Medieval Matters

Robin Hood Porn: The Virgins of Sherwood Forest

Content warning: This is a review of a medieval film that is offensive to every notion of history.

Oh, also, it’s a porn.

Additional content warning: (Don’t worry, this article is safe-for-work.)

The year 2000 brought us a great many odd things. Y2K freak-outs, Sisqó’s “Thong Song,” and (drum-roll, please) the Robin Hood porn The Virgins of Sherwood Forest, which was no doubt trying to capitalize on whatever was left of the Prince of Mullets excitement by combining it with porn.

No, Mom. It’s not hard porn. It’s, um, soft porn. Skinemax porn.

That means it has a plot. A real, actual plot.

Here it is: a down-on-her-luck low-budget film-director bonks her noggin (PHRASING!) and dreams she’s living in Sherwood Forest. Adventure ensues as she learns that the men of Sherwood are hardly the virtuous heroes of old.

I’m not saying it’s a great plot, mind you, but it’s a start.

Let’s press ‘play’.

So, the music of the opening credits is vaguely Arabesque, which is sorta confusing. Also, there’s someone named “Herb Garden” in the credits.

I am already regretting my decision to review this film.

Too late, though. I’ve started. I’m in this for the long haul (PHRASING!).

The “director” in this “plot” is named Roberta (Gabriella Hall). When she shows up on the set, her crocheted top reveals that she’s conspicuously not, um, fully supported in her life. She’s here to shoot a music video, we learn, and her day really isn’t going well: the rock star lead singer can’t be found because he’s—

The winner of Survivor: Thailand!

Not even kidding. The man who plays rock star Alvin and (ultimately) Robin Hood is Brian Heidik, the winner of Survivor: Thailand.

I know this because it’s right there on the DVD cover. His presence is, like, a key part of the advertising. This should tell you everything you need to know about the acting quality of the film.

No, actually, this does: the winner of Survivor: Thailand is not even remotely the worst actor or actress in this film.

Oh, also, I’ve been writing these last few paragraphs during the first sex scene (three minutes in), which should tell you all you need to know about the porn quality of the film.

Afterward, the rock star (shocking!) turns out to be a jerk (PHRASING!). He’s supposed to be doing the music video in a cowboy get-up but then abruptly decides he wants to be Robin Hood instead. Roberta rightfully quits. She gets up to leave and … BOOM! … just like that, she hits her head on part of the set and falls unconscious.

Confused, Roberta wakes up in Sherwood Forest. She soon runs into a couple of wenches in “medieval” (lord, please help me be strong) costume. The two ladies are busy braiding each other’s hair. One thing leads to another—I mean, you know how it is—and we’ve got our second sex scene around the 15 minute mark.

Look, I’m not exactly a Puritan over here, but I also can’t really claim to be a porn expert or anything. That said, shouldn’t these “scenes” be like, I dunno, enticing or something? These ladies here are supposed to be doing sexy things and instead I’m laughing because the music, in the words of my wife, “sounds like the ringtone from a Nokia phone.”

Yeah, we’re watching this together. She’s betting a “There’s nothing ‘little’ about you, Little John,” line will come before a “Let’s get merry, Merry Men” line. Me? I’m not so sure.

Oh, hey, also, just FYI: medieval thongs totally aren’t a thing. Not something I thought I’d ever need to point out, but here we are.

Okay, the plot is back on. Roberta, still wandering, runs into try-outs to be one of the Merry Men’s merry wives. This isn’t how medieval marriage works, but it makes for a cute send-up as Alan Dale (Saran Kalankaya) takes her name and makes her wait (alone in the forest) for her name to be called before she can enter Robin’s Grove.

It sounds strange, I’m sure, but this soft-porn would be immensely better without the porn. The writing in the cut-scenes between is self-aware camp that can be surprisingly delightful.

Back to the plot, we meet Robin Hood. And (gasp! what a twist!) it’s our Survivor: Thailand winner who played Alvin! He’s still sorta a putz, but less than he was as the rock star.

At last (oh, the suspense!) we learn that Roberta has been dropped into the year 2 ASoN (After the Sheriff of Nottingham). Robin and company, still chuffed about their victory, are going to have a party to celebrate this very night! Also, Leonardo da Vinci is painting Robin’s official portrait. No explanation is given.

Roberta doesn’t want to take part in the painting or the party. So she takes off, sulking.

Meanwhile, at Nottingham Castle, the former sheriff’s sister has just been appointed the new sheriff. Her name is Serena (Shannan Leigh). She thinks her brother was soft. Also, because it’s been a few minutes since fake breasts graced the screen, she decides to have sex (scene #3!) with a hunky servant named Horatio (David Usher).

No, I can’t believe I’m looking this stuff up on IMDB, either.

Anywho, Roberta is still wandering. She also still needs, um, support.

She runs into Little John (Jason Schnuit). They talk. A thief comes up, threatening Roberta. He thinks she’s helpless, but she can totally elbow the thief in the chest … which immediately knocks him out.

Somehow I feel like they didn’t have a medical consultant for this film.

Nor, given the Halloween costumes passing as period clothing, did they have a historical consultant.

Actually, a sex consultant might’ve been a good idea, too.

Roberta likes Little John. The reasons for this are unknown, except that he says he’s looking for love or some such. This passes for romance here, so she goes with him to Robin’s party in honor of himself.

Spoiler alerts, I suppose, though why on earth you’d be watching this I have no idea.

Gods, why am I watching this?

::insert existential crisis here::

Fast-forward.

Fast-forward.

Yada yada yada …

So it looks like the sheriff captures Robin and the Merry Men and then “tortures” them in her bed. Roberta and Lil’ John have to hire merry women to make up their crack team (PHRASING!) of castle-raiders to save everyone.

It feels like this should be a statement of female empowerment, but the girls all have disturbingly fake breasts and it’s all intercut with Roberta “making love” with Lil’ John… and part of the infiltration plan involves one of the girls having sex with Horatio, who is now apparently a guard.

Maybe it’s fine. I probably shouldn’t judge. It just doesn’t feel quite as empowering as, say, Wonder Woman striding into No-man’s Land and kicking some goddamn ass.

Anyway, there’s bad dialogue and worse stage-fighting and some more nudity and it won’t surprise you to learn that Roberta gets her head hit again and returns to the set at the beginning.

Little John is there, of course. In the real world his name is Jack and he’s a carpenter. She asks him if he’s ever gone down to the “forest” (PHRASING!), and they walk off together as the credits roll.

Mike’s Medieval Ratings
Accuracy: zero out of 10 medieval thongs
Just Plain Fun: ditto, though the camp style is mildly amusing if you skip the porn parts and just enjoy the ride (PHRASING!)

Michael Livingston is a Professor of Medieval Culture at The Citadel who has written extensively both on medieval history and on modern medievalism. His historical fantasy trilogy set in Ancient Rome, The Shards of Heaven, The Gates of Hell, and The Realms of God, is available from Tor Books.

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