The Imperial Reviews: Volume 6

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(Original post, Jan 25, 1994)


Well guys (and ladies), I do not know what porn delights Holland can offer at this age or whether Germany's output and France's tradition can produce a porn paradise on Earth, but the best video store I have ever come across (and that says a lot for I have visited a few) is amazingly enough in Athens, Greece.

This rather ugly but lively (not to mention historic) city is the proud owner of "Video Club Blue", which is really a chain rather than a single store (a bit like Blockbuster here, though not in the same scale). They can be found all over the city, but th e particular gem I visited lies in a suburb, about 5 miles northeast from downtown Athens, on one of the major arteries of the city (if anybody is interested, I can give more info by mail or post).

Forget your basic seedy video store in the middle of the slum. We are talking about a safe, residential, middle-to-upper class part of the town (BMWs parked all over the place); I would like to stress the "safe" bit for those in our audience who suffer the delights of American inner cities in their daily (weekly, monthly, you fill it in) trek to the porn store. Of course the whole town is bloody harmless compared with America, but this part of town is the sort you stroll drunk outside at 4 am with 500 bucks in plain view and nobody touches you.

So now we have established setting let's talk variety. Do you know what "The best of both worlds" means? There are literaly thousands of movies: american west coast stuff dating from 84-85 onwards (the only disadvantage in this and all other Greek stores is their deficiency in "Classic porn" as the VCR craze apparently only started in the early to mid Eighties); new releases are imported and subtitled (no dubbing thank God) and put on the shelf with a lag of about 3 to 6 months on the average since the movie was released here.

But, if one from our American friends walked in the store he (or she) would waste little time with American stuff. At least a third of the store's inventory is European stuff that ranges from high budget Sarah Young/Marc Dorcel/Marcel Ricaud stuff to "Teeny Exzess", fistings, waterports and beastiality (in another Athenian video store that I have visited, named interestingly enough "The Vice", there is a "shit and urine" section, a "Horse and Dog" section etc.) and everything that a man (or woman) desires (but not me - I'm not into fistings). There is a (take those FBI guys away from me) "Traci Lords" rack, fairly comprehensive from what I gathered. Greeks are apparently into anal a lot (no shit; that's why they call it "Greek" it seems) so there is proportionally a higher number of such movies.

Curiously enough Big Breast specialty movies are rarer. Finally there is a very small gay section but nobody dares to go there because unlike their ancient forefathers that started the whole thing, Greeks do not like gays *at all*; they are the macho type very much, at least so they hope. This does not mean that they will kick your butt if you rent a gay movie, just that you may draw a laugh or two (do not flame ME please, I do not condone this).

We've talked variety, then how about price? Here is the great laugh. Greece is of course horribly cheap for tourists but this is totally wild. The retail prices are around 25 bucks so no real gain there (plus they are all ex-rentals and so quality must be poor). But the rental is 200 drachmas (exactly 80 cents) per movie... per week! Yes, I thought it was a scam too but it appears that this store has been going on like that for about 4 years and has kept the price at this level all along (my sources for this are impeccable and I have cross-checked).

If you think that inflation there ranges from 10-20% a year, this is quite an achievement. Most other places charge 80 cents a day with Sunday free for porn and about $1-1.50 for feature films. 80 cents a week has apparently stormed the market completely and there were guys with fifteen tapes at the counter. I rented four (to be reviewed) as I was sadly leaving 3 days after my discovery. The quality was excellent, even in an older movie that featured Erica Boyer and Candie Evans (yum!) in a great girl-girl (yum-yum!). They were all full length.

To get a good sample I rented an older american (the one I mentioned above), a newer american (Savannah- a bad film as usual), a really old one (an '85 Traci Lords one; uh-oh, two dark suited gentlemen are approaching) and a European one (Zara Whites in around 6 or 7 reverse cowgirls- great feat but I'm still not excited).

[Update 3/9/1995: This Zara flick is called "Satanic Inferno". The following is a brief description of this video incorporated in a discussion about Euro starler, Misty Mc Kane]

Satanic Inferno writes:

> Has anyone seen this movie where our Buttman stumbles onto a Gorgeous babe 
> Called Misty Mckane.She has the sexiest pair of legs/butt i have ever seen. 
> And also what a performer..Wow. 
> Has she been in any other films.I know she is British but she is in the  
> German porno scene.
> Please could someone tell me more.
Misty McKane is indeed British and as such she can't really work in Britain. She has done a number of German and French movies. Unfortunately the titles of these are not so easy to determine. As you probably know, Euro tapes are dubbed/subtitled/otherwise hacked in their trek around that lovely continent.

In any case, I have seen Misty in 4 hardcore features -I think- as well as a hacked down cable version in British TV (cable, not broadcast of course). I saw two of the hardcore flicks in Greece; they were titled "Euroslut" (or "Eurochick" -Greek is untranslatable). She was the main star in both. I remember tons of RC anals but no DP.

I also saw a flick with Misty and Zara Whites, called (there) "Satanic Inferno". Basically it's a "Story of O" spinoff (and ripoff). Main attraction is Zara doing something like 6 or 7 reverse cowgirls. Back then, I wasn't into Zara all that much so, though the achievement is indeed impressive, it didn't do much for me.

Now, I've changed my evil ways :-) and I must say that Zara works up the old Imp really effectively. Misty is in a single scene (a 3 some with Zara and a Fella). She does anal of course, I think a RC one. Rating of this video: 2.80

Misty is quite attractive, but has a very bad boob job with very visible scars.

(back to video store related ravings :-))

All tapes were of impeccable quality and were full length (at least 85 mins). My *very* trustworthy sources (locals) have been shopping there for 2-3 years and they have not had a single complaint. The tapes were all originals (they had customs stamps like the ones they use for alcohol and tobacco there).

If anybody plans to visit Greece, then send me email for more details (I do prefer posting however).There is no membership fee but you do need to have a Greek friend around to give them his permanent adress and Greek ID number. I do not know what will happen if you go there with your passport and a hotel address, but salesmen *are* very helpful.

Oh, and guys (and ladies). Fill in the usual disclaimers here. This is not a commercial, I do not take any money from the store; hell, I don't even live there. And T. Lords movies are legal in Greece, even though the consent age is at 18.

(Followup on Sep 2, 1994)


As I said in a previous post I just came back from my extended European vacation (a bit like Buttman's but not as exciting :-)). Once again I ended up visiting my Greek friends in that lovely, if somewhat chaotic, country.


I got to revisit Athens for about 10 days this time around and of course I got back to "Video Club Blue". Sure enough, it's still there, the rental is still 85 cents and now they have a sale section where you get ex-rentals for 1500 drachmas (about 6 dollars). Unfortunately all tapes are PAL so they are useless in the US. Sigh. I also went around the city this time and found out that competition has driven other video chains to lower their prices. "Video Land" a mainstream videostore chain has also driven down its price to 85 cents a week (last time I was in Greece -January- the price was 85 cents overnight). "Blue" and "Video Land" together cover most of the city (there are a *lot* of these shops around). I also saw a "Video Club Blue" store in Salonica. I ended up renting 17 tapes (!!!) with my pals, mostly for reviewing purposes. I will review a number of these later on.

Greece is an odd place. It is a country were the Orthodox Church is still very much respected, very powerful and very vocal against porn. And still there are tens of video stores exclusively centred round porn, almost all "regular" stores have a large porn section, porn is perfectly legal, prostitution almost so and the whole culture is *very* erotic-oriented.

In the summer the whole country goes nuts. There are at least 4 or 5 TV commercials with topless women (in prime time), bilboards with topless women on them, nudity in beaches is perfectly acceptable and in the islands almost the norm (topless mostly, though bottomless is not infrequent). One of the big TV stations (Antenna or something like that) broadcasts "Playboy" videos late at night; all movies shown in TV are uncensored. The crowning mercy is a TV station called ITA8. It is available over the air but broadcasts without a permit (as do about 80% of TV stations in Athens- nobody seems to be bothered). In the mornings and afternoons it is mostly full of horrible music, cheap action movies, karate flicks (great fun) and endless rambling discussions. However late at night on Saturday (and my friends claim on other days now and then) the airwaves heat up. Oh yes.

For about 3 hours (1-4 in the morning generally) you get a series of erotic flicks, American and European. They are almost certainly video rentals and therefore broadcasting them is illegal, but nobody seems to mind. Anyway they are almost uncensored. I explain: lesbian scenes are uncensored whatever they may contain (toys, fists you name it). Men eating women is also ok. The station does seem to have a problem with male organs. My friends claim that originally the station never showed a male organ, fellatio or penetration scenes were the organ was visible. Then they got bolder: they left everything but blowjobs and closeups. Then they only cut closeups. Eventually (I witnessed the brave decision) they went for it.

One of the movies I saw last Saturday (I came back this Monday) was a movie with Nina Hartley taking it up the ass (no fake, it was plainly visible). Unfortunately I didn't get the title; the movie appeared German though, and Nina was the only American in it. Still up the butt she took it, and the brave owner of TV ITA8 did not cringe.

[Update 3/3/1995; the movie *could* be "Nina's Knockouts", but I'm not betting the farm on it]
So if any of you think of emigrating, why not Greece? :-) They have the porn stores, the pervy channels, the climate, the scenery, and summer at the islands gets wild- believe me. And everything is so dirt cheap. Oh, well.

[Update 12/14/96: an e-mail from one of Imp's compatriots...]

> You might be interested in learning that Video Blue is still
> doing fine, they now have 20+ stores in Athens, and the rental
> price is still something under a dollar for a week.
> Actually, for "old" movies (pre-93 or so), the price is halved.
> On the other side, brand new imports without subtitles are more
> expensive at about $1.60 for three days (weekends count as one day).
> The rest of your description (title variety, quality, etc.) still
> applies as it were.

> On the TV front, channel ITA8 is shut down, but the only cable
> channel here (FilmNet) airs every night (00:00-04:00) a couple
> of X-rated movies.  Unfortunately, they seem to have a deal
> with a distributor of Vivid movies, which means that a large
> percentage of these movies are not terrible interesting
> (personal opinion -- YMMV).  If you want more details
> I can provide you a list of these movies (I've got the
> December airing schedule somewhere).

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Created: Saturday, November 04, 1995, 10:27:31 AM