Released: Jun 01st, 1993
Running Time: 80
Director: Jean-Louis Richard
Company: New Horizons Home Video
Cast: Florence Guerin, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Crofton Hardester, Bernard Kuby
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
When it comes to portraying sex tantalizingly, tastefully, humorously AND intelligently, foreign film makers have the edge over American ones. In American films it's either the shower stall of the bedroom, and nowhere in between. The Turn On, a French film (dubbed fairly well) falls comfortably in the terrain that American Films don't get around to exploring.
The film is based on a French comic strip, though I can't tell you much more than that. The picture was made about four years ago and is just seeing the light of day on video. I'm glad someone discovered it.
It's about a former bio-medical researcher named Dr. Fez (Jean-Pierre Kalfon) who goes to work for a New Orleans-type, Mr. Big. Mr. Big's real name is Christiani, and Fez, a kind of a French toughguy from the Jean Gabin-Eddie Constantine school, hates Christiani for being rotten. Moreover, Fez detests him because Christiani "possesses" a beautiful wife, Claudia (Florence Guerin). There's a loosely structured sub-plot about a major deal going down and Fez being paid a million bucks to take the fall for it. whatever it is. The main story, however, has Fez inventing an electronic box which turns those of the uptight persuasion into sex maniacs. Since Fez's initial chemistry with Claudia is all but lovey-dovey, you can imagine what happens when he zaps her with the box.
Filled with generous amounts of nudity, particularly those scenes involving Guerin (look for the beach scene), The Turn On makes excellent use of the New Orleans backdrop for its color. It's modestly entertaining, perhaps a little too solemn, but it comes well recommended as something very different from the average R-rated (in this case, un-rated) fare. Additional liner note: Hollywood cupcake Michelle Berger (uncredited or perhaps credited with a French name) goes fully nude, a screen first for her.