MVD Visual // 1975 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // April 10th, 2009
The erotic odyssey Homer didn't have the guts to write.
Intrepid trucker Ulysses (played by director Jean-Marie Pallardy, The Erotic Diary of a Lumberjack) has been trying far too long to get home to his beautiful wife Penelope (Elizabeth Turner, Cannibal Apocalypse), but is constantly waylaid by clingy, sexually aggressive women. Meanwhile, Penelope, waiting patiently at her truck stop for her strapping husband, has to beat off her suitors with a stick. The time has come, however, for her to choose a new husband because nobody believes that Ulysses is coming back. Can Ulysses get home before Penelope is married off to one of these dopes?
The vague resemblance to Homer's Odyssey is no coincidence. Pallardy decided to adapt the classic epic poem for a softcore erotic fantasy and Truck Stop was the unfortunate result. It shouldn't surprise me how awful it is but, because the original work is still pretty exciting after 3000 years, I hoped that maybe there would be something here. Of course, I'm wrong about this, but a guy can hope. Really, in much the same fashion as O Brother, Where Art Thou, Truck Stop takes a few choice scenes and the basic story structure from the original. Unlike the Coen Brothers' comedy, however, Pallardy uses these elements to create of one of the most nauseating softcore films made during the 1970s.
Turned on by handlebar moustaches? You're in luck! Truck Stop has plenty of mustachioed gentlemen, as well as one very masculine woman who I'd swear could grow one too if she wasn't naked her whole time on screen. Moreover, if you're into watching people have sex in a sty next to pigs, then your mouth must be watering right about now (spoiler alert: the pigs eat their clothes!). The simulated sex is some of the worst you're going to see, though not the worst thing in the movie, a title held by the acting. As the actors spout some of the most ridiculous lines of their careers, they grind against each other in barely attainable, cramp-inducing positions.
It's a funny concept to turn Homer's Odyssey in a sex film about a truck stop, but that's the funniest thing about it. I must admit, however, that making the Cyclops a large, horny woman in an eye patch was fairly amusing. It's not a trend, unfortunately; most of the film is slow and gross.
MVD has included Truck Stop in its Classics of French Erotica series (which severely diminishes the word "classic"), but it has done a fairly good job with this obscure, minimal market release. The anamorphic transfer is certainly not perfect, but it looks surprisingly clear. The box claims that the film was remastered from elements provided by the director, and Pallardy has clearly taken pains to preserve his own work. Despite the grain and obvious aging of the print, the colors are sharp and saturated and, overall, looks very bright. The audio doesn't shine as much, but this mono action is standard with little background noise. The English dub track is particularly bad, but it only adds to the cheesy fun. While your average softcore flick just adds further nudie trailers as extra features, there have been a few more stops pulled out for Truck Stop, likely due to its classic status. The 60-minute "Erotic Journal of Jean-Marie Pallardy" may sound like another erotic classic, but it's really a rather detailed discussion with the director about his life and work. Fans of the erotic cinema will find interest in the seedy history of the industry We also get our smattering of nudie trailers and a gallery of a hundred photographs from the director's private collection finishes us off. Containing production stills, funny setups, and erotic material, but is mostly just pointless. While, as a film, Truck Stop is pretty weak, but MVD deserves some credit for the job they've done.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 1975
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Director Interview
* Photo Gallery