HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
County Lines
Polytechnique
We Have Always Lived in the Castle
Covert Action
Strangler's Web
Host
Nimic
House of Bamboo
Murder Me, Monster
Hell and High Water
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
   
 
Newest Articles
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
   
 
  Appassionata Ladies love the dentist's drill
Year: 1974
Director: Gian Luigi Calderone
Stars: Ornella Muti, Eleonora Giorgi, Gabriele Ferzetti, Ninetto Davoli, Valentina Cortese, Jeanne Martinovic, Renata Zamengo, Carla Mancini, Luigi Antonio Guerra
Genre: Drama, Sex, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Troubled teenager Eugenia (Ornella Muti) is devoted to her father Dr. Emilio Ruteli (Gabriele Ferzetti) since her mother Elisa (Valentina Cortese), once a concert pianist, now suffers from a non-specific mental illness that leaves her a hysterical wreck, whining or shrieking all day. Such antics embarrass Eugenia, but her sexually provocative best friend Nicola (Eleonora Giorgi) shows more compassion for the ailing woman alongside a fascination with Emilio. One day Nicola arrives at Emilio’s dental practice for a routine check-up. Writhing sensually on his dentist’s chair, she suddenly pulls off his trousers and - sorry, but there is no polite way to put this - bonks his brains out. Afterwards a startled Emilio watches from the window as Nicola coolly rejoins Eugenia at school and over the coming days acts like nothing ever happened.

Alongside the ubiquitous sex comedy, morbid erotic dramas proliferated Italian cinema throughout the Seventies. Possibly by way of probing the psychological state of the fractured modern family, though there lay strong elements of soft-core titillation beneath the dour, often po-faced drama. So it is with Appassionata which, in spite of taking an understated and lyrical approach, comes across in part as every dirty old man’s most torrid fantasy come true. In fact the above synopsis merely scratches the surface since by far its biggest twist is having Eugenia seemingly intent on usurping her unstable mother as both homemaker and lover! Some have described the film as an Italian precursor to American Beauty (1999) given its use of the male midlife crisis as a metaphor for the breakdown in society at large, but it forgoes satire in favour of warped psychosexual angst with the incest subplot taking things into queasy territory.

Quite what point director/co-writer Gian Luigi Calderone was trying to make with this part Harold Pinter, part soft-focus soft-core romp is anyone’s guess. He serves us spiteful neurotic caricatures of the various stages of femininity, from malicious teen nympho to shrill middle age. Valentina Cortese’s overly mannered performance makes Elisa intensely irritating when she should be sympathetic, although there is one endearing scene where she charms a roomful of rowdy teenagers with an impromptu piano recital. Elsewhere, Calderone seems to think young women are obsessed solely with sex and possessed by a lust that overrides all rational impulses. Emilio eavesdrops on Eugenia and Nicola’s raunchy phone calls and can’t help ogling them while they shop for sexy underwear. Even more unsettlingly, in one scene he discovers Nicola naked in his bedroom fondling herself in front of the increasingly aroused family dog, whom she shoots dead at the point of climax! Does this actually happen or is it all in Emilio’s head? It’s one of several scenes rendered far too vague.

Neither of the sultry stars are remotely convincing as schoolgirls, which is perhaps a mercy, though Muti and Giorgi are both winning actresses and ably serve the oddball drama. Events climax, so to speak, with a dazed, drunken Emilio being ravished by a mystery sex partner, leading to the most twisted “happy” ending you’re likely to see. Piero Piccioni serves up another groovy futuristic score. Interestingly the film was distributed by schlock horror producer Herman Cohen, of I Was A Teenage Werewolf (1957) and Trog (1970) infamy.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 7396 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: