Comedy about Robin Hood, who was a complete idiot, and his band o incompetents in Sherwood Forest. Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and their gang were even more incompetent. Maid ... See full summary »
Dick Van Patten,
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Way better than Costner or Crowe's, but Errol reigns supreme.
I had seen this softcore Robin Hood at a Cleveland drive-in back in the '70s, but the DVD-R reissue surprised me: it has a more interesting and better developed storyline than either of the mega-budgeted recent versions starring Russell Crowe and Kevin Costner. Who woulda thunk it? The actors wisely do not affect British accents but are otherwise adequate in this retelling of Robin Hood's role during the wars upon King Richard's return home to England.
Soft porn stalwart Steve Vincent is cast as Richard's evil brother Prince John, with a particularly phony beard. He's in league with a fine actress Lynn Cartwright (who has many mainstream credits over the years) as Lady Sallyforth, who plots to capture Robin Hood, steal his hoarded gold and ensure that everyone pay their taxes to support John in the upcoming battle against Richard.
In this version the baddies conspire to use Maid Marian against Robin, and this makes for some useful dramatics. She is also cast against type, with Marian having huge breasts and dark hair. Film's highlight is a lengthy torture scene, rather imaginatively staged by director Richard Kanter in an attempt to outdo the softcore king of s&m Lee Frost, as Sallyforth does all sorts of nasty things to a suspended-in-air Marian.
Many other subplots keep the pot boiling and even manage to engender almost-moving emotions amongst the characters, though the periodic "stop everything" to make way for fully-nude sex simulation scenes are more than distracting. It's well-shot by erstwhile cameraman and sometime director Paul Hipp, especially an early scene of Robin humping the wonderful softcore actress Capri, featuring terrific low angle shots of her mighty rack.
Casting is pretty oddball, with a toothy surfer dude type Ralph Jenkins as Robin; according to IMDb his only other credit was Kanter's all-star 1977 hardcore opus DESIRES WITHIN YOUNG GIRLS. The large cast of femmes is very impressive. Perhaps the weakest element is a quite desultory ending, where Robin & Prince John have a fist fight instead of the expected swordplay.
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