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Cindy Jelic Matic
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Before his death in 2007, Italian director Mattei, known in some placed as the Ed Wood of Italy, made a semi-comeback with a string of low-budget movies ranging in various subjects from cannibals to zombies and of course women-in-prison. This film here comes off as a semi-remake of HARDCORE but those expecting a lot of sleaze might be disappointed. In the film, a mother (Carla Solaro) goes into the darkest corners of Italy and France trying to track down her daughter who was kidnapped and might have been sold for a snuff film. The mother must try and buy her way to the underground where killing women on film is high dollar. Mattei is known for ripping off various films and creating some of the worst bad movies ever made including the infamous HELL OF THE LIVING DEAD. His recent stuff must have been made on budgets lower than $10,000 and you can see it but at the same time I must admit that this is perhaps the best movie I've seen from him. Not in terms of gore or entertainment but in the technical sense of film-making. The movie manages to be mildly entertaining even if it does go on for way too long and Mattei actually manages to build some suspense towards the end when we start to learn what has happened to the daughter. There are a few plot twists late in the film that are easy to spot but for the most part this film works. Those expecting a lot of sleaze are going to be disappointed because Mattei actually takes it pretty easy considering the plot. There's quite a bit of nudity but the violence is pretty tame and there's no gore to see. Solaro is a lot better than you'd expect and the supporting cast are decent, if nothing great. Not only does the plot lift from HARDCORE but you've also got a sex scene in the back of a limo that rips off the one in NO WAY OUT. If you're a fan of Mattei then you'll certainly want to check this one out but just be prepared for what you're in for.
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