Fulci is back yet again on B-Movie Enema. Why? Because ol’ Lucio needs more attention if I’m being honest. Sure, I’ve covered many of his movies in the past, but there are oh so many more that I could cover. What better place to dig into more of his filmography than with the Gates of Hell trilogy of his?
So, here we are. I’ve packed my bags, bought my plane tickets, and have landed in the City of the Living Dead. This is Fulci in what’s likely his prime. He’s not too far off from his major success of Zombie (known in Italy as Zombi 2, but I’m not going to get into all that Italian titling business). That pretty much wrote a check for Fulci to do whatever he really wanted. He first stopped off with a crime action flick, Contraband, but started developing the idea of City of the Living Dead. This film was greenlit while he was working on the action flick, so, he took off and left Contraband under the direction of his assistant to get to work on City of the Living Dead.
It’s wild to think that a director can just leave a production to start his next, but Italy is a wild place, man.
Here we are in the third week of Tinto Brass Extravaganza at B-Movie Enema, and, so far, we’ve had a sex comedy with very confusing messaging and a very serious erotic Nazi drama. This week, we do something different again – we have ourselves an anthology. Private, as it is titled here, is made up of six independent vignettes.
The vignettes largely deal with couples and their various sexual turn-ons and either retelling stories that feature them or a pursuit of doing these things. Mostly, we’re looking into the lives of normal people who have kinks. The title in Italian is Fallo! which is translated to English as Do It! However, Fallo is also the Italian word for Phallus. So it’s a little bit of a play on words again as with the Italian title for Cheeky! a couple weeks ago.
Just guessing, but I assume all the potential titles that you can use for this film all tips the film’s hand at showing these private moments of couples, their perversions, and the tendency of these people to want to, or be encouraged to continue to, keep doing what they are doing. I will give Brass one thing – he has lovely free association with his titles and plots. Also, the Italian Fallo! cover of this movie looks like a dick with a giant set of balls. Also, the Private DVD cover looks like an American back room porno tape.
Welcome back to B-Movie Enema and this month’s theme, Tinto Brass Extravaganza!
Wowzers did things get started in a real weird way last week with Cheeky! That movie created all sorts of incredibly confusing thoughts and feelings. Taken on its face, it’s about this drop dead gorgeous woman and her sexual exploits from Italy to England. Taken on a slightly different level, it’s more of a sexual fairy tale of twists and turns in a world where EVERYONE is getting laid. Maybe, just maybe, it really is meant to be taken on that face value based on its popular English title. On the other hand, its Italian title is a play on the words for transgress and betray. Using that, it’s (potentially) a much darker movie than you think. It’s not something to compare so much to the popular Emanuelle films, but instead a much more immature porn film.
So to fix that, this week, we’re looking at Black Angel – an erotic Nazi film.
So far, it seems as though 2022 is about squaring some accounts. In January, it was all about finally digging deep into the Andy Sidaris filmography. For February, I have another box set long overdue for a-crackin’. With that, welcome to B-Movie Enema’s new theme month: The Tinto Brass Extravaganza!
I did not set out to cover these four films that came in this lovely “Tinto Brass: Maestro of Erotic Cinema” box set in order. I didn’t even get the box set because I knew much about it. But, as it would turn out, these four films will be done in order of Brass’ films from 2000 to 2006. We begin with Cheeky! – which is a fun title for a movie that I have lots of concerns with.
How I came to know about this film is actually quite simple… I stumbled upon the opening credits scene of an incredibly beautiful blonde (Ukrainian model/actress Yuliya Mayarchuk) walking through the park with a beguiling outfit that often shows a little cheeky flesh here and there to get the guys nice and excited. I had to learn more about what this film was and who this gorgeous woman was. I found out what it was called, that it was part of a box set, and that this guy Tinto Brass was the maestro of erotic cinema.
Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before ol’ B-Movie Enema returned to the world of 70s nazisploitation.
This week, we’re talking about the 1977 Italian flick The Beast in Heat. Now, try to keep up here. The movie was originally called La Bestia in calore which is the Italian translation of The Beast in Heat. I point this out because you can look and see that the director on this is “Ivan Kathansky”. That name makes you think, “Ooh! It’s a Russian director! This is either extra spicy because it is a movie about a Nazi monster made by a damn, dirty Commie, or… Or…” I don’t know how to end that sentiment other than to make sure you understand that I’m thinking this is a Commie Nazi movie.
However, the director is actually Luigi Batzella, which now makes me think of a giant monster bat tearing apart a Japanese town. Kathansky is not the only pseudonym of Batzella’s, but that’s notable because critic Tim Lucas of Sight & Sound stated that this film is so reprehensible that there’s not a single real name associated with anyone in the movie. Exactly how true that is, I don’t know, but with a reputation like that, B-Movie Enema had to come calling.
I love cats. Guys, I don’t mind saying it. I’m not a dog person. In fact, for the vast majority of the last 29 years, I’ve lived with at least one cat, and very often with two. These cats are as good as kids from my perspective. Most of those cats have been partners in crime with me. So, I guess you can say I have something in common with our lead in this week’s movie, The Black Cat.
However, this is only very loosely based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story by the same name. In that, it’s about a man and his wife who love animals. In particular, he seems to have a special bond with a large, black cat. When he develops an addiction to the sauce, the cat decides he doesn’t really like the guy anymore which is only made worse by the drunk man torturing the cat by removing its eye, and even hanging the cat from a tree.
This 1843 story has been the inspiration, suggestion, or basis for many a film version. Universal Studios twice made movies “suggested” by the story, but neither held any kind of similarity outside having a black cat in them. Multiple times, Italians have made adaptations of this like Sergio Martino’s Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (a title that just rolls off the tongue) in 1971, Dario Argento’s version in the anthology film Two Evil Eyes, and then Fulci’s version that we’re going to talk about today.