Directors: Franz Antel
Secret Key Motion Pictures

From the high art of the early expressionist movement to the low brow sexual sensationalism of the “Report” pictures, bring up the topic of German cinema and my brain inevitably tends to swing in only two directions. While the awe inspiring iconography of Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS will forever entertain, inspire and captivate, it is the bawdiness of the Bavarian sex comedies that have a tendency to linger the longest after viewing. A product of its era and customs, unique unto themselves, today such films seem rather reserved and almost quaint, yet none the less tantalizing given the openness in which their subject is often presented. Such is the case with NAUGHTY NYMPHS (Blutjung und liebeshungrig), a sex farce that plays out like an extended Benny Hill sketch -- complete with a speeded-up group chase scene, sans Yakety Sax -- that, while not nearly as funny or clever as Mr. Hill, does provide a great deal more nudity, for which I'm sure Benny would appreciate.

After being fired from her job for refusing to expose herself to her boss, Elisabeth (Sybil Danning, REFORM SCHOOL GIRLS) reluctantly returns home to work in her father's (Paul Löwinger) pharmacy. Elisabeth's sisters, Maria (Eva Garden, GIVE 'EM AN INCH a.k.a, Hausfrauen-Report 3) and Christel (Alena Penz, SALON KITTY), are not at all pleased to hear of their older sister's return, as her prudish nature will no doubt prove detrimental to their promiscuous shenanigans. Sneaking their boyfriends, Amadeus (Gernot Möhner, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT 1 - WHAT PARENTS DON'T THINK IS POSSIBLE) and Peter (Sascha Hehn, SECRETS OF SWEET SIXTEEN) into their bedrooms each night has been a cake walk under the easily distractible eye of their father, but with Elisabeth running around they are bound to get caught cavorting sooner or later. Determined to keep their beds warm and their nightlife active, Maria and Christel decide to help break their sister of her straitlaced demeanor by tricking her into popping her cherry. At first the slender duo attempt to set their sister up with a number of more than willing locals, but when the men in town prove unable to bed their sister, they, along with the help of their boyfriends, devises an even more devious plan. Working after hours at the pharmacy, the two couples concoct a pill that when digested, will rile up even the weakest of libidos. Positive that they have finally found a way in which to introduce their sister to the pleasures of flesh, the two girls hide the first batch of pills inside a container of sleeping pills. Unfortunately, Elisabeth picks up the container on the way to her new job as a nurse's assistant for Dr. Markus Körner (Claus Tinney), and inadvertently drugs the entire ward, setting off a mad dash of riled up and randy patients throughout the German countryside.

NAUGHTY NYMPHS is raunchy fun, yet surprisingly tame when compared to the sexploitation pictures coming out of America at the same time. Despite the fact that the picture’s plot revolves around the discovery of a Viagra type pill that more or less causes its subjects to commit rape, scenes of intercourse are extremely brief, if not only implied. The film instead wraps its innuendo laden story with countless reasons for its cast to get undressed and stay undressed, with its greatest pull being that of its lead, Sybil Danning. Star of numerous cult classics, including CHAINED HEAT, HOWLING II: YOUR SISTER IS A WEREWOLF, MALIBU EXPRESS and AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON, Sybil started her career acting in films along side the likes of Oliver Reed, Christopher Lee and Raquel Welch, before finding her own niche in low budget, B pictures. Not one to shy away from a nude scene, Sybil shows her all in NYMPHS, proving to not only be the most talented actress on set but also the most attractive. Her supporting cast is however nothing to balk at as both Eva Garden and Alena Penz share equal time in the buff, but its Sybil’s performance of the seemingly unattainable Elisabeth that clearly places the actress front and center.

The German sex film industry seems to been have comprised of a pretty tight knit crowd, as the same faces appear time and again in numerous comedy and “Report” films throughout the 1970s. Rinaldo Talamonti, who plays the impotent Italian, Cesare, will be instantly recognizable for anyone who wisely picked up Impulse Pictures' release of the fourth Schulmädchen-Report film, SCHOOLGIRL REPORT 4: WHAT DRIVES PARENTS TO DESPAIR, filmed the same year as NYMPHS. Rinaldo’s unique mug would be prevalent in a vast number of sex pictures throughout the period, including two additional installments of the SCHOOLGIRL REPORT series, three Hausfrauen (Housewife) Report’s and Liebe in drei Dimensionen (LOVE IN 3D), which co-stars Ingrid Steeger and Christina Lindberg. It is however Claus Tinney who may in fact hold the record for the most consecutive appearances in a “Report” film, as he crops up in the last six installments of the series. NAUGHTY NYMPHS also has its share of female sex film regulars, including the big boned Dorothea Rau (THERE'S NO SEX LIKE SNOW SEX), the perky Britt Corvin (THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF HEIDI) and Iris Wobker (NURSES REPORT), who only displays a bit of her talent, but dear Lord, what a talent it is!

NAUGHTY NYMPHS was released as a Region 2 DVD last year by German distributor, WVG Medien, under the alternate title, Die liebestollen Apothekerstöchter, as part of their ongoing Erotik Classics line. The U.S. has however had to contend with fading VHS tapes to see a young Sybil in all her nubile glory, until now. Marking its first time on DVD (in the U.S.), Secret Key Motion Pictures has pulled together a rather reasonable showcase, presenting the picture full frame, in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The print used is bit beat up, with numerous scratches and bits of debris that pepper the whole of the production. Coloring is a bit soft and slightly faded but nothing too awful as to distract from the litany of German beauties. The English dub audio track is however surprisingly clear. Truth be told, it’s actually a bit of a revelation. I’m not saying it’s going to win any awards, but given the tattered, slightly washed out condition of the print used, I was expecting a couple of pops or a slight hiss to accompany the dialogue. Much to the contrary, dialogue is clear as bell, likewise background and incidental music. Bravo, Secret Key.

A trailer compilation of German sex comedies, billed as a “bonus program”, is in fact a mixed, but entertaining bag of German and American coming attractions, which can be played individually or all together. 2069: A SEX ODYSSEY, BOTTOMS UP, LONELY WIVES, MOONLIGHTING MISTRESS, NAUGHTY NYMPHS, OFFICE GIRLS, RUN, VIRGIN, RUN, SECRETS OF SWEET SIXTEEN (which features Christina Lindberg!), SINFUL BED, SWAP MEAT AT THE LOVE MARKET, SWINGING WIVES, BETWEEN THE COVERS, I LIKE THE GIRLS WHO DO and TEACH ME, all have German roots. PETS (soon to be released by Code Red DVD), SUPER KNIGHT, THE FEMALE BUNCH and Jack Hill’s SWINGING CHEERLEADERS however, not so much. There is also a vault of Secret Key trailers for ALL THE SINS OF SODOM, THE DEEP THROAT COMEDY COLLECTION and PUNK ROCK/PLEASURE PALACE, which automatically plays before the feature's main menu. Locked behind an attractive cover is a four page booklet of liner notes that give a brief but informative look at the picture and Sybil Danning’s career. (Jason McElreath)