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Laura's Toys (1975)

DVD Cover (Retro-Seduction Cinema)
Genres:
Sexploitation, Softcore Sex Film
Director:
Joseph W. Sarno Joseph W. Sarno
Starring:
Mary Mendum Mary Mendum
Eric Edwards Eric Edwards
Cathja Graff Cathja Graff
Anita Ericsson Anita Ericsson
Anita Redling Anita Redling

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: January 05, 2007
It's time once again for another Joe Sarno flick, and this time, we bear witness to a tale of one very bizarre love triangle. Now, as i mentioned in the last Sarno review on this site (Moonlighting Wives), I've never been a huge fan of the man's work; he's technically proficient while telling above-average stories and he knows how to pull convincing "performances" out of his cast (he hires legit actors and actresses, and they're actually having sex on camera even if it's only a softcore feature), but something about his films never really clicked with me. I enjoyed the aforementioned Moonlighting Wives though, and before I popped this movie into my DVD player, I was wondering if perhaps I had just seen the wrong selections from his extensive filmography. After watching this one, I'm starting to believe that to be the case.

A small island off the coast of Sweden sets the stage for this love triangle, as we catch up with an archaeologist by the name of Walter (Eric Edwards) who has been sent here to find the remains of a long-lost village. He brings his wife Laura (Rebecca Brooke) and his assistant Anna (Cathja Graff) along for the ride, and it doesn't take long before he sets his eyes on "discovering" something other than ancient ruins with Anna. The two think that they'll be slick about the situation and mess around while Laura is on the mainland, but they don't count on Laura returning home early. She finds out what's going on between the two, but she doesn't clue them in to the fact that she knows about it; instead, she decides to play a little game with this newfound knowledge, and it will revolve around Anna.

It may not sound like the most riveting storyline on paper, but it's actually quite good and I never found myself wanting to skip past anything found within the running time. Sarno knows how to tell a good story, and this fact is never more evident than in films like this. Also helping matters is that little thing I mentioned above about how he hired people who could actually give a performance beyond fake moans and getting naked - all three of the stars are excellent in their roles here in terms of both acting and "acting", and the result is a film that is more than just another skin-flick.

This Swedish island provided some nice scenery to go along with the storyline, but let's not forget that this is definitely a Sarno flick: that means that there's lots of nudity and lots of sex. What's interesting about this is the fact that these sex scenes were real - when you see the cast members making love on screen, you're watching footage of two people actually going at it, unlike most other softcore offerings. Now, that's not the interesting part that I'd like to point out - there is, after all, a billion dollar market surrounding that. What was special about these scenes was the way they were filmed and what we at home see. There's no penetration to be seen, that's a given considering that it's softcore, but Sarno chose to focus more on the women's faces during these scenes instead of merely showing us the actual act. He's explained that this is more erotic for the home viewer, and I certainly can't argue with that as I found that these scenes went beyond the standard genre fare.

Overall, this is definitely one of Sarno's better films out of the ones I've seen, and it comes recommended for both the fans and for those of you just looking for a well-scripted love story with some gratuitous nudity thrown in for good measure. 8/10.
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