Colleen Brennan, F.M. Bradley, Hyapatia Lee, Jesse Eastern, Jon Martin, Karen Sumner, Kristara Barrington, Marc Wallice, Mike Horner, Peter North, Sasha Gabor, Scott Irish, Sharon Kelly, Stacey Donovan, third eye cinema podcast, vinegar syndrome
Everyone’s favorite Native American adult film star adapts Chaucer’s high school English classroom standby into a reasonably big budget hardcore costume epic.
Filled with medieval style music, decent sets and better outfits than you’re likely to encounter at your local Renaissance Faire, The Ribald Tales of Canterbury follows Chaucer’s format reasonably closely, with a series of bawdy tales shared by companions on a pilgrimage to pass the time.
Mike Horner meets and makes it with a female pretending to be an abbot (Debra Lynn) for safe travel on her pilgrimage to the pope. Peter North and Jon Martin get busy with the miller’s wife (Stevie Taylor) and daughter (Buffy Davis).
They camp for the evening, allowing Hyapatia a chance to get it on with none other than Something Weird regular Sharon Kelly (aka Colleen Brennan). Next morning, our redheaded Lady of Bath tells of her pulling a fast one on a Lord (Bud Lee), who is also involved with The Queen (Josephine Carrington), while his Lady (Cheri Janvier) is busy with the stable boy (Field Marshal Bradley).
Then Hyapatia summons the devil (Howard Darkley) to get herself a three way with Marc Wallice and Tony Martino, which turns out badly for the three of them, but explains the whine of the gypsy violin…
Another night’s stay at a local tavern allows Horner and Lee to get it on while Brennan and Jesse Eastern do likewise. Even the monk (Elmo Lavino) gets some under the table favors from a tavern wench (Patti Petite). Then the film ends!
Oh, well, so much for the pilgrimage to Rome…what did they get, 20 miles from home?
From a lushly appointed (and all things considered, reasonably well acted, in a summerstock theatrical sense) period piece, we move into the modern era for Tasty, where Lee stars as Casey Kasem wannabe “Tasty Taste ‘Em”. Her station isn’t doing well in a top 40 format, so Hyapatia and friends decide to shoot for the moon with a new “anything goes” FCC-baiting approach…
Steve Drake and one of the few 80’s Asian vixens, Kristara Barrington, are interrupted in flagrante delicto so he can get on air for the traffic report. Gale Force (in a goofy new wave hairdo) helps a stressed out Jesse Eastern blow off some steam.
Patti Petite and Scott Irish call in to Hyapatia’s new Dr. Ruth-style sex advice show for some advice on how to make like Brando and Schneider in Last Tango in Paris (remember when people used to actually watch intelligent arthouse films?) while the first of several Lee-penned song parodies airs.
Stacey Donovan ducks into the nearest conference room for a private meeting with “Burt Reynolds lookalike” Sasha Gabor. Karen Sumner shows up as the winner of “Tasty’s fantasy contest”, who always wanted to do a DJ. Unfortunately for her, she gets goofy Steve Powers, whose idea of a radio voice is whispering loudly into the microphone…
Finally Hyapatia takes a real life radio DJ Boomer Castleman (credited here as “Buster Cherry”) to a motel for a viewing of her sleazy new song parody video “hit me with your wet shot” (where she makes it with Mike Horner) before giving the guy a bit of action (while making cracks about how his career in radio will be over after this!).
In addition to the films (one comes with commentary if you’re into that), there’s a brief extra with director Bud Lee where he tells of meeting Hyapatia, how she pushed their move from strip shows into adult film and admits that he was more First Assistant Director than director on the two films showcased herein.
These two films give the best of both worlds, in terms of porn: the larger budgets, aesthetics and attention to some measure of plot and acting of the 70’s porno chic heyday and the often lighter hearted feel, pretty girls and (while not really prominent herein) sexy Fredericks of Hollywood lingerie of the early to mid 80’s video porn era.
While her oversmoked tones are quite grating, Hyapatia Lee is a rather sexy woman (particularly when she lets her long raven tresses flow free), and these films bear a shooting gallery’s worth of recognizable (and often likeable) 80’s porn regulars on both the male and female ends of the equation.
A few years later, and the industry would take an aesthetic, artistic and tonal nosedive it would never recover from (see our review of Pretty Peaches 3 for a brief chat about that point), but this was for all intents and purposes something of a heyday for the field, where you could still find the directors, stars and mindset of the 70’s crowd alongside a new batch of fresh faced up and comers who, let’s be honest here, just seemed to be having a good time.