In the Sign of the Virgin (1973)
By: Paul Ryan on October 19, 2009  | 
DVD
Smirk (USA). All Regions, NTSC. 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced). Danish DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 88 minutes
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: Finn Karlsson
Starring: Ole S°ltoft, Sigrid Horne-Rasmussen, Bent Warburg, Lone Helmer
Screenplay: Finn Karlsson
Country: Denmark
External Links
Purchase IMDB YouTube
Danish debauchery. Nordic naughtiness. Scandinavian smut. Yes folks, it's time for another entry in the mid-seventies Tegn series. This one, In the Sign of the Virgin, is actually the first in the run of the series, with a different director (Finn Karlsson, instead of Werner Hedman, who helmed the subsequent entries), but the same rep-company cast of Danish sex comedy actors. And of course, there's a zodiacal foundation on which to base all the merry sexual shenanigans.

In 1769, the planet Venus came into close orbit with Earth. The closest land mass in range of Venus was Tahiti, and the celestial alignment triggered a mass outbreak of rampant, rabid carnality amongst the natives. Flash-forward some 150-plus years later (it's not the present day, but the year isn't stated), and the alignment is set to happen again. This time, the land mass in closest range is the Danish village of Petit Bois, home to the Nulpolitterodens Boarding School for Delinquent Girls. Run by the eternally stressed-out Miss Astra (Sigrid Horne-Rasmussen), the girls are allegedly virgins, though the constant lesbian couplings amongst the students would somewhat suggest otherwise. Dispatched to Petit Bois by the school's board of directors is Professor Armand (Ole Søltoft), who is under orders to dose the girls (and also the town) with hormone formula that will counteract the effects of the celestial alignment. Also arriving in town at the same time is Professor Bomwitz (Bent Warburg), who carries with him an identical-looking compound. However this one is actually a tremendously powerful aphrodisiac. Naturally, the two bump into each other and accidentally make off with each others briefcase. Visiting the town brothel, Bomwitz is immediately dismayed to find his potion doesn't seem to be delivering the expected results, while Armand is horrified to witness the effect of his potion on the girls of the school. Having already dosed the town reservoir, it isn't long before the entire village follows suit…

Wild, crazy and uninhibited, this entry in the series features some truly bonkers set pieces, from a surreal dream sequence (with naked bodies simulating desert terrain), to a frantic underwater orgy set to the tune of Burt Bacharach's "What the World Needs Now is Love". The sex is generally used for comical (more than erotic) effect – though I personally could have lived without the champagne cork gag - and the main cast (who, as in the rest of the series, generally don't participate in the hardcore stuff) display sharp comic timing. There are some great little comic asides, such as the town madam (Lone Helmer), who regularly bemoans that the promiscuous girls of the school are putting her out of business, and the final punchline is entirely fitting.

On the downside, this entry has an ugly violent streak, which feels at odds with the whimsical tone of the film. The scene of a new girl at the school being "initiated" by her classmates (being aggressively doused with wine and forcibly made to have sex with one of the other girls) is deeply unpleasant, and downright nasty. It's not sexy, it's not funny, and it casts a pall over the rest of the film.
Video
Looking much like the other films in this series, In the Sign of the Virgin is presented in a decent anamorphic widescreen transfer. It's a smidge darker than it probably should be, and there's a couple of moments of image wobble early on, but practically nothing in the way of film artifacts.
Audio
The 2.0 audio track is rather flat, but consistently clear.
Extra Features
Slides (2.36m): As with the other releases from this series, the only extra is a needless slideshow gallery. I'm sure someone, somewhere actually values these things, but I sure as hell don't.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
There are many clever and funny elements in In the Sign of the Virgin that put the film far above average for a porn film of its era – or any era, for that matter. However, the inclusion of what amounts to a rape scene is pretty unforgivable, and taints the rest of the film by association. Again, MVD's handling of this title shows that even old porn films can benefit from some digital sprucing-up.

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