Color, 1970, 94 mins. 58 secs.
Directed by Hans Billian
Starring Joav Jasinski, Maria Brockerhoff, Helga Tölle
Cinestrange Extreme (Blu-ray & DVD) (Germany R0 HD/PAL) / WS (1.66:1) (16:9), Retro-Seduction Cinema (DVD) (US R0 NTSC)
Following the commercially successful waves of westerns, thrillers, and horror films that made it an international competitor in the 1960s, West Germany decided to embrace sex comedies as the next big thing in the '70s. From the durable Schoolgirl Report films and their many imitations to screwball comedies about sexed-up guests at various Bavarian bed and breakfasts, there was a seemingly endless appetite among audiences that lasted well into the '80s thanks to home video and especially late night cable. Cinemax's Friday After Dark programming was jammed with these goofy dubbed curios, some of which are now difficult to see while others have luckily endured in various formats ever since. For some reason this remains a weirdly neglected market on Blu-ray with only a tiny handful of titles out so far, but Cinestrange Extreme in Germany has done its part with the 2022 dual-format Blu-ray and DVD edition in multiple mediabook options of one of the strongest films from that craze: Die Jungfrauen von Bumshausen, better known to English-speaking audiences under its 1975 U.S. title, Run, Virgin, Run. A solid representation of the countryside sex comedy versus its city-dwelling counterpart, this was a career changer for director Hans Billian who had previously been working in heimat (or homeland) films extolling the sunny virtues of West German culture; after this it was sexy cinema all the time with titles like I Like the Girls Who Do and a lot of wacky hardcore farces like some of the Josefine Mutzenbacher films.
In a small mountain town, the closely-knit population is enjoying a surprisingly robust fertility rate. The menfolk attribute their prodigious offspring to a mystical wind that blows through once a year and sends them out into the wilderness, but in actuality their absence paves the way for local stud Michael (Jasinski) to pollinate his way through the willing women around him. For some reason the ladies don't seem too concerned about the eventual incestuous consequences of this arrangement, but hey, it's a sex comedy. Michael finds himself in a seemingly endless series of erotic complications, including the memorable "naked in a barrel" sequence that found itself on most of the film's ad art. Eventually his romantic interest in the mayor's virginal daughter threatens to put a stop to the baby boom, with everything sorting itself out for the romantic finale.
With its vibrant outdoor photography and bouncy score by the prolific Gert Wilden, this is about as representative of the early '70s Euro sex comedy as you can get. Even the opening credits deliver a parade of cheerful nudity, and the whole thing is so genial you'd have to try really hard to hate it. The cast is obviously having fun here with all the silly gags and sexual misadventures, and you can pretty much figure out where it's all heading early on. This one was picked up for the U.S. by International Producers Corporation, who handled other West German imports like Swinging Wives, Lonely Wives, and Sex in the Office along with Pets, while a DVD edition followed in 2008 from ei's Retro-Seduction Cinema line as the second title in a double bill with the VHS standard, 2069: A Sex Odyssey.
The Cinestrange Blu-ray is part of its branded "Bahnhofskino" line (essentially the West German equivalent to '70s and early '80s grindhouse films in the U.S.), devoted to preserving highlights of a period when train travelers could stop off for a couple of hours to enjoy a martial arts, horror, softcore, or sci-fi time killer from local filmmakers or abroad. The source here is a very colorful film print, running longer than the abbreviated English dub and featuring both the German and English DTS-HD MA mono audio tracks (with English subtitles popping up for the extra bits that were never dubbed). The 1.66:1 framing is accurate, and overall it's a massive improvement over the very dated tape master used for the DVD. Due to frequent screening, you'll see some signs of grindhouse-style debris with a handful of inconsequential seconds missing due to damage at the reel changes; for completeness there's also a 9m39s reel featuring the entire sequences affected by the reel changes for context as well as the U.S. credit sequences. Also included are a Cinestrange trailer and a 1m29s gallery, but the big extra here is Cinema Perverso (59m54s), an in-depth documentary about the Bahnhofskino glory days. Loaded with outrageous film clips and interviews with the likes of Wolfgang Niedecken, Uwe Boll, Jörg Buttgereit and Ben Becker, the doc (in German with optional English subtitles) is spirited fun and an informative history of how this seemingly low class and disposable method of delivering movies made a lasting impact that continues to this day. The mediabook packaging also features a hefty illustrated booklet with a German essay by Dr. Martin Schmitt.
Reviewed on November 2, 2022.