Erotica, Brigitte Lahie stars as a stunning French reporter who Paul Raymond personally invites into Soho’s sleaziest sex locales. This experience convinces the young woman that she wants to be a stripper too. This slice of erotica features a lineup of Reyuebar Girls, as well as ladies from the pages of Men’s Only and Escort Magazine.
Document of an era
Erotica, “Paul Raymond’s Erotica” mainly documents nude-dancing routines at Raymond’s London cabarets in the early ’80s; which took the shticks of Paris’s Crazy Horse club and turned up the gloss and the explicitness. The women strip out of fancy costumes and perform energetic, athletic moves on stage, some of which seem to be inspired by the disco-aerobics fad. The women dance alone, in groups, and sometimes with nude men. These numbers are interspersed with the story of Brigitte Lahaie as a French reporter learning to become a Raymond dancer-model, and having soft core sex scenes with almost everybody she meets (except Mr. Raymond). One of these scenes, in a sauna, features what might be the first on-screen erection in British film history.
Paul Raymond’s final film is a gloriously trashy and breathtakingly erotic vanity project.
In the 1970s, Paul Raymond
was Britain’s most successful porn impresario – an almost respectable figure who had, in previous decades, revolutionised the striptease industry and now ran the Raymond Revuebar
, published several softcore magazines, promoted sexy stage shows and produced films – usually starring his mistress/muse Fiona Richmond
In 1981, he combined all his interests in an extraordinary vanity project, the grandly-titled Paul Raymond’s Erotica, in which French porn queen Brigitte Lahaie played a journalist examining the sexy world of the Revuebar and Raymond’s glamorous lifestyle. Directed by Brian Smedley-Aston and designed to be several cuts about the usual British sex film of the era (a genre that was already on its last legs), Erotica instead is a mix of egomania, extraordinarily down-market softcore (one sex scene takes place in a refrigerated meat truck) and footage of the Revuebar, in which bored punters – in reality, Paul Raymond Publications staffers – watch dead-eyed men and women simulating sex amongst extravagant sets, in scenes that have all the erotic appeal of a trip to the morgue.
The film has heavily hyped, and – perhaps hoping to cash in on the success of The Stud and The Bitch – came complete with a soundtrack of instantly forgotten disco hits. It had moderate success on video, and European releases had more explicit sex scenes inserted.
Pleasure For Sale
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