A glimpse of the everyday life of the notorious Roman emperor. Caligula rides out on his favorite stallion Incitatus and is given a wash, made up and fed by his female slaves - all the ... See full summary »
Olivia Del Rio,
THE VENEXIANA is something of a bait and switch: from the trailer it vaguely looks like a lavish porn romance set in Venice with everybody in period costumes, but turns out to be merely a series of 12 sex vignettes crudely strung together as fantasies of a lady writer visiting the wet burg.
Title is stolen from Mauro Bolognini's classic of softcore eroticism LA VENEXIANA, which I was privileged to watch in 35mm some 25 years ago at the Cannes Film Market. It showcased Laura Antonelli and Monica Guerritore in a 16th Century tale, quite beautifully filmed and unfortunately not appreciated since it was subsequently relegated to strictly video exposure.
But instead of a remake, Joe D'Amato has his video taking place in modern Venice, with nearly all of the dozen sex scenes having zero to do with the city. They are generic, though seem to have been freshly shot (all on video) rather than merely being recycled loops.
Wanda Curtis, who I enjoyed recently in her U.S. guest shot on Michael Ninn's video ANAIS EXPOSED, is very impressive as the busty but innocent looking heroine, dressed in period wig and costume as she looks around Venice in touristy fashion aboard a gondola, or sits at her writing desk concocting sexy vignettes.
Most of her stories star Philippe Dean, who must have been really tired out after all the sex scenes and ejaculations asked of him by maestro Joe. Unfortunately for the viewer, the two-hours-plus is taken up with mainly boring and pointless such episodes, ultimately amounting to filler. By way of contrast, one only has to watch Cameron Grant's classic EROTIC VISIONS, in which each segment seems to be competing with all the others for "best in show", in a wonderfully crafted program. (I thought of Grant because he co-directed with D'Amato PASSION IN VENICE, a far superior earlier work than THE VENEXIANA.)
Example of the puerile content of the vignettes: (1) Anita Blond has sex with a fake blind boy in the bathroom of a railroad station to lead off the picture -it looks like a loop I once saw in an Anita Rinaldi video. In second segment, a guy donates sperm at a hospital run by a nun (!), imagining the nun to be having sex with him as his source of stimulation.
Erica Bella briefly shines as the wife of a Mafia informant who makes love with the superintendent in charge of his protection. Karim plays a "slave" (that's an extreme exaggeration) of a blonde, who he services on a pool table.
Dean pops up as a school professor who gets in trouble for disciplining his students, but later solves that by having sex with them, all in the inverted logic of porn. The final sex scene has Wanda imagining a tiny puppet coming to life in the form of Casanova (the real Casanova), to service her.
I just didn't see any point to this ephemeral nonsense, and would much rather have seen D'Amato tackle the more difficult task of remaking Bolognini's film in XXX format. But that would have taken considerable talent and a sizable budget.
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