Original title: Chantal
Genre: Erotic, Drama
Director: Tony Marsiglia
Starring: Erin Brown (as Misty Mundae), Julian Wells, Andrea Davis ...
The remake stars Misty Mundae and, for the first time ever in one of her films, she gets to be something more than just a naïve young girl mauled by lesbian sci-fi monsters in a fantasy farce parody of a much better film. Well, there is a scene where she is mauled by a monstrous lesbian photographer (played by Darian Caine) in a fantasy photo shoot gone horribly, horribly awry, but one thing that I noticed is that for the first time ever in a Misty Mundae movie, there is an actual plot; a storyline where she plays a character who strives to achieve something, instead of a young sexpot who subsists solely on pointless nudity and endless scenes of simulated sex. You may think I have finally lost my mind for saying this, but this is the first time I have seen Misty Mundae actually “acting” in one of her roles instead of merely giggling, dropping a stupid pun, and then disrobing. It’s true; as Chantal, Misty actually emotes! Aside from that, this version of Chantal seems to know what it wants to accomplish and achieves a rare middle ground between “sexploitation roughie” and “Lifetime movie, straddling the line between gritty and preachy. Thankfully, it doesn’t waste too much time dwelling on the emotional aftermath of the admittedly heart breaking situations young Chantal finds herself in as she struggles to survive Hollywood cursed with the body of a dancer and cursed the trusting mind of a child. Neither misogynists or feminists need as the film is squarely aimed at sexploitation romantics (such as myself), who welcome a little sob to go with the throb. Chantal is a measured dose of hard boiled reality and soft-core fantasy that may give you a “happy ending” that Chantal herself could have only aspired for.
In another bit of irony, this was Misty Mundae’s last erotic film before she, like Chantal, sought “more stimulating” mainstream work as an actress under her given name, Erin Brown. Feel free to make your own joke here.
Mundae’s surprisingly good performance aside, 2007’s Chantal isn’t perfect. The supporting scumbag characters and their “evil, secret” motivations were often too high concept and needlessly complicated for a bunch of street hustlers. Moreover, the strange, senseless bad luck suffered by Chantal became tiresome, bordering on silly after a while, like an old Wile E Coyote cartoon where you just know they are somehow going to get “laid low” every time you see them onscreen. Still, it did have an erotic scene with Darian Caine, Julie Strain, and Mistie Mundae in it, and there was a time in my life when that alone would have been enough for me to hit the “buy” button. Perhaps for you that time is now? Oh, the innocence of youth.
Extras include a full color booklet; director commentary on both; a “The Making of Chantal” mini documentary; a commentary track featuring Misty Mundae; an interview with Nick Philips; a bonus featurette, and a few other things. An exhaustive collection of extras for a film you have probably never heard of, but surprisingly a necessary one.
Video: 720x480 (16:9 AR 853:480) 29.97fps 4000Kbps
Audio: Dolby AC3 48000Hz stereo 256kbps
Size: 4,17 GB
Chantal (2007) DVD