In the Sign of the Taurus (1974)
By: Paul Ryan on July 9, 2009  | 
Smirk (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). Danish DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 80 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Werner Hedman
Starring: Preben Mahrt, Lone Helmer, Ole Søltoft, Otto Brandenburg
Screenplay: Werner Hedman
Country: Denmark
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Danish porn. It's what this site has been sorely lacking in for a long time (sure, I tried with my review of Bedroom Mazurka, but that was only softcore), but now we at Digital Retribution are determined to make up for that with a veritable cavalcade of Nordic smut. In that spirit, gentle reader, I bring you In the Sign of the Taurus.

The plot (since you asked) goes something like this: In the 1920s, a small Danish village has led a life of prosperity – and more importantly, zero taxes – thanks to the largesse of the fabulously wealthy (and supremely randy) Count von Lieberhaus. Whilst receiving a bit too much attention from one of his maids (while spying on some naked bathers, no less), the Count suffers a heart attack. The town's very anxious officials soon discover that while he has willed his entire fortune to the village, it comes with a very strange catch. That is, that the next child born in the village must be born out of wedlock, and must be born in the star sign of Taurus. If the next new arrival comes outside of either of these caveats, the entire fortune goes straight to a home for abandoned kittens. Believing the town's youth to be morally upright and virginal, the uptight Mayor (Preben Mahrt) tries to convince the town prostitute, Carola (Lone Helmer) to bear the child. Disdainful of the town's greed, Carola refuses, but before long, word of the will spreads through the town, and before long the young women of the village have descended on Carola's establishment for "lessons", while her boyfriend Albert (Otto Brandenberg) is enlisted to give the boys of the town some similar "advice". As you'd expect, everyone is exceptionally eager to learn, and even more eager to put what they've learned into practice…

Surprisingly well-produced and acted, In the Sign of the Taurus is very similar in style to Bedroom Mazurka (which also starred Ole Søltoft, who plays the town doctor here), but with added X-rated content. It's another comedic tale of youthful sexual awakening, but obviously far more graphic. While many of the gags are groaners (like a roundtable of the councilmen – having all been leering at the Count's maids - standing up and accidentally lifting the table…er, without hands…), a few genuinely hit the target. It also helps that the main cast are all genuinely good, comedically-talented actors (notably, the hardcore sex is almost entirely left to the lesser supporting cast, who have little dialogue), and the fact that the sex scenes aren't laborious start-to-finish affairs helps the film maintain some real pace.

On the downside, this is a seventies porno, so all that body hair (male and female) can get bit much at times. Also, homophobes in the audience may well freak out at the sight of the um, "flexible" young man towards the end of the film. Or they may just say that he's living the dream, I don't know really…
Surprisingly for an old porno, this is presented in anamorphic widescreen. The transfer looks quite soft and noticeably dark in places, but given the kind of film this is, it's impressive that it has been treated with the care that it is has.
A serviceable mono track is featured here. It's in the original Danish and doesn't have any noticeable faults, aside from sounding rather dated and flat.
Extra Features
Slides (2.36m): A totally pointless video slideshow that condenses the film into two-and-a-half minutes, and uses tacky video effects to transition between each still. This is the only extra on the disc, and simply begs the question: why??
The Verdict
Undeniably amusing as an example of seventies Euro-porno-chic, In the Sign of the Taurus is silly, garish and cheerfully bawdy. It has also been preserved on DVD in better shape than you'd expect for an old porn film.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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