Lucio Fulci… He’s one of those Italian filmmakers that people usually will have strong opinions about. I’m not sure if I know anyone who is just okay with his works. He’s kind of an all or nothing type of director. That’s not to say if you fall on the “all in” side of the fence with him you have to love every one of his movies, god knows Demonia is a real chore to get through, but you’ll likely be more than happy to watch something with his name on it just because it has his name on it.
I’ve talked about the aforementioned Demonia, Zombie, and Zombie 3(*) which all fall squarely in the horror genre. For a guy who has dabbled in just about every genre, I feel like I owe it to him to try as many of those dabbles as possible. With that said, let’s just dive right into his foray into the erotic thriller world with The Devil’s Honey.
I’ve been promised this is some deeply erotic shit, and goddammit, look at that poster art for the movie. Holy hot damn, that chick is getting utterly blasted by that saxophone. I played sax in middle school and I don’t think I ever imagined using it like this dude is, and I’m a weirdo creep who would 100% think of vile shit to do with a saxophone in the course of really unrealistic sexual escapades. The back of the box uses terms like “Pitch Perfect Sleazy Mania…” and “Extreme Erotic Shocker” and “Uncensored” as well as being called a “skintastic sickie.”
I better warm up the ol’ censorship emoji dispenser to cover up titties and euro-bush because I have a feeling I’m gonna see lots and lots of skin.
Alright, this movie about sexophone stuffs knows exactly how to start – with Johnny, our horny saxophone player. Dude is cutting a real smooth jazzy album. Not only that, but you can see it in his eyes. That look of “Oh man am I gonna stick this fuckin’ saxophone up some woman’s dress and blow it until she creams her panties.”
But no only that, we also see Johnny’s girlfriend, Jessica, watching on. And if you think I’m being a goof about his saxophone playing having sexual effects on people, well… I’m sorry but gifs do not lie, my friends.
After he finishes his take, Johnny and Jessica steal away to a corner of the studio where he decides he wants to fuck her right then and there. Now… Okay. I can kind of understand why. A) she is hot and his girlfriend. B) when he was done, he was going to wipe his mouth off from all that spit and stuff he used to make his sax do sax things, but she opted to lick it off his face.
However, Johnny is into some other stuff too. For example, he’s into some control stuff. He demands she call him “Master” and such. She wasn’t already feeling the ol’ Italian How D’ya Do in the studio, and she really doesn’t want to play out his control fantasy at the moment either. Even when he claims everything in her is what he loves, or something just as sloppy as that, she’s like, “No way, bub, you don’t love me, you only love a piece of me.”
Considering I have seen her boobs in the first 7 minutes of this movie, I can certainly say I love that piece of Jessica.
Anyway, Johnny boy picks up his sax, sizes her up, and decides to dedicate a song to her… pussy. Yup, what the poster, and most of the promotional material is banking on for you to see this movie happens within the first seven minutes of the movie – Johnny totally sax blasts Jessica’s lady cave.
Here, take a look BUT know that this IS NSFW and also in some other language. Like, I saw it in English. It was originally Italian. I think this is… Russian? Yeah, let’s say Russian.
Okay. See, YouTube took that video away citing it’s overly hot nature. But let’s just say it’s every bit as hot as turtle humping.
Jessica, played by Blanca Marsillach is hot. Johnny’s saxophone is some sort of pussy pounding magical instrument – which is kind of hot. It’s hot. In a pretty funny comedy cut, we see that the producer and engineers of Johnny’s album are actually witnessing the sax sex. No one seems all that weird about it other than the producer wanting Jessica to hit the bricks because she’s “distracting” Johnny.
We then see Dr. Simpson who has just finished up a surgery. He calls home to tell his wife he isn’t going to be home for a bit because he has another operation to perform. Turns out that other operation is on a sexy hooker.
Doc Simpson is incredibly turned on when the hooker, Sandra, begins painting over a run in her stockings with red nail polish. She figures out pretty quickly, because, y’know, it’s her job to spot these things, something to do with the act or, more specifically, the COLOR is what turns him on. He then smears the red polish all over her face, throws her down, blows his load in less than 30 seconds, rolls over, and tells her to get lost.
Not only that, but she says this is almost as bad as fucking a monster and he calls her a whore, etc. Also, Doc Simpson’s wife is also at the hotel to see there are shenanigans afoot. This does beg the question if there are any normal people in this movie.
But we know this is an Italian erotic thriller so the answer to that will be an emphatic NO.
So here we go… Johnny is a control freak artist type who likes to fuck women with his saxophone. Jessica seems to both push him away and pull herself to him whenever he wants. Doc Simpson is a bored surgeon who likes to fuck hookers. Mrs. Simpson is a sexually frustrated housewife who knows her husband’s secret.
Knowing what we know about the young, super sexually active lovers, it should come as no surprise that the next time we see Jessica and Johnny together they are having a serious conversation about Johnny’s producer possibly being jealous of Jessica on a roller coaster. After the big, thrilling hill, Jessica is all up on Johnny licking and kissing his face and shit. After that, we see them next on his motorcycle where he demands she give him a Roman Handshake while he is driving at high speeds.
An encore for nearly killing them, Johnny aggressively fucks Jessica against a staircase in some house while a German Shepherd desperately trying to get in through the door to tear them apart. Despite seemingly achieving orgasm, Jessica isn’t so happy about basically being raped and for Johnny to leave it in when he blows. She’s right in thinking that he treats her like a piece of meat for his dinner. She tells him to get fucked, but he teases that he won’t ever leave her. He eventually falls off his motorcycle and hits his head on a rock. He thinks he’s doing fine, but he’s clearly not looking so hot.
And sure enough… Johnny returns to the studio and doesn’t even sound anything like he did earlier when he was fucking his girlfriend with his woodwind. While the record people bitch Jessica out about Johnny being terribly unprofessional being 2 hours late to recording, Jessica blurts out that she’s pregnant. Nicky, Johnny’s producer, tells Jessica to get it aborted or she and the baby will ruin Johnny’s music career. If it wasn’t for Johnny looking like he’s about to become patient zero for another type of Fulci movie, I’d ask how Jessica knows she’s pregnant – like was it from Johnny leaving it in the last time they fucked?
Oh well, never mind… Johnny has collapsed despite begging to stop recording and going to the hospital. Doctor Simpson gets the call that he has to go to the hospital to operate on Johnny. Mrs. Simpson tears into him for having to, you know, do his fucking job and shit? He’s a goddamn doctor who is also a neurosurgeon. Okay, yes, he’s also fucking around on her, but this is a hell of a time for her to say he should choose her over his duty for once.
Anyway, because Mrs. Simpson said he sucks and she will file for divorce, he is basically unable to save Johnny. In fact, it is kind of made clear that he actually makes a mistake that kills Johnny. Jessica is pretty upset and real damn determined to find out what this dude’s damage is. It’s also in this scene that I realized that Blanca Marsillach is not just hot, but also not a fan of bras at all. As she’s running out of the hospital trying to chase Simpson’s car, she’s got a boob just flopping out all over the place. Seriously, this chick is the enemy of all bras.
And that’s pretty sexy.
Jessica goes home and watches an old home movie of her and Johnny. As it plays out, she sees Johnny actually trying to rape her on camera. Well… I think it would still be rape because she does NOT want to have sex in front of the camera but he wants to regardless. As she watches, she has this terrified look in her eyes. She’s visibly shaken, but still, in her grief, she grabs Johnny’s sweater and it is implied she fucks it, but we cut back to the Simpson marital drama.
I think we get to really see what makes this movie real interesting and deep. Jessica is an absolutely broken character from the onset of the movie. She’s in love with Johnny, but is repulsed by some of his actions. She seems emotionally secured in loving him, but is physically immature in other ways. She’s basically Johnny’s blow-up doll for him to have his way with despite any protest or tears she has.
This is what I’d probably say is classified as “mad love”. The kind of emotional roller coaster people have when they are absolutely swept up in complete infatuation they aren’t able to process things in normal ways. We’ve all been there – likely in our teen years or early 20s. We can’t imagine not being with someone, so we tend to overcompensate. Johnny is technically abusive to Jessica, but claims he has never been so deeply in love with her. Jessica, on the other hand, seems to, as I said previously, emotionally love Johnny for many reasons. Yet, when it comes to physically loving him, she isn’t on the same page nor seems to enjoy being with him. It’s kind of like saying they can’t be apart, but they really should not be together either.
It’s sad. It’s kind of frightening. It’s, unfortunately, all too real. It also sets up the rest of the movie. I mean… There’s the whole other relationship in this movie that is also a trainwreck – the Simpsons. Basically, the doc is a jerk and the wife is fed up. Yeah, it’s a dumb thing to say that he has to choose his wife over his Hippocratic Oath, but she’s had all she can take with his shit. But it is their problems that totally breaks Jessica.
Despite her horror of some of the things Johnny has done, she still basically loves him. Also, she still believes she’s pregnant, though I have no reason to believe that is actually true. Either way, Jessica is out for some fucking revenge now. She starts leaving notes at the country club and calls the doctor’s office to ask why he let Johnny die.
Meanwhile, Doc Simpson tries to win back his wife, and they decide to go back home and fuck. She gets him going by saying she wants to be treated like a whore she is. Just like those other prostitutes he has plowed. Things start to go right for this as he begins ravaging her, but the phone rings, interrupting them and eventually leading to him no longer being able to get it up for her. To make matters even worse, Jessica calls to ask him why he had to let Johnny die and call him a murderer.
Ugh… We’ve all been there, right guys? Guys? Eh…
Where do we go from here? Well, we escalate. Jessica waits for Doc Simpson in the back of his car. At gunpoint, she tells the doc to drive out to that country home she and Johnny fucked in earlier before his motorcycle accident. There, she chloroforms him and ties him up inside. Not only is Simpson tied up inside, but so is the German Shepherd that was trying to eat Johnny and Jessica earlier. Outside, Jessica fucks up the doc’s car but good.
Jessica comes in, humming creepily. She asks the doc how long he thinks he’d get to go on operating on young men when they die. She then has a flashback to when Johnny returns after a long absence and brought her back a creepy ass doll that he says looks just like her (it does not). It cuts back and she just keeps asking “Why did you let him die?” in a creepy ass voice.
Next, she decides she’s gonna try some knife play with the doc. She says she wants him to watch as she kills him, which he hopes will be quick. That turns out to be a ploy because she then says if he really wants to die, he will have to kill himself and makes it so that he could possibly hang himself.
While he squirms around, Jessica thinks back to a disagreement she had with Johnny about wanting a child. She wants something that is hers, but he doesn’t want none of it. In fact, he kind of uses it to have sex with her saying there is no better way to have a baby than to actually have sex.
In the present, Jessica tells the doctor that she could never be a mother, but I thought she was pregnant, or maybe not. I dunno. What I do know is that she hits the Doc in the face with a hatchet and unzips her pants so she can smash his face against her womb and rub his face in his own blood. It is both weird and very erotic. I ain’t gonna lie. I’d like to smash my face against Blanca Marsillach’s womb.
While walking the doc on the beach, he nearly drowns and she has to perform mouth-to-mouth, but ends up kind of kissing and licking him…? But whatever, she goes back inside and lounges naked and decides to fuck Johnny’s sweater again. This causes another flashback when Johnny was videotaping her nude with a pistol crammed between her legs. When she returns to the present, she holds the same gun to her head, but decides to go downstairs in the nude and check on her captive. This gives Doc Simpson a chance to compliment on her beauty. I’m not sure that’s going to help him out here.
So in these last 15 minutes, things seem to escalate into overdrive with both the present goings on and the memories of the past. She lets the doc get a shot to kiss her from head to toe before dripping hot wax on him to torture him and assert control over him. She remembers when Johnny once asked why she was so mean and always mad at the world. She remembers when he revealed to her that he wants her obedient and enslaved to him. In the present, she finds that the dog has died. I’m not sure why or how or even when that shit happened. She buries the dog with Johnny’s sweater and asks who is it that is killing all of the things she loves.
I think she even implies that she’s lost the baby, or maybe that was in the past too and she didn’t let go of that hurt, but I dunno. That whole element is completely over my head, dear readers. I know that as this movie goes on, Jessica is less and less concerned with wearing a complete outfit and has now decided to go full on tits out all the way to the end.
She does have one happy memory of Johnny when they went to Venice and bought matching bracelets from Lucio Fulci. The memory turns sour when she realized that Johnny and his manager, Nicky, also had a homosexual relationship. The three of them went to a movie where she and Johnny were making out while Nicky was going down on Johnny. She tosses away one of the Fulci bracelets to indicate she has stopped loving. She then frees Simpson and he joins her in her bedroom, where, much like with Johnny, her request for the guy to “go away” falls on deaf ears. The doc gets sex like he’s never had before, and tells her a poem his friend wrote while she looks at the gun which probably means she’s still thinking about killing this fool.
Wow. So. Okay. There’s lot to unpack here and I’m not sure I can actually articulate it well enough to do this movie justice.
First of all, this is a pretty darn good movie for being completely a story that exists between the lines. The lines are boobs, bush, sex, hooker, dead guy, saxophones. In between those lines, though, we find sexual slavery, revenge, perversion, control, loss, and rape. For the most part, you’d think there’s no fucking way an Italian movie would be able to appropriately juggle all this, but The Devil’s Honey somehow pulls it off.
I’m no film historian or expert or critic or theorist, but I’m gonna give this a shot…
Let’s take the easy stuff off the table. There is a real pervert streak in this movie. I mean, I think Italians just fuck constantly. Be it with saxophones or dick, they be fuckin’. It’s what I would definitely call a movie for adults to watch when a couple middle-aged empty nesters are trying to have that one night that month where they can watch something in the nude and go at each other like I do a plate of buffalo wings – hungrily and sloppily.
Now, the rest of the stuff is where things get real, real complex. The whole point of this movie. at least as advertised as an erotic thriller, was for Jessica to gain revenge for the death of Johnny, her lover. I’m not even going to call him her boyfriend because… Well, I’m not sure they were ever actually as committed to each other as she thought. Simpson failed in his job to save Johnny’s life, so Jessica sought to take his life in revenge for that. Whether or not she actually does is left open.
The reason for her erratic behavior is deeper than the revenge part. She’s dealing with loss. Lots and lots of loss. All at once. Yes, Johnny, but also possibly a baby(?), and her dog. Not only that, but she is also dealing with loss of those blockers that helped her repress the bad memories within her relationship with Johnny. Her world is totally upside down. Of course, she may be losing herself and/or her sanity as well.
But the big thing that seems to be playing a heavy role in this is how both Johnny and Simpson see their role in a sexual relationship. Both are alphas who feel they should exert some sort of control over their partners. Johnny basically wants Jessica to be his slave and fuck when and how he wants wherever. Simpson is someone who thinks himself above pretty much anyone else including his wife, and most definitely that hooker. By the end of the movie, all that loss, all those blockers dropping for Jessica to see through it all, she asserts dominance over Simpson. In fact, I believe when she and Simpson are together at the end, it’s the only time she is having a sexual encounter in the frame of the movie where she is not crying. It’s because she is in total control at this point and she’s got Simpson under HER control instead of her being someone else’s plaything.
Which brings me to my final point… This is the most bizarre rape revenge movie ever. How so? Well, it’s not a movie like Ms. 45 or I Spit on Your Grave where someone is attacked and she hunts down and kills a bunch of people in revenge. No… This is a movie in which Jessica seeks revenge for the death of… her rapist. Honestly, she is constantly telling Johnny she doesn’t like what he is doing to her but he takes it anyway. That is rape. She sets out to get revenge for the death of her rapist. That is a mind-blowing concept for me how this plays out. Never once did I feel like she was actually truly in real love with Johnny, but she’s in shock over her death and wants to kill the doctor she feels is responsible.
This movie is pretty darn great. It’s deep in interesting ways and Blanca Marsillach is amazing and beautiful to watch. There’s an undeniable 80s feel to it. No, not the stuff we see nowadays where people are dressed like the 80s with a bunch of 80s hits as a soundtrack and lots of pop culture references dropped. The fact the movie is indeed from 1986, the soundtrack, the way the film is shot and looks, and Marsillach brings this vibe that you would have left a major mark on late night cable.
If you want a little spice to your B-movie viewing tonight, check this movie out.
That does it for this week. Next up, well… Slavery was an element in this movie, and next week’s movie is Slavegirls from Beyond Infinity. Huh… How’s about that? Come back in seven days to get your fill!