Monday, March 29, 2010

Coming in July 2010

EROS PERVERSION (1979), directed by Ron Wertheim, starring Carlo De Mejo, Viju Krem, and Ajita Wilson, is a musical (?) take on Shakespeare's THE TWELFTH NIGHT, with a bunch of nudity thrown in.


FORBIDDEN PASSION (1974), directed by Gianluigi Calderon, starring Gabrielle Ferzitti and Ornella Muti, was originally titled APPASSIONATA. A father-daughter sexy drama, controversial in its time (and probably now, too). [With the release of the DVD, it's clear this is another film, the 1973 Spanish CEBO PARA UNA ADOLESCENTE (BAIT FOR A TEENAGER), directed by Francisco Lara Polop.]

Star Video back cover. I've no idea what the dog is doing there.

Herman (I WAS A TEENAGE WEREWOLF) Cohen was one of the distributors of APPASSIONATA in the U.S.


NAKED CITIES is I SEGRETI DELLA CITTA PIU NUDE DEL MONDO (1971) from Luciano Martino, with brother Sergio the scriptwriter. A mondo travelogue movie with scenes from Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, etc.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Missing in Non-Action: The Last Decameron

This seems to have passed under the radar, but Mya's projected release of Joe D'Amato's THE LAST DECAMERON (SOLLAZZEVOLI STORIE DI MOGLI GAUDENTI E MARITI PENITENTI - DECAMERON NÂș 69) has been canceled, no reason given. This was supposed to have been number 37 on Mya's schedule, with an announced street date in November, 2009.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

KREOLA - review

Via a Mya DVD, I reviewed about a week ago the first film I saw from Antonio Bonifacio (BLIND DATE). Here's the next offering of a Bonifacio film from Mya, KREOLA (1993), which answers a bit more the question I had in the earlier review of where one should place Bonifacio among his Italian director brethren. KREOLA makes the case (again) for a Joe D'Amato comparison, as the film is an erotic drama filmed in Santa Domingo, a genre and locale that imitates D'Amato to some extent. As with BLIND DATE, Daniele Stroppa is responsible for the script.

The sight-seeing and island atmosphere portions of the film are impressive, making one imbibe laconically in the sun, sand, beach, and lush greenery of many scenes, while the story elements--well....

Kreola. Wide mouth, big breasts, empty head. Trying to enjoy the pleasures of an earthy vacation island....

Andy, her husband, hoping the island will rouse passion, as he struggles with impotency....

Old-geezer, Survivor-type stud boatman who lives on the island. My hero, Leon....

Leon makes his move on Kreola, with zero resistance from her....

Leon even gets in some backdoor action. "You're hurting me!" moans out Kreola....

Leon has many women aching for him, including Iris....

Her ex-fiance, Marco, is upset at Leon for taking his woman away from him....

"I'm a dead ringer for a young Sophia Loren, so why is my part as a barmaid so small? I should be playing Kreola." (I agree.)

The plot thickens as Andy and Marco decide to grow a pair and deal with Leon....

The End....

Disappointing and completely irrational considering what went before.

Mya's release boasts a sharp, colorful print, full-frame. (Was this film supposed to head straight to cable television's erotic programming slots?) Fine, clear sound, too. English and Italian audio tracks; no subtitles.

KREOLA is available on

Friday, March 12, 2010

BLIND DATE - review

A somewhat unsophisticated giallo/erotic film from 1990 that arrived at the last gasp of the giallo genre, BLIND DATE (originally titled APPUNTAMENTO IN NERO/APPOINTMENT IN BLACK) is an effective suspense-mystery marred by frequent lapses in logic and character development. The only relatively full-bodied backstory concerns the lead female character, Angela Baldwin (Mirella Banti), whose rape when a girl leaves mental scars she seems unable to erase or psychologically conquer. Fifteen years after that traumatic event, Angela, now a sexual provocateur, is presumably attacked in a rest room of a seedy movie theater (showing EMMANUELLE 5!). Is she an unfortunate crippled victim of continual sexual violence or is there something more insidious going on? And who is that man with the sunglasses who appears to follow her? And what deceits are occurring between her husband, a respected diplomat, and a blonde fashion model who is staying at their residence? Once it kicks in, the film begins to throw curve after curve, keeping the viewer on his (or her) toes.

Unfortunately, screenwriter Daniele Stroppa (who appears as the mysterious stranger in sunglasses) leaves out key explanations, as if more interested in the surprise element of his plot twists than in explaining just why certain things are in place, or, perhaps, director Antonio Bonifacio snipped pages out of Stroppa's script to keep things moving. There is an unfortunate lack of character motivation and backstory in one of the key players in this evolving game of deceit, so much so that when the "curve" with this person arrived, I sighed out my grievous disappointment. Not too long after that, however, the final curve of the movie arrived, and then I smiled my satisfaction. You win some, you lose some.

For Antonio Bonifacio, this was his first film after being an assistant director on films like TOP MODEL for Joe D'Amato, with whom he worked with three times in the late 1980s. He fairs pretty well here, unafraid to experiment on occasion, as in a moody slow-motion sequence that provides a nice atmospheric respite. The standard giallo confrontation in a shower between the killer and the female victim is handled by Bonifacio and his scriptwriter with some originality. (The woman manages to fight back, instead of assuming shocked victim status, ready for the slaughter.)

Without having seen Bonifacio's other films, it's too early to tell for me just where he stands among his Italian exploitation compatriots. I sense, though, that he hovers around the Joe D'Amato range, which is not a bad placement.

The keyboard score by Marco Rossetti (as "Mark Ross") is energetic and interesting (a bit on the Goblinish side at times, too), punching up the suspense and frequent erotic interludes. According to the IMDB, Rossetti has only three film scores to his credit (all for director Antonio Bonofacio). He has a Facebook page where you can sample some of his music. The selections are quite good and indicate that he should be used far more often in film scoring than he has been.

Mya's retitlement, BLIND DATE, makes no sense, as there is no dating here, nor (if one is going the literal route) is anyone blind. Picture quality on the Mya release is significantly better than I expected, though a tad on the soft side. The transfer is not taken from an old video release (thankfully), but, it seems, from a 2009 Italian DVD release on the Avo Films label. An English audio track has been added to the Mya presentation, which surprisingly comes out with much more force and clarity than the rather drab Italian audio track. As is generally typical with Mya releases, no English subtitles are provided for the Italian audio. This is an anamorphic widescreen transfer, btw.

BLIND DATE is available on

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I was very pleasantly surprised by ANNA, THE PLEASURE, THE TORMENT (Italian title: ANNA, QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE). This 1973 film was completely unknown to me, as I never saw the NoShame DVD, released in 2005 under the title SECRETS OF A CALL GIRL, or the film in a bootleg version, nor did I read up on the film before watching it. Very naively, I expected a sexy, lighthearted comedy, with perhaps some elements of a drama thrown in. Boy, was I wrong!

Edwige Fenech plays Anna Lovisi, a cashier at a coffee shop who leads a stifling lower-middle class life, lacking a boyfriend and living at home with unpleasant, dissipated parents. Enter Guido Salva (Corrado Pani), a charismatic tough-guy hood who captivates and seduces Anna to become his girlfriend. As the relationship develops and Guido attains, rather easily, Anna's heart and soul, Guido reveals himself to be more and more a son-of-a-bitch in regards to her, first using her in a drug smuggling operation, then, with aggressive doses of intimidation and physical violence, compelling her to begin a debilitating life as a high-class prostitute. The process involves an eye-opening descent into the world of vice that hides behind gambling and dance clubs and exquisite hotels and mansions, a world that destroys the moral foundations of a human being, be it man or woman, the abuser or the abused.

In case you are unfamiliar with the film, I won't give away the plot details which transpire once Anna becomes a whore, nor will I say anything about presence of Dr. Lorenzo Viotto (played with likable and gentle cadences by John Richardson), but know that the ending is particularly emotional, though some hardened souls may deem it too sentimental and weepy.

Another surprise is that this compelling and emotionally charged drama comes from director Guiliano Carnimeo, known for Sartana spaghetti westerns and such low-brow exploitations as EXTERMINATORS IN THE YEAR 3000 (1983) and THE RAT MAN (1988). Good to see the names of euro-cult stalwarts Ernesto Gastaldi and Luciano Martino in the writing credits; the film has to be considered another high mark in their careers.

For this release, Mya used the earlier NoShame release, while leaving out the featurette "Memories of a Call Girl" that contained interviews with director Giuliano Carnimeo, star Edwige Fenech and writer Ernesto Gastaldi. The NoShame liner notes booklet is also not around. A trailer and poster/still gallery from the NoShame edition has been retained.

Picture quality is one of the best from Mya, and the 2.35:1 aspect ratio impresses with its well-crafted use by cinematographer Marcello Masciocchi.

Given the picture quality and the content of this film, there's no question that ANNA, THE PLEASURE, THE TORMENT is one of the best releases yet from Mya.

The Mya DVD is available on, as is the earlier, now out-of-print NoShame release.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LUST update

I've been informed by the official powers that be that Mya's release of LUST is NOT Polselli's OSCENITA. Rather the film is TORINO CENTRALE DEL VIZIO (TURIN, HEADQUARTERS OF VICE), a 1979 "poliziesco" directed by Bruno Vali (with Polselli the uncredited director according to the IMDB). The film stars frequent Polselli actress, Rita Calderoni.

Trash Online's bootleg of this title describes: "Super-rare, almost lost film by Bruno Vani and co-directed by the late, great Renato Polselli. It is interesting to see how a filmmaker like Polselli does in the crime/police genre. What you can expect is a film full of violence, sleaze, rape, nudity and various sexual situations. Mastered from impossible-to-find materials, this is a fair quality print."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coming in June 2010

LUST is Renato Polselli's 1980 QUANDO L'AMORE E OSCENITA. A review on the IMDB summarizes: "A group of people come together and talk about transgressive sexual subjects. This is inter-cut with often graphic sex scenes involving rape, torture, bestiality, lesbianism, masturbation and other subjects you may or may not be able to think of."
[See 3/9/2010 "LUST update"]

Mya releases of Sergio Martino's film work continues with two more titles:

NAKED OBSESSION is SPIANDO MARINA (1992), which already had an Italian DVD release. Coming from the catalog of Diana Films, it should be in good quality. UPPERCUT MAN (1987, Italian title: QUALCUNO PAGHERA?) is also known as THE OPPONENT. A boxing drama with Daniel Greene, Keely Shaye Smith, Guiliano Gemma and Ernest Borgnine, it had a video release in the United States in 1993. Keely Shaye Smith, btw, is now Mrs. Pierce Brosnan.