17 November 2016



This is a strange one. It's a visually stunning, surreal and sexy romp through Spain in the Olden Days that caused me to accidentally ingest some history as well, haha, and no amount of rinsing my mouth out with clean water could erase all traces of same.

It's the story of King Amadeo the First of Spain, a handsome bearded fellow who first perched his royal butt on the throne in 1871 but removed it voluntarily in 1873, having reigned for only two tiresome years during which he encountered all manner of problems.

According to the history books (by which I mean a quick glance at Wikipedia, haha!), his brief reign was a bit of a joke really. Seemingly, he was keen to act as King, but his corrupt Ministers only wanted him to serve as a puppet King, doing exactly what they told him and signing his 'x' to whatever documents they shoved under his nose.

Added to this was the fact that the country was apparently rotten with revolts, strikes, uprisings and general discontent at the time. It seemed like poor Amadeo had inherited a bit of a nightmare, really.

When he threw in the towel in 1873, Spain immediately proclaimed herself a republic, which must have felt like a kick in the knickers to old Amadeo. Spain's First Republic only lasted about a year, however, after which time they were pining for the yoke of Monarchy once more...!

The film focuses on these two years of Amadeo's pretty much futile reign. The boredom hangs really heavily on his be-ringed royal fingers. As his Ministers afford him very little real power, there's almost nothing to do around the Palace except for the following activities:

Refusing various dishes which the kitchen staff have bent over backwards to try to tempt him with;

Having sex with the friendly, lusty and extremely accommodating cook, Eloisa;

Setting his manservant Alfredo up with Eloisa and watching them have sex;

Allowing a nudie Alfredo to bounce into his bed with his wang swinging so that they can compare notes on having sex with Eloisa;

Playing shadow puppets by himself while sitting on the john.

Alfredo the manservant is something of a sex addict, by the way, who has sex with fruit (yes, fruit...!) and with a younger male servant whenever the King is not requiring shaving, bathing or feeding. Every spare moment seems to be spent in the pursuit of sexual relief.

We see some extreme close-ups of Alfedo's not insubstantial genitalia, by the way. I received a phone call from my mum while I was watching the movie and was obliged to freeze it on one of these same close-ups.

For about ten minutes, my mum gabbing non-stop the whole time about her upcoming foot operation, I was obliged to stare blankly at Alfredo's giant cock and balls while he lay on his bed with hairy thighs a-sprawl. Or akimbo, whichever you prefer. I'm not really traumatised, just sort of bemused...!

It's a pretty filthy movie, if you really want to know. It's fun, though, with lots of 'absurdist humour,' and it's beautiful to look at, with the most magnificent furnishings and costumes in the richest, warmest colours imaginable. Check out the King's bronze robe. It's stunning, as is Gloria the Tortoise whose shell has been encrusted with jewels, if you can believe that. It doesn't seem to bother her much, so hopefully no tortoises were harmed in the making of this historical filth...

The King's beautiful and elegant missus Maria Victoria turns up in the second half of the film
from their native Italy. That's another thing Amadeo has mitigating against him in the eyes of the Spanish public, his status as a foreigner. 

Wifey's not happy that he's only a puppet king and more or less accuses him of having lost his manliness, strength and courage. Maybe a nice sexy threesome with Alfredo the manservant will cork her gaping cry-hole...

This extraordinary award-winning Spanish-language film is out now on DVD courtesy of ARROW FILMS and SECOND RUN. The DVD box is as gorgeous and luxuriant-looking as the film itself and there's a grand handy little booklet inside featuring an interview with the director and a new essay by journalist and programmer Neil Young. (Not Neil Young, the singer, surely...?)

There's also the exciting inclusion of FAMILYSTRIP amongst the special features, the director's acclaimed documentary memoir of 'a Spanish generation on the verge of extinction.' No, I don't know what that means either, but I bet we'll have great fun finding out together...!


Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, film blogger and movie reviewer. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, womens' fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra's books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page:


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