Chantal (2007) – By Brian Morton

 First, let me just say that, in the past, I haven’t been a fan of the entire ‘sexploitation’ genre and haven’t been too impressed with the work of Tony Marsiglia in particular…but, with his new movie, Chantal, I’ll have to eat my words!

Chantal is a remake of a little known sexploitation movie of the same name from the 60s (and as a real cool treat, the original movie is on this cool 2 DVD set from Shock-O-Rama), the story is about Chantal (played by Misty Mundae) a naive girl from the Midwest (I assume) who’s come to Hollywood to ‘be a movie star’. Well, as is the case in these movies, Chantal is so naive (borderline dumb) that she wanders from bad situation to worse situation, being beaten and abused (both verbally and physically) over and over again. The really sad part of the movie is that, despite it’s obvious over the top scenarios, it rings true…or maybe I’m gullible enough to have believed all those Hollywood horror stories I’ve heard. In any case, Chantal heads quickly into sexploitation territory and stays there for a while, before taking a decidedly darker turn at the end.

Chantal is one of the best ‘sexploitation’ movies I’ve ever seen. The story is very strong and seems perfectly tailored for Misty Mundae’s talent and look. The story of a naive young girl who’s, not seduced so much as taken hostage by the dark side of fame is relevant and, despite being based on an older movie, feels like it could have been written yesterday. Kudos (and apologies) to Mr. Marsiglia for putting together one of the best dramas I’ve seen this year, and the apologies are for doubting his earlier movies, rest assured that I’ll be revisiting them to reassess my opinions! If you’re a fan of sexploitation, great drama or Misty Mundae, you’ll love Chantal, it’s really a great film! You can get a copy for yourself by heading to the Shock-O-Rama web site, it’s one of those movies that shouldn’t be judged by it’s cover…despite the obvious ‘talents’ of Ms. Mundae! I’m giving Chantal three and a half cigars out of four, because while it felt like the movie was a bit longer than it needed to be, the ending was worth the trip. So, until next time, when I’ll be removing all my clothes and then taking money to put them back on…that should get me to retirement…remember that the best movies are bad movies.