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John and Tina meet in a park one day. They immediately hit it off, go out on a date later that evening. The late that night, Tina's returns to her apartment with her expensive new dress badly torn apart, and John's forehead bosts some suspicous scratches. Three different people, John, Tina, and a doorman, give three seperate and different perspectives on what happened that night before the truth is revealed. Written by
Master director Mario Bava is best known for his horror films, and that's hardly surprising as films such as Blood and Black Lace and Black Sabbath certainly represent the best of his oeuvre - but he also made a few films outside of the horror genre, and Four Times That Night is surely one of the best. I can't say I'm a big fan of sex comedies, as while I enjoy seeing sex in movies; I tend to prefer it with a little more sleaze than what films like this tend to offer. However, by taking his central plot theme from the Akira Kurosawa masterpiece 'Rashomon', Bava has made a sex comedy that is interesting for the way it pans out, rather than because of the sex theme. The plot follows Gianni and Tina; a man and a woman that meet in a park. They end up going on a date together, but it ends mysteriously when Tina returns home with a ripped dress and Gianni is sporting a nasty looking scratch on his forehead. Both Tina and Gianni give their version of what happened on that night, and the story is given a third angle from Gianni's doorman.
It's clear that this film is never going to be as deep or as fascinating as Kurosawa's masterpiece, but as a slice of light entertainment; it works fine. Bava is famous for his use of lighting and technique in order to create atmosphere for his horror films, although this movie doesn't allow him to do that. That being said, Bava's fingerprints are all over the film; as the garish use of colour features prominently, and the seventies style is what helps to elevate the film above the usual level of a gentle sex themed comedy. The film benefits from the presence of Daniela Giordano; the sexy female lead whom Bava makes best use of at all opportunities. She is joined by Fulci muse Brett Halsey, as well as Dick Randall; a man more famous for his producing credits. Bava attempts to give the film some substance by way of a psychologist explaining how different people view the same events from different perspectives...but I find it hard to believe that three people could view the same event in such wildly differing ways. One slight criticism of the film is that it's not very funny...but it's fun enough, and worth seeing.
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