Like fellow Tegn import In the Sign of the Virgin, 1974’s In the Sign of the Taurus blends good-natured, silicone-free sexuality with a rib-nudging story that puts moral hypocrisy in its cross hairs and amusingly advocates for personal freedom, sexual and otherwise. Written and directed by Werner Hedman, the film tells the tale of a small Danish town whose way of life is apparently sustained by the lavish tax payments of single benefactor. When he dies, it’s revealed that his will stipulates in order for the town to receive the bulk of his estate, a child must be born out of wedlock in, yes, the sign of Taurus. Both debauchery and political talking out of the sides of one’s mouth ensue.
A whole slate of these astrologically-tinged films were produced in Denmark in the 1970s, and while they don’t overwhelm with originality of plotting (they basically all offer up noodling variations on the issue of sexual repression versus a healthy embrace of libidinal pleasure), their production value, ribald energy and airy sense of streamlined purpose go a long way toward making them enjoyable genre entries, easy to be appreciated for what they are. While it’s true there is a pinch of hardcore action (far less than even 20 or 30 seconds worth, I’d say), this film and the rest of its brethren are softcore skin flicks at heart — goofy, grounded movies where the narrative actually drives all the sexual acting out.
And, like other entrants in the series, In the Sign of the Taurus puts its strength in its female characters, here most embodied in the form of brothel owner Carola (Lone Helmer), who expresses no small amount of bemusement at seeing her burgh’s moral beacons, with whom she’s already very familiar, tripping over themselves to “take one for the town.” Anne Bie Warburg, Kate Mundt, Bent Warburg and Ole Soltoft also appear.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case with a sapphic, screen-captured cover that certainly (if less than crisply) sells the salacious nature of the material, In the Sign of the Taurus comes to DVD on a region-free disc in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, with a native language Dolby digital soundtrack, removable English subtitles, and an animated top menu screen with additionally animated dozen chapter selections. The video transfer is remarkably free from grain, other debris, or any edge enhancement, but there are of course some minor issues with color consistency; while flesh tones look healthy and the focus details are solid, saturation tends to ebb and flow a bit. The only bonus feature, alas, is a two-and-a-half-minute image gallery slide show of stills from the movie — some of which are behind-the-scenes material, but most of which are not. If the effort were made, one would think some of the players would be available and interested in talking for some sort of retrospective overview. To purchase the DVD via Amazon, click here. C+ (Movie) C- (Disc)