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L'alcova (1985)

5.2
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 290 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 25 critic

An English soldier (Cliver) returns home from the Zulu war with the daughter of a tribal king (Gemser) as his slave (a gift that he was given for "saving" the kings life). The spoils of war... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lilli Carati ...
Alessandra
Annie Belle ...
Velma
Laura Gemser ...
Zerbal
Al Cliver ...
Elio
Roberto Caruso ...
Furio
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Storyline

An English soldier (Cliver) returns home from the Zulu war with the daughter of a tribal king (Gemser) as his slave (a gift that he was given for "saving" the kings life). The spoils of war, ya know? While he's been gone, his wife has been having an affair with the female housekeeper (Belle). Not at all pleased with being a slave, the Ebony princess notices the mistress of the house engaging in a quick bit of foreplay with the housekeeper and plots her revenge starting with the seduction of the mistress. Jealousy spreads like wildfire and before you know it, she has turned the household into a lustful frenzy of sex and hatred. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

21 January 1985 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Alcove  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The credits claim the screenplay is based on a novel by a Judith Wexley. Several researchers have said they could find no trace of this novel, and it apparently does not exist. See more »

Quotes

Zerbal: [to Alessandra and Wilma] Hello. Go and get yourself fucked.
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User Reviews

 
A large dollop of D'amato sauce.
11 September 2010 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Following a successful campaign in Africa, soldier Elio De Silveris (Al Cliver) returns home to his wife Alessandra (Lilli Carati) bearing all manner of exotic souvenirs, the most unusual being Zerbal (Laura Gemser), an Abyssinian princess presented to him as a slave in return for saving the king's life.

At first Allesandra is hostile to Zerbal, as is Elio's sexy secretary Wilma (Annie Bell), with whom Allesandra has been having a lesbian affair in her husband's absence; but when ownership of Zerbal is transferred to Allessandra (in a strange ritual that entails plenty of licking), the lusty wife's attitude does a 180 degree turn and she takes the dusky maiden for her lover, putting Wilma's nose severely out of joint. Soon, scheming Zerbal becomes the domineering force in the household.

This mid-career effort from prolific Italian sleaze merchant Joe D'amato sees the seasoned exploitation director tentatively entering Tinto Brass territory, delivering plenty of 1930s period charm, an atmosphere of constant sexual tension, loads of lush cinematography, and, of course, oodles of soft-focus, soft-core coupling with the emphasis on lesbianism. No stranger to capturing smut on camera, D'amato masterfully handles the steamy action, concentrating his attention on the sensuality of the lovemaking, although one can sense that the director is yearning to go further, his camera permanently on the prowl for even the slightest glimpse of snatch.

Eventually, Joe just can't help himself and sneaks in some genuine hardcore filth and old school exploitation during the film's final act: the graphic sex arrives in the form of a (genuine?) vintage stag flick screened by Elio, who intends to raise some much needed cash by making similar films, with his three women as his stars. Amazingly, the ladies agree to the project, but when the camera begins to roll, in true D'amato style, events turn decidedly nasty: Wilma is bound and abused by Allesandra and Zerbal, and raped by Elio's eager gardener Pepe (who has been planning to tend to her bush ever since spying it in the garden). After the ordeal is over, an understandably upset Wilma vows to make them pay for what they have done to her.

From an exploitation fan's point of view, this lurid rape/revenge scenario is a great way to end matters, and narrowly saves The Alcove from being just another vapid mid-eighties piece of Euro-erotica. Not essential D'amato, but not entirely worthless either, I rate The Alcove a reasonable 5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.


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