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  Fuego More Woman Than One Man Can Handle
Year: 1969
Director: Armando Bo
Stars: Isabel Sarli, Armando Bo, Alba Múgica, Roberto Airaldi, Oscar Valicelli, Mónica Grey, Miguel A. Olmos, Hugo Mújica, Marcel Zinklusen
Genre: Sex, Trash, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Laura (Isabel Sarli) is bathing in the local lake as her maid Andrea (Alba Múgica) looks on, and as she emerges from the water she is embraced by her. They get amorous until they notice a man riding up on horseback and seeing what they are getting up to - he is Carlos (Armando Bo), a rich businessman who lives nearby. Laura goes home and meets with a friend who invites her to a party, though she is initially reluctant to attend, when she finds out that Carlos will be there she changes her mind, and they spend a night getting close. But Laura has a problem: she needs men... SHE NEEDS MEN!

Fuego is probably the best known film of Argentinian sex siren Isabel Sarli, certainly it was the one that brought her most attention outwith her home country and impressed a young John Waters when he was looking for inspiration as to what to have his star Divine get up to in his own cinematic efforts. Isabel had been a Miss Argentina of 1955 when she caught the attention of actor and director Armando Bo who took her as his muse and his life partner, creating a number of scandalous vehicles built around her and her voluptuous frame. You cannot say that she was halfhearted in her performances, as can be witnessed here as her character is gripped with insane nymphomania.

It's a torrid melodrama as much as it is a softcore sex movie, and you're supposed to feel as sorry for Laura as much as you are turned on by her, which is a strange combination. In Argentina of the day, the team of Sarli and Bo were decried by the moralists, but over the years she became held in quite some affection, and it's true she does come across as endearing in her odd fashion, winning her a camp following more than anything else. Nowhere is this more evident than here, as Laura flings herself wantonly at a selection of middle-aged men, Bo's Carlos included, and in the English language version is dubbed with some highly amusing dialogue.

The plot is all about reforming the wayward Laura, and Carlos thinks he is the man to do it, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. She has mixed feelings herself, most of which consist of lust, yet she really does fall in love with him, which is intended to have us mourning her lack of decorum in seducing every bloke who wanders into her orbit. Whether this is erotic or not is open to question, as there's no doubt that Sarli was an attractive woman, but seeing her endlessly canoodling a succession of none-too-promising partners, none of them her own age for reasons best known to Bo, is more likely to elicit titters. As for Andrea, she is as old as the blokes, if not older, and presented as a sicko for being a lesbian which should be offensive but is so ludicrous it's laughable.

True to form, Isabel bathes a lot so we can get an eyeful of her mountainous bosom, which she takes every opportunity to fondle and caress as Laura works herself up into a sexual frenzy. It doesn't take much to send her over the edge, and even after she and Carlos are married she still goes out into town sporting a fur coat and silver go-go boots with only her underwear on beneath, whereupon she flashes passing males until settling on one to ensnare. Carlos sends her to the doctor who breaks the bad news to him that she's off her rocker, and to prove it gives her a gynaecological examination that she enjoys a bit too much (!); not even a trip to New York City can dissuade Laura from her folly and her thoughts begin to turn self-destructive. Or maybe it's the thought of hearing that theme song for the millionth time. Anyway, it ends in a would-be tearjerking finale which features a ghost, the perfect climax to a film that could conservatively be called absolutely barmy. Music by Bo and Humberto Ubriaco.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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