Every week, I scour Netflix for a movie rated at one star and put it in my queue, suffering through it for your entertainment so that you don’t have to. In the past, I’ve taken on anime cancer demons, softcore Iraq War porn and racist ventriloquism, and this week it’s one of the classics of Western literature. But with titties.
Virgin Territory (2007)
Starring: Hayden Christensen in one of his least embarrassing roles.
Ask anybody who knows me and they’ll tell you: I am a fan of the high concept. I mean, on my desk right now, I have a copy of Godzilla vs. Barkley, an officially licensed comic book from 1993 where Godzilla rises from the ocean to do battle on the basketball court with a 300 foot-tall Sir Charles. But even I have my limits, and when your movie’s description begins with a sentence like “Raunchy teen comedy meets the Black Plague,” I’m pretty sure things aren’t going to work out all that well.
Such is the case with Virgin Territory, which attempts to be American Pie meets a Renaissance Faire and ends up being… Well, American Pie meets a Renaissance Faire.
Remember when you were in school and you’d watch a video where some dude would try to make learning fun by offering up some “cool raps… about math!“? That’s pretty much what we’re dealing with here, except that instead of busting rhymes about coefficients, writer/director David Leland is adapting the sexy parts of The Decameron, a series of satirical novellas by 14th century Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio.
You know. Because that’s what the kids are into.
Like all sexy teen comedies, Virgin Territory opens with a beautiful young woman’s parents dying of the bubonic plague. This is Pampinea (Mischa Barton), who is now faced with the classic nobility-in-1352 trouble of being betrothed to a Russian count and having an evil noble (Tim Roth) trying to force her into marriage. Thus, she and her friends ditch Florence and the ravages of the plague for hot times at her family’s villa in the countryside, a journey which finds them promptly waylaid by slave traders who force them to work the stripper pole.
That might seem like something of an anachronism, but according to my research, poledancing actually was invented in Florence in 1349 by Lexxus de Medici.