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Pasquale Festa Campanile
Enrico Maria Salerno,
Italian softcore porn. Christina is a wealthy heiress living a life of luxury and lovers. Late one night, she is kidnapped by a gang of all-female paramilitary terrorists hoping to hold her for ransom. After befriending one of her captors, she manages to escape with the unexpeceted aid of a mysterious smuggler, who in turn decides to hold her for ransom as well. At each stage of her adventure, Christina takes every opportunity to make love to whomever or whatever is available. Written by
Jean-Marc Rocher <email@example.com>
You have to hand it to the late Joe D'Amato: unlike his fellow prolific Euro-exploitation hack Jess Franco, he certainly could not be accused of making the same movie over and over again. Case in point: this 80's softcore porn film which for about the first half seems like a Douglas Sirk melodrama about a neglected housewife (Jenny Tamburi) who has a love affair with a friend of her husband's (albeit with a few fully-clothed sex scenes and a bizarre scene where her voyeuristic husband watches her "freshening" herself in the bidet). This movie, at least at first, is a far cry from the lurid sex and violence, we've come to expect from the infamous Joe D. Finally, though the movie takes several implausible turns when her lover takes her to a brothel and convinces her to service a number of (uniformly unattractive) strange men, and we finally get to see the impressive female cast (Tamburi, Lili Karati, and Laura Gemser) naked.
This movie is obviously another knock-off of Luis Bunuel's "Belle du Jour", but its more original than most. It turns out, for instance, that the whole thing has been masterminded by the voyeuristic husband and he has convinced his friend (who is apparently the "gigolo" of the English title, although none of this movie actually takes place at "midnight")to help out since he is the co-owner of this brothel. Complications ensue when the friend falls in love with the wife, which in turn raises the ire of his female partner and lover (Lili Karati).
Although very atypical for D'Amato, this movie is not a total failure largely because he has a much better cast than usual. Jenny Tamburi was always a very underrated actress, even if it is strange seeing her play a mature woman here as opposed to the teenage "Lolita" roles she was typecast throughout almost the entire decade of the 70's. She is perhaps a little past her prime physically, but still quite sexy. Lili Karati looks pretty much as hot as ever, but she seems to have matured as an actress here from when she started out in the late '70's (it was unfortunate that this was about the time hardcore drug abuse led her into the hardcore porn industry). Exploitation legend and perennial D'Amato collaborator Laura Gemser has a completely superfluous supporting role, but she's about the same as ever. A bit strange, but worth seeing if you're a fan of any of these people.
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