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Pier Paolo Capponi,
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This is an Italian "decamerotici", basically a portmanteau-style movie of sexy, period-based tales inspired by Pier Passolini's "Decameron" and other "trilogy of life" movies. While some of these "decamerotic" were loosely based on Boccacio's famous literary work "The Decameron" (via the Pasolin film), this is very, very loosely based on "1001 Arabian Nights". It is set in Arabia and the characters are all costumed accordingly, but sex-minded stories, the obsession with female sexual satisfaction and cuckoldry, and gay-panic humor in the second story are all VERY 20th-century Italian .
The frame story involves a powerful sultan who is unable to, um, rise to the occasion with a new harem girl (Femi Benussi) even after she does a very sexy "dance of the seven veils" for him (if THAT doesn't do it. . .).He brings in three storytellers to, uh, inspire him with sexy tales. The first story is about another powerful sultan who become jealous of the town stud and wants to test his prowess by putting him in a dark room and seeing if he can identify each of several town girls who he sends in to have sex with him. But it all goes horribly awry. The second story is a variation on Aladin and the genie, but Aladin here is a horny sod who really only wants to have sex with the wife of a rich merchant (Barabara Bouchet--who could blame him?). The magic flying carpet the genie gives him will not "go down"(nudge, nudge) until the couple on it have had sex three times. But what happens when the wrong people end up on it? The third story is about a cruel princess who executes any man who can't satisfy her thirteen times in one night (kind of an Arabian version of "Ilsa,She Wolf of the SS", I guess).This is the funniest of the stories, mainly because the guy that takes up the challenge does a spot-on parody of Clint Eastwood in "A Fistful of Dollars"!
This was directed by Anthony Dawson (aka Anthony Marghereti). He is not in the class of Pasolini perhaps, but he was probably one of the more talented directors to have done films in this genre. Although neither was Italian, Barbara Bouchet and Femi Benussi were both ubiquitous (and ubiquitously naked) in 70's Italian exploitation fare like this. Barbara Marzano, who some may recognize as the big-breasted girl dancing topless at the hippie party in "Torso", plays a local girl in the first story who the Sultan tries to "dehydrate" so the guy in the room doesn't recognize her bounteous bosoms (it doesn't work). She was also memorable in Ferdinand DiLeo's "The Seduction". The print I saw of this was in French with English subtitles ("based on the original Italian-language print", it said?). But it looked pretty good, and I'm always glad to see one of these at all.
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