22nd Apr2015

‘Fifty Shades of Erotica’ DVD Review

by Paul Metcalf


When Fifty Shades of Erotica was announced it was obvious that the release was timed to gain some exposure from the release of Fifty Shades of Grey, maybe even gain some purchases from the fans looking to branch out into the world of the naughty.  There are other audiences for the DVD though, and not just those looking for a little nudity on-screen (though there is plenty, but we also have the internet for that).  For fans of cinema, it’s interesting to look at the trailers and see just how things have changed.

To be clear when it comes to Fifty Shades of Erotica, this is no documentary but a selection of fifty trailers ranging from a time period spanning the sixties up to the nineties.  This is an odd selection but it highlights the strangeness of the “erotica” industry, if we choose to call it that.  The trailers tend to show how the chosen films are not defined by a certain genre, but cover many such as comedy, romance, action and a most commonly horror.  One name you hear mentioned many times is Marquis de Sade.

The mention of that name is not surprising at all, though I doubt it would be mentioned in Fifty Shades of Erotica (I may be wrong in that of course).  Marquis de Sade’s writing is infamous for its sadism and perversion, and the very use of the name is a sensationalist approach to catch the interest from an audience looking towards the darker side of sex.  Whether it’s Eugenie de Sade, Justine de Sade, or many name dropping trailers his name is a popular tool in advertising a certain type of movie.

Moving away from the darker side of the adult movie, it’s interesting that Fifty Shades of Erotica begins with The Libertine, which has to be one of the more eccentric trailers on show.  This shows that there is plenty of comedy on the disc, either intentional or not.  The movies are full of cheesy lines and different levels of quality.  Sometimes the making of the trailer itself is just plain lazy which highlights what importance was put into it…the answer being not enough.  In many ways this shows the stark difference between the filmmakers who looked to create a good movie, and the ones just wanting to make money off the ability of getting as many naked women on-screen as possible.

Though there is a level of exploitation in these movies not all can be written off as being that cynically made.  There are trailers included on Fifty Shades of Erotica for movies like The Night Porter which surprised me by their inclusion.  With thought I guess I can understand why it fits with the movies selected for Fifty Shades of Erotica, but in terms of quality that movie as well as a few others are arguably at another level.  My opinion of The Night Porter may be down to my opinion of Dirk Bogarde’s performance though which really is very good.

When looking at Fifty Shades of Erotica and deciding who I would recommend it to, because this isn’t just a case of highlighting movies that feature sex and getting more nudity on-screen.  This DVD is a collection of trailers that look at a time in cinema history and gives you the ability to analyse the exploitative nature of the more adult side of film.  Surprisingly thought-provoking especially when analysing the success of these trailers as marketing tools, Fifty Shades of Erotica may not be as fun as releases like Grindhouse Trailer Classics 3 and Grindhouse Trailer Classics 4 but it still manages to be eccentric enough to never be dull.

**** 4/5

Fifty Shades of Erotica is available on DVD now.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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