vampy.
Dwarves suddenly appear in the forest. Seven of them. From magic toadstools in the shape of penises. Hendrix continues. Snow White’s top falls off. The Goodies seem to take over the soundtrack, having a crack at some bluegrass. Snow White shacks up with the dwarves and hangs out their tiny underpants on the line.
Meanwhile (told you) we enter a castle to find everyone splayed out, asleep (either from reading the script or from an enchanted spell, it’s not clear). They are of course all mediaevally in their garb, most of which is on the floor. They are largely nude. Our two dolts both kiss a sleeping beauty (possibly THE sleeping beauty) and she awakes! With her boobs out! And she has to marry one of the dolts, according to the king. There is an argument about some geese. The music goes all Dukes of Hazzard and we cut to the Ugly Stepsisters in a carriage. I can’t recall why. But they’ll be back towards the end when there’s some business with a slipper.
Its difficult in recollection to link a lot of what happens in these laederhosen-ladled shoutily dubbed vignettes, as plot seems to take second, third or even a fourth place to more nubile soft-focus foresty boob jiggling. But my notes tell me we are now in an obligatory cabin. Lumberjack types abound. Another nameless nubile European woman in her late teens is chased about with plenty of wobbly upskirt shots of thighs and gussets. In order, it would appear, to add some unwanted violence to the unwanted titillation, we find mutiliated and dismembered limbs strewn about the cabin. I assume this was the last girl to be caught in the cabin cocking about among the wine barrels.
We haven’t had a meanwhile in a while, so let’s have one of those. More wah-wah, more-soft focus, more silly men falling over, until we are back with the King. He has “decreed” as Kings must in such Grimm Fayre, that all the virgins in the village must congregate so his young son may choose a wife.
This is cause for maidens the town over to gather themselves in soapy water and splash about a bit, nips akimbo, to prepare for the ball. We see some 1970s pubes flash in a mirror for a moment. The Evil Queen or Wicked Witch (it’s not important) decides to cast a spell or two and our two clumsy dolts become doves. That can talk. Sleeping Beauty, now awoken, is unable to find any man to fall in love with her (or at least, have soft-focus waist-up sex). Even the bear and the dog and frog don’t fancy her much. It’s not clear why.
The doves tell Cinderella to dance about a bit in slo-mo and a magical party frock will appear. She does so. Her clothes fall off. She continues to run about waftily. A stage-hand off screen lobs a floaty cotton number at her. She is naturally aghast and enchanted.
The witch offers Snow White (we do seem, at this point, to be in about 9 fairy tales at once) an apple. Snow White eats the apple. And then very very slowly collapses. Very slowly. As she is nude and standing on a cold rock and wants to be comfy and they haven’t got a stunt team.
The Evil Queen finds this most satisfying and legs it away, cackling. Oh, and taking her clothes off and flinging them into a hedge.
Then, for some respite from all the nipples, pale hips, doltish knockaboutery and buckly shoe business, it all gets a bit po-faced and some actual olde timey dancing happens in court. Much bowing and curtesying and fans and pomp. A flute. Maybe a tambor. And the villagers have lusty looks over velvet pantaloons.
At which point the party is over, it seems. Midnight or something. Cinderalla drops a shoe and everyone departs. It’s not clear why. Or I might have nodded off.
(by the way – if any of this is making sense, or indeed piquing your interest, or making you ponder that this might be a jolly harmless romp, you have misunderstood).
Then we rush towards the finish as the camera crew are losing light, losing film, losing money and losing most of the tired audience
The ugly sisters try and get into the slipper, as is de rugeur in this sort of sketch. And in a nod to the original Grimm story, cut each other’s toes off to jam their feet in the footwear. Much ketchup bloody and waxy fake toes.
Snow White is layeth in a clear Perspex box so she resembles just so much sushi. Pouting occurs by the Dwarves. They are not short of pouts. They are however, short.
Someone gets on a horse (by now it’s so tiring, so soft focus, so pale and wan and the sunlight fades between the autumnal fronds and the wiry pubes, it’s difficult to tell who or what. Or indeed why). But there’s some bouncy naked horse riding. Can’t be sure if they have sex on the horse. Or are just cocking about a bit. The sound track gets heavy on the wah wah.
The Prince waves a magic flower and lots of nature appears to transform. Into nude women. The 2 doves return to their natural state as 2 over-worked seaside children’s entertainers. The bear turns into the beardy man from the cover of The Joy Of Sex. The magic flower opens the box of sushi and Cinderella clambers out.
It now goes full “rolley-oh-doh” with the madrigal nonsense like very, very early Pink Floyd when they sung about goblins and pixies. Some heavy petting in a hedge.
And then it all wraps up with a hilarious comedy misunderstanding about some rocks, they burst into song and over the fields they go, into the sunset. Like that bit at the end of Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade. Except nude and giggling in German.
I think that’s it.
Is it any good?
Well who am I to judge. It’s a sex comedy. Not that it’s sexy. Or noticeably comedic. Perhaps the jokes are funnier in German. Or the boobs are sexier.
Sex comedies happened much when I did. That is to say, the nineteen seventies.
There have always been comedies and farces, be they Shakespearean, Chaucerian or Hogarthian, that rely largely on a man trying to get his end away, with hilariously disasterous results. Or lusty maidens and coy virgins and a variety of misunderstandings causing people to pop up in the wrong bed, in the wrong clothes, with the wrong partner. And we invented the word “bawdy” to cover most of these.
But it wasn’t until the 60s and the heyday of the 70s that the idea of popping along to the movies on a Friday night to catch some “cheeky” soft-core romping against the backdrop of sitcom silliness and swanee whistles really happened.
It saved the industry, some say. In the UK, as the British public began to settle in to cheaper and cheaper colour television sets to take in their daily dose of soaps, game shows, cop shoot-outs and quizzes, audiences began to stay home from their local cinemas. The flickering delights of the Roxy, the Odeon, the Gaumont and the Picture Palace lay empty on suburban Saturday nights. What was out in the rainy streets that you couldn’t get at home for free? And in the warm?
Well sex. Thanks to the BBC and the like having very strict guidelines on pre- and post-watershed content, the idea that dads could get a bit of cheeky tits and ass on television was zero. Maybe a bikini in a James Bond film? Maybe a daring cleavage on ITVs Miss World contest? But it was never going to be racier than that. The cinema however? Well, things could go a lot further. Disguised as “documentaries” or the catch-all “nature film,” much could be seen on the screen that would never been seen on the beeb. This all pre-VHS of course.
And for some reason, the silly, jokey, slap n tickly sitcom set-ups made the soft-core fumbles and bra-twanging rutting seem so much more harmless. A McGill seaside postcard rather than anything “sinister.”
So the 1970s saw an influx of these daft films. Too sexy to be funny, too silly to be sexy – falling between two stools and just ending up curios for the agitated, horny, drunk and bored.
When VHS, and un-regulated VHS at that, reared its head in the 1980s and suddenly ANYTHING was possible, the appetite for Timmy Lee’s Confessions and Eskimo Nell’s Igloo vanished.
Which leaves us with things like The New Adventures Of Snow White.
There is nothing sexy about this movie at all. It’s not porn. The woman are topless, yes. There is a little full frontal. A pale bum may wiggle. But it’s Benny Hill silly. Kenny Everett silly. Two Ronnies cheeky. Nothing raunchier, pervier, grottier or seedier than a Confessions’ movie, Keep It Up Jack or Beneath The Valley Of The Supervixens.
The jokes are none. Unless twits knocking themselves on the head, a frog asking “you ‘ad some?” or a toadstool looking slightly similar to a penis is what gets you guffawing. At one point the innocent girl tries to milk a cow. But doesn’t know how. So sucks it off instead. Sort of. Cue the bufoons scratching their heads and going cross-eyed like The Chuckle Brothers.
For reference, if you are – like me – new to this sort of motion picture and want to know what you’re missing, it’s Panto. Silly Panto. Or perhaps one of those “adult” pantos that drunk dads and darts teams go to. With Jim Davidson and Charlie Drake. You know the sort. That.
The cinematography is pure 70s slush. Over exposed and full of lens flare, the colours are sickly. Everything is shot in what one supposes is “dreamy” soft focus, but is in fact just “not in focus.”
So. Imagine renting a 4th generation VHS tape off a weird man in a pub. It’s an adult pantomime called something like “Pussy In Boots” or “Cock Whittington” or “Hansel & Genital” or something. It stars the Chuckle Brothers, Linda Lusardi, two girls from Hollyoaks and Brian Blessed. The sound is crackly. The lighting is poor. They chase women about shouting “to me! To you!! For about 90mins.
Yep. That’s about the size of it. Oo’er missus.
Nasty? Well I mean it’s lewd. In a bums and bushes sort of way. But as I say, no more than you’d get from the saucy postcard flared corduroy antics of Robin Asquith. But there is that one odd bit, where for reasons passing understanding (ratings and shock I assume) it goes all blood thirsty and rapey. Limbs being severed, knives flashing about, waxy fake arms and legs full of offal spilling out over the farmhouse table. And the ugly sisters really do give their toes a right good spurty, ketchup hacking when trying to get into the size 4s. Which is a little “uurgh!” and giggly. Close up, it’s grosser than Casualty. But so, so much less convincing as to make you wonder why they bothered. I suppose it helped, being able to describe it as having “sex and violence” when really it has neither worth the rental fee.
No. If the title might make a young parent pop it in the VCR for their toddlers to watch after Paw Patrol and Bob The Builder, then yes. Because it’s a rompy bum-filled double-entendre fest full of sex starved dwarves and horny toads. But the cover of the VHS is so painfully “cheeky” or “saucy” it might as well giggle like Babs Windsor when you open the case or blow a raspberry when you pop it out of the machine. You can’t ban something for being dumb.
What does it remind me of?
It’s a bit Dogtanian and his 3 Muskerhounds, it’s a bit Benny Hill, it’s very Flake advert, it’s got a touch of Shrek with the fairy-tale mash-up. And its as sexy as the underwear pages or shower-installation pages of a 1976 Kays Catalogue.
Where to find it?
For some reason, YouTube has it. I know. Must tell you something. Give it a whirl. Then give it a pause. Then give it a miss. As unfunny as Mr Tumble, as sexy as Are You Being Served. In German. And all done in an old fashioned way with swords and horses and magic.
Not so much Hogwarts, as Genital-Warts