Blu-ray Review: A Thousand And One Erotic Nights

During the early ’80s, there were still movie theaters dedicated to showing the more carnal of genres. The industry hadn’t completely gone to the VCR crowd that could watch those kind of films in the privacy of their own rumpus rooms. These theaters needed 35mm films to project on the walls. Across Hillsborough Street from the campus of NC State stood the Studio One. This theater would go through odd streaks of either showing art house cinema or adult flicks. There was a period of time when they would run the more risque titles all day and then a midnight screening of Time Bands. But when you’re running an movie theater that caters toward extremely not family friendly titles during this time, they always wanted to offer something classy. Remember the scene in Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle takes his date to a seedy movie? Well plenty of couples were up for proving they were able to handle a higher level of entertainment. But they wanted at least a classy production based on something equally classy for a classy night out. A Thousand And One Erotic Nights was a classy title to book in 1982 since it was based on the literary classic One Thousand and One Nights.

Sultan Chaka Khan (Pretty Peaches‘s John Leslie) has major issues of trust with his harem when he discovers his first wife cheating on him with another man. So he institutes a rule that after spending a night with him, his latest lady in the harem is to be executed. This isn’t exactly a great way to creating a bond with your partner. Scheherazade (Maraschino Cherry‘s Annette Haven) isn’t up for being a one and done night. So what does she do? She tells the Sultan an amazing and erotic story that makes him want to have her back. The first deals with a poor fisherman who becomes the lover to a rich woman that he’d been peeping on. Another tale was about a Prince with a golden horse that could ride him around the globe in a few minutes. This helps him hook up with numerous ladies from distant countries. Writer/director Edwin Brown delivers on the goods with a set that looks as authentic as any Middle Eastern sets used in an episode of Man From U.N.C.L.E.. There’s a lot of rugs and tent curtains in the film. The action is hot with Leslie and Haven having plenty of chemistry once he moves beyond a morning execution.

The film was successful enough for Edwin Brown to make A Thousand and One Erotic Nights Part II: The Forbidden Tales in 1986. Sadly by this time the Studio One had been gutted and turned into a McDonalds. If anyone at NC State wanted to see the movie, they’d have to rent it from the beaded back room of the Video Bar. Part II had an all new cast and direction. Sultan Chaka Khan (Francois Papillon) decides it is time to find a true wife instead of just mess around with his harem. He has the Judge (The Opening of Misty Beethoven‘s Jamie Gillis) help him find the right lady. Naturally Scheherazade (Kari Foxx) arrives with her stories and more to beat out the competition. It’s not quite as classy as the original. There’s a bit more comedy on the screen when they aren’t getting down to business. The sets are rather bare when compared to the original. But then again, the venues to see a movie like this were in the process of making a dramatic shift from a theater to homes. A Thousand And One Erotic Nights is a fine selection when you want to share a classy night of sensual literature.

The video is 1.85:1 anamorphic. The films are 2K transfers off the original 35mm camera negative. Odds are this is better looking than if you saw it at the Studio One. The audio DTS-HD MA Mono. The sound is rather crisp for a low budget production. The film is subtitled.

Theatrical Trailer (4:32) promises these stories are from a secret version of One Thousand and One Nights.

Theatrical Trailer (3:24) lets us know that Part II from the creative talent of the original.

Vinegar Syndrome presents A Thousand And One Erotic Nights. Directed by: Edwin Brown. Screenplay by: Summer Brown & Edwin Brown. Starring: Annette Haven, John Leslie, Francois Papillon, Kari Foxx & Jamie Gillis. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 168 minutes. Released: January 28, 2020.

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