HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
   
 
  Four Times That Night Racy Rashomon-inspired RomanceBuy this film here.
Year: 1969
Director: Mario Bava
Stars: Daniela Giordano, Brett Halsey, Pascale Petit, Dick Randall, Valeria Sabel, Michael Hinz, Brigitte Skay, Calisto Calisti
Genre: Comedy, Sex, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Sexy, young Tina (Daniela Giordano) is out walking her dog in the park when she attracts the attention of Gianni (Brett Halsey), a smooth-talking lothario in a snazzy sports car. In spite of her strict convent school upbringing, Tina agrees to go out on a date with the handsome Gianni. Later that night she returns home to her mother who notices her dress has been torn. Tina then tells her what happened that night as it turns out Gianni had one thing on his mind. Only Tina’s virtuous resolve enabled her to escape his attempt at rape. Meanwhile across town, friends listen as Gianni recounts his own version of the night’s events which, naturally, proves to be a very different story.

The only sex comedy ever directed (reluctantly) by Italian horror maestro Mario Bava, Four Times That Night drew surprising yet inspired inspiration from of all things Akira Kurosawa’s seminal multi-perspective period drama Rashomon (1950). As in the Kurosawa classic the film presents the audience with four radically different interpretations of the same event that reveal more about the psychological state of the storyteller than the actual events that night. Following Tina’s good Catholic girl account of the evening, Gianni offers his friends a far steamier, almost lad-magazine friendly version re-casting her as an insatiable nymphomaniac who wore him out with her incessant lovemaking. We then have a third perspective delivered from a less than reliable source: the perverted doorman at Gianni’s building played by none other than the film’s co-producer: globe-hopping American trash film mogul Dick Randall. Given this sweaty sleaze-bag spends his spare time making photo collages of naked ladies and spying through binoculars at his racy residents, it comes as no surprise that his version of the story plays like a frustrated pervert’s deluded fantasy. This version amusingly re-imagines Gianni as a flamboyantly fey homosexual luring unsuspecting innocent Tina back to his bachelor pad as prey for his predatory lesbian gal pal, Esmeralda (Pascale Petit). Finally an affable psychologist (Calisto Calisti) appears onscreen to tell us what actually happened and in the process reworks the hitherto sordid scenario into something surprisingly uplifting, profound and even sweet.

Bava was never especially enamoured with this directorial assignment and later remarked he only made the film because at that time any European director that turned down a sex movie was thought to be homosexual. In fact Four Times That Night turned out to be surprisingly controversial in Italy. It went unreleased until 1972 on account of the Italian censorship board at that time headed by Bava’s close friend, mentor and fellow genre pioneer, Riccardo Freda. Supposedly, Freda believed he was doing Bava a favour by withholding the film that he believed was so bad it could damage his friend’s career. However given this supposedly crass, insignificant sex comedy is considerably more ambitious, intelligent and entertaining than just about everything Freda was producing at the time, one imagines a small amount of jealousy came into play. One would go as far as to suggest Four Times That Night actually ranks among Bava’s most accomplished and endearing efforts. What is more the film fits perfectly inside a filmography wherein a major recurring theme was the elusive nature of truth. Granted, typically for an Italian sex romp, a lot of the humour relies on wordplay sometimes lost in translation but the story itself is so strong and consistently amusing, it is remains a remarkable charming work.

At first the film’s attitudes towards homosexuality and date rape seemingly betray an inherently conservative mentality symptomatic of Italian sex comedies at the time. Yet as the fourth story makes clear, the film sets out to satirise the boorish and ignorant attitudes embodied by the doorman. Stylishly sensual rather than simply smutty, the film packs in all the expected nudity and saucy humour but while Bava succeeds in arousing the audience he also proves surprisingly progressive in exposing the more vulnerable side of his characters. It is an undeniably sexy film yet disarmingly sweet-natured and quite perceptive about the differences between male and female perspectives on relationships. Bava’s pictorial gifts and flair for production design ensure this is easily the best looking sex comedy ever made with magnificently groovy costumes and space age lounge décor including the psychedelic swinger’s nightclub of your wildest dreams. Look out for voluptuous Brigitte Skay, later the ill-fated skinny-dipper in Bava’s seminal Twitch of the Death Nerve (1971) a.k.a. Bay of Blood, as a Swiss sexpot seduced by slinky lesbian Esmeralda.

While American lead Brett Halsey, who re-teamed with Bava for the inferior but not uninteresting spaghetti western Roy Colt and Winchester Jack (1969), makes an affable leading man the film truly belongs to former Miss Italy Daniela Giordano, among the most talented yet curiously least heralded starlets in Euro exploitation cinema. Although introduced bending over in a short skirt for the sake of a crass gag, the beautiful Giordano shines delivering four distinctively different characterisations. And yes, she looks amazing in her impeccably tailored and very Sixties designer mini-dresses. Remarkably, Bava delivers a film steamy enough to satisfy the dirty raincoat brigade but which also rates as an endearing love story.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1393 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Mario Bava  (1914 - 1980)

Italian director/writer/cinematographer and one of the few Italian genre film-makers who influenced, rather than imitated. Worked as a cinematographer until the late 1950s, during which time he gained a reputation as a hugely talented director of photography, particularly in the use of optical effects.

Bava made his feature debut in 1960 with Black Sunday/The Mask of Satan, a richly-shot black and white Gothic gem. From then on Bava worked in various genres – spaghetti western, sci-fi, action, peplum, sex – but it was in the horror genre that Bava made his legacy. His sumptuously filmed, tightly plotted giallo thrillers (Blood and Black Lace, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, Bay of Blood) and supernatural horrors (Lisa and the Devil, Baron Blood, Kill, Baby...Kill!) influenced an entire generation of Italian film-makers (and beyond) – never had horror looked so good. Bava’s penultimate picture was the harrowing thriller Rabid Dogs, while his last film, Shock, was one his very scariest. Died of a heart attack in 1980.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: