Here’s another installment featuring Joe Dante’s reviews from his stint as a critic for Film Bulletin circa 1969-1974. Our thanks to Video Watchdog and Tim Lucas for his editorial embellishments!
Plenty of perverse sensationalism for the sex fans in this outlandishly lurid Italian import. Strong sell should produce hot boxoffice in appropriate markets. Rating: X.
This triumphantly decadent enterprise is so incredibly prurient in design that it looks like a sure winner for metropolitan sex-ballyhoo situations. With a flashy exploitation push from Jerry Gross’ Cinemation Industries, THE SEDUCERS should attract and amuse a sizeable chunk of the undiscriminating voyeur market, to whom exotic sex is more important than coherent filmmaking. Originally titled SENSATION, the dubbed 1968 Italian smutfest features an unintentionally farcical plot, which reaches new heights (or depths, depending on your point of view) of calculated depravity, structured solely to cram-in as much sensationalism as possible.
Thanks to this pragmatic approach, THE SEDUCERS boasts among its drooling highlights such raunchy goodies as a three‑way lesbian orgy and a girl being “eaten out,” as it were, by a friendly goat. Bosomy milk‑fed girls, a fair amount of nudity and three murders also help jostle things along to a notably abrupt finale. The grainy, grimy Kodakolor photography transforms even the attractive Mediterranean locations into images of hideous ugliness, and the typically lush Neapolitan score wells up at the least romantic moments, but these defects will hardly spoil the fun for the simple‑minded sex trade.
Wealthy harridan Maud De Belleroche, a bisexual Gravel Gertie-type aboard a yacht in the Mediterranean, has a problem. Her grown son Ruggero Miti is still a virgin, spending all his time playing with toys and looking crazy, an unfortunate side‑effect of having been force‑fed LSD at a tender age. Sharp operator Maurizio Bonuglia, greedy wife Rosalba Neri and busty hooker Edwige Fenech are being paid to try to arouse the kid back to what they call “normal,” but devote most of their time to pairing off in various sex combinations with mother and each other.
On a nearby island, Miss Neri indulges her favorite pastime, shooting goats, while Bonuglia zestfully snaps photos of Miss Fenech’s cunnilingual encounter with one of the more amorous critters, who digs the taste of her suntan lotion. When they find Miti is attracted to sweet, innocent island goatherdess Ewa Thulin, the randy girls entice her onboard, get her drunk on champagne, strip her and let her have it. Then mother hopefully sends her in to the son, who entertains her with his electric cars.
The girl’s fat goatherd husband shows up, demanding money for his depleted livestock, and he gets the make‑out treatment, too. Everyone is having a swell time until Miss Thulin is found strangled by Miti. Miss Neri gets to shoot the husband and both bodies are set adrift and dynamited, after which everyone goes back to business as usual. While the others go at it once again on deck, Miss De Belleroohe submits to an incestuous going‑over at the wheel from her son, who strangles her, too. Luckily, nobody notices.
1968/70. Cinemation Industries (AICA Cinematogratica). Kodakolor. 86 minutes. Maud De Belleroche, Rosalba Neri. Edwige Fenech. Produced by Franco Cancellieri. Directed by Ottavio Alessi.
Available on VHS from Something Weird Video (reviewed in VW 15:18).