Veuves en chaleur (1978)

After three decades, this still remains something of a flagship title from the back catalog of one time French porn theater mogul Alpha France, largely due to the fact that it proved one of its most profitable pictures. With all these (sometimes) golden oldies being released onto shiny little discs in twosomes and threesomes bit by bit, younger generations can find out what all the ballyhoo was about. Paired with its superior sequel LE RETOUR DES VEUVES, this distinctly minor classic actually has trouble living up to its reputation. Not that it turns out to be such a terrible film, far from it, just that there’s a leaden feel to much of its intended farce when the material should have been whipped up into a frothy meringue.

Unfortunately, this was a trademark for its director Claude-Bernard Aubert (a/k/a “Burd Tranbaree”), who seemed more at home when tackling more serious-minded fare like DROIT DE CUISSAGE or INITIATION D’UNE FEMME MARIEE. It barely helps that the audience identification male protagonist – who, like the redoubtable Ghislain Van Hove in Aubert’s much more effective RABATTEUSE, partakes in every single sex scene – is played by an annoyingly smug Charlie Schreiner. At least, he makes up in stud duties for what he lacks in charisma.

As layabout Olivier, Schreiner discovers an untapped resource for some afternoon delight whilst browsing through the newspaper’s obituaries ! Seems many young widows (as per its US release title) are left floundering in the wake of their husbands passing away. Therefore, a young stud worth his salt could make a veritable killing (in a manner of speaking) by servicing these heartbroken hussies. Set-up established, the movie breaks down to a series of mildly amusing vignettes detailing Olivier’s encounters. First up is Valérie Martin’s, a minor blond starlet who still appeared in a surprisingly large number of low rent X-raters (many of them directed by Pierre Unia a/k/a “Reine Pirau”), usually playing second fiddle to slightly bigger name performers. Along with this one, her most “respectable” credit is probably for Gérard Kikoïne’s intricate JOUIR ! Matters decidedly heat up as widow number 2 (the inimitable Emmanuelle Parèze from Jean Desvilles’ masterpiece INTRODUCTIONS) struts her stuff in a trio with Olivier and creamy Françoise Maillot, who was also in Jean-Claude Roy’s CUISSES EN CHALEUR. Smoldering brunette Jenny Feeling (a/k/a Agnès Lemercier from Kikoïne’s terrific ENTRECHATTES) and sophisticated blonde Marion Schultz, who played mother to France Lomay’s daughter in RABATTEUSE, represent opposing specimens from the hair color spectrum, neither actress managing to overcome the handicap of being partnered with such an unappealing leading man.

It takes the irrepressible Karine Gambier, the devious maid from Francis Leroi’s exquisite JE SUIS A PRENDRE and one of the most underrated French porn stars of the ’70s, to drastically raise the bar in a very strange extended sequence involving not just her dirty domestic (ENTRECHATTES’ Marie-Dominique Cabanne) but also the revived corpse of her dearly departed Richard Lemieuvre ! Though her fellow performers may get a few licks in, Gambier convincingly steals the show here, as she would on so many other occasions. One of Euro porn’s less likely studs – elderly, bulky Jacques Marbeuf (Marilyn Jess’ perverted pop in Kikoïne’s disturbing JOURNAL INTIME D’UNE JEUNE FILLE EN CHALEUR) – appears briefly in widow garb as a typically desperate sight gag!

Alternate Titles
Black Dreams Tabu DVD English title
Chasseur de veuves
Träume junger Witwen Tabu DVD, probably Beate Uhse video title
Vedova in calore Italy
Viudas caliente
Young Widows USA, Caballero