Impulse Pictures // 1979 // 69 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // February 16th, 2013
Another fairy tale...porno style.
What do you get when you mix a classic fairy tale with adult film stars trying to pretend like they're in something interesting? An absolutely brutal viewing experience, that's what. Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale is one of many such films that came out in the late 1970s and, really, thank goodness the days of that are over, or at least the days in which movies like this get mainstream releases that I have to review.
Cindy (Serena, Hi School Honies) is in a terrible situation. She lives in a nice home and, apparently, her family has a lot of money, but she's a slave. Forced to cook and clean, as well as filling out whatever desires her wicked stepsisters and their beaus ask of her, she is tired and depressed. Luckily, her fairy godmother, a friend of her dead mother, is there to help. There is a party being thrown by a prince and Cindy is granted some freedom to attend, as long as she's back by midnight. She has her fun while there, but loses her shoe, leading the prince back to her house to pull her away from her troubles.
When I reviewed the 1976 erotic version of Alice in Wonderland, I basically knew what I was getting. It retained the essential story from Lewis Carroll, while imagining a nudie plot mixed in...fine. I expected something similar with this retelling of Cinderella, but got something much cheaper and much worse. First of all, if you're using the framework of the old story and name your main character "Cindy," it seems like the obvious choice to make that the name of your film. Instead, it's called Serena, after the main character's porn name, which makes absolutely zero sense and is plainly confusing. Not that the original viewers could have possibly cared less about that; they were in it for the sex, which is delivered in droves.
The movie takes the most skeletal parts of the story to construct its "plot," filling the rest of the film out with the dubious talents of its actors. Directed by Fred J. Lincoln (Thighs Wide Open, and one of the rapist dirtbags from the original Last House on the Left), this is one of the lowest rent sex films I've seen in a very long time, maybe ever. It's awful in every way, with a pretense of story but no execution of such. Acting be damned and direction an afterthought, this is a movie about the sex, nothing more, and it's neither erotic nor interesting. If you have even an ounce of self-respect, stay the hell away from Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale.
Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale arrives on DVD from Impulse Pictures, a division of Synapse, one of my favorite cult labels. While I respect their attempts to bring this brand of cinema to the home market, as they have done with the Nikkatsu film collection, this is one I have a hard time supporting. As it goes, the 1.33:1 transfer looks fairly good. There are plenty of instances of scratches and dirt on the print, but no real damage and decent clarity throughout. The sound is equally fine, with a clear mono mix that delivers the dialog, music, and "other" sounds without any problems. Thankfully, there are no extras on the disc; the less time spent in this world, the better.
Well, at least I can be thankful that this soul crushing experience is finally over. Between watching this dreck and then having to come up with some junk to say about it, this trial makes up one of the longest few hours I've ever spent writing for this site. Why I don't do more research on the films I request, I'll never know. Some may think I have questionable judgment about what I review sometimes, but I rarely have much regard for those opinions, preferring to enjoy the films that I enjoy for my own reasons. Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale, however, is one of the rare times I think those voices might just be right.
Guilty, now wash this garbage from my brains!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Impulse Pictures
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Release Year: 1979
MPAA Rating: Not Rated