Aunt Marghareta (Diana Dors, THEATRE OF BLOOD; FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE) runs a high class brothel in the heart of Copenhagen.

Our first glimpse of it's interior sees Marghareta introducing a succession of beautiful naked girls onto a stage while middle-aged businessmen sit watching approvingly. The girls are all painted to resemble animals - a python, a zebra, and so on.

The final two girls to take to the stage are Susanna (Cia Lowgren, SMOKE; DO YOU BELIEVE IN SWEDISH SIN?) and Karin (Solveig Andersson, THRILLER: A CRUEL PICTURE). They are introduced as "Swedish tigresses". The stripy girls are indeed Swedish - and sisters.

The onlooking men are handed large nets and invited to chase the 'animals' around the room, bagging the ones they would like to spend the night with. Much to her delight, Marghareta winds up with two nets over her head - telling her hungry captors that there's plenty of her to share.

Susanna and Karin are loyal to their Aunt, but secretly yearn for much more from life. Susanna catches her first wind of true love when she visits a local park to feed the birds, and bumps into Peter (Peder Kinberg, DIRTY FINGERS) who is sat on a bench reading. Instantly attracted, Peter approaches Susanna. But the shy prostitute runs away to a dance rehearsal.

Next, we meet the sadistic Gerhard (Ib Mossin, JOHNNY LARSEN). He attends an auction at Marghareta's brothel. When he loses a bid on Susanna, he ensures he wins the auction for Karin - and offers to pay more if he can make love to her in the same room as Susanna and her client.

Marghareta watches through a one-way mirror as Gerhard bites Karin repeatedly then moans that the sex was awful. He offers a fortune to Susanna if she will sleep with him - but beats her when she refuses to kiss him on the lips.

The next day Susanna reteats to the park once more, and plucks up the courage to speak to debonair Peter. She lies, telling him she is a professional dancer called Natasha. The pair become besotted and arrange to meet on afternoons, allowing for her to "perform" on evenings.

Their relationship blossoms by way of romantic frolics through fields, while Susanna continues to dance, fuck and whip nubile whores by night.

But then, we discover Peter works with Gerhard. And Gerhard knows a thing or two about Peter's new girlfriend ...

SWEDISH WILDCATS' strongest feature is Bjorn Lassen's attractrive cinematography and lighting. The rest of the film is pretty flat. Joseph Sarno (INGA; DEEP THROAT 2) has never struck me as a particularly adept director, and this film offers nothing to change my opinion. Whether lensing softcore sex S&M scenes or afternoon strolls through the park, Sarno is distinctly pedestrian.

The story doesn't seem to develop into anything. It's a love story, pure and simple, with a little bit of a hurdle for the lovers to overcome. But that's it. Sarno isn't keen on violence, but a bit of action of some kind - any kind - would have worked wonders in lifting this film out of total tedium.

The picture quality of Retro-Seduction's release is quite good. Although hardly a "state-of-the-art" transfer as the cover boasts, the film is presented in a pleasingly clean and sharp 1.78:1 anamorphic frame. Colours are vivid and there is no grain evident.

The 2.0 English audio is less impressive, with it's share of pops and occasional hissing.

The film can be accessed via 13 chapters.

Extras include the 46 minute film NEW YORK WILDCATS, directed by Johnny Crash. Which is, essentially, a shot-on-video remake of the Sarno shitfest, co-starring sultry sisters Misty and Chelsea Mundae.

Despite the girls looking as gorgeous as ever, and engaging in a lot of slwo-motion softcore sex, this is rubbish. The acting is so bad I almost wish you could see it, just for a laugh. And the whole thing is curiously unerotic. Atrocious.

We're also treated to no less than 28 (!) trailers for other Seduction/Shock-O-Rama releases, including everything from SPIDERBABE and INGA, through to SUBURBAN NIGHTMARE and PRISON-A-GO-GO. Oh, and the original trailer for SWEDISH WILDCATS.

A 6 minute interview with Joseph and Peggy Sarno (she was his assistant and the film's costume designer) reveals their discomfort with filming the violent scenes, and a great admiration for the professionalism of Ms Dors.

Finally there's an 8 page booklet containing an essay on SWEDISH WILDCATS by Michael J Bowen.

Softcore shenanigans, early 70s style - on a serviceable disc.

Review by Stu Willis

Released by Retro-Seduction
Region 1 NTSC
Not Rated
Extras : see main review