• Sex Roulette



    Released by: Impulse Pictures
    Released on: July 12th, 2016.
    Director: Alan Vydra
    Cast: Vanessa Melville, Robert Leray, Anita Berenson, Desire Bastareaud, Christine Baer
    Year: 1978
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    The Movie:

    Alan Vydra’s Sex Roulette was a German/Belgian production shot with a cast made up almost entirely of French performers. When the film, begins, a black dwarf in a suit named Balthasar (Désiré Bastareaud) gathers phone books. He pulls them up beside a table to create a makeshift ladder that in turn allows him to plow a willing young lass lying down on a table. From here, we cut to another room where the fabulously wealthy Robert de Chamoiz (Robert Le Ray credited as Jean De Villroy) is getting his aged and oddly shaped knob polished by an equally willing young lass only to be interrupted by the arrival of his beautiful blonde niece, Veronica (Véronique Maugarski credited here as Vanessa Melville). It seems that once again she’s been let down at the roulette table.

    See, Robert is basically a professional gambler. When he’s not boning chicks or paying Balthasar to make dirty movies that cater to his specific interests, we’re told he’s a champ in the casino. Veronica would like to follow suit. She’s not interested in sex, only winning, but as the movie progresses, her uncle teaches her that without one, she can’t have the other. Or something like that. Eventually Veronica will fall for a charming young man she meets at a gambling table, and engage quite willingly in a tryst with her and his sister and his sister’s lesbian lover. From there? Well, Robert will have some sort of strange dream involving a pregnant woman and what may or may not be a Satanic ritual and Veronica will quite predictably learn the error of her ways and then prove it in the most taboo style imaginable.

    You know how this one is going to end before it even gets started.

    Shot on location in Monte Carlo, this is a glossy, nicely photographed feature. The camera work is polished and professional and the score, which incorporates quirky instrumental bits and some unexpected funk-style tracks (complete with soulful vocals) is actually very cool. The locations are posh and completely fitting and there’s really no faulting the production values here. The story is, as was noted earlier, pretty predictable and fairly slapdash in how it’s put together, but it’s effective enough and it’s got a few ‘out there’ moments to keep things interesting.

    As to that cast? Not everyone is going to want to see an aging Robert Le Ray (who some might recognize from Lasse Braun’s Sensations) in full on hardcore action but see him you will and in the bulk of the scenes at that. Désiré Bastareaud also gets in on the action more than once, so there’s that too. The male casting here leaves a lot to be desired, most of the guys are goofy looking at best. The ladies, however, fare considerably better. Véronique Maugarski, who bears a resemblance to Karine Gambier, makes for a foxy female lead indeed and while it takes a bit of time before she gets joins the fun, once she it’s impressive. Erika Cool also pops up here, some may recognize her for appearing alongside Brigitte Lahaie in Bordel SS and in Night Fever, and there’s also a scene where the remarkably curvy Nathalie Morin shows up, playing a masseuse who gives Robert exactly what he wants and then some.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Impulse Pictures presents Sex Roulette “newly remastered in anamorphic widescreen from original 35mm vault materials” in 1.78.1 and the framing looks just fine. The print used for the transfer isn’t in perfect shape but it is at least in reasonably good shape. Expect minor to moderate print damage to appear throughout. Color reproduction is pretty solid here and black levels are decent. Detail is about as good as a standard definition transfer of imperfect elements will allow for. No complains here, this movie looks fine.

    The English language Dolby Digital Mono track (in which all the performers are clearly dubbed) is also fine, despite some minor hiss here and there. The dialogue is usually easy enough to understand but there are a few lines here and there that are a bit muffled. The score also sounds decent enough. No alternate language options or subtitles are provided.

    There are no extras on the disc, just a static menu offering chapter selection.

    The Final Word:

    Sex Roulette is pretty goofy stuff, but the girls look good and the movie manages to cram a few completely bizarre moments into the proceedings in a fairly effective attempt to keep things interesting. Impulse Pictures’ DVD release is barebones, but it looks and sounds decent enough. Euro-smut devotees should appreciate this for the female casting choices alone.