Monday, October 26, 2015

"Le foto di Gioia" (1987) d/ Lamberto Bava

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I can't believe we've never covered this one over the last eight years. I must have had it laid out and unfairly collecting archival dust for two or three, at least. It's a weird giallo, original and visually striking if moderately bloodless in it's delivery of wanton nudity and sleaze, instead of the usual red stuff. You give me a pack of butts, a phatty nug for my Lions helmet-bowl, and a sleazy giallo, and I'm one or two petite brunettes with a platter full of grapes away from an enchanting evening, for sure.Make that a sleazy giallo featuring the Italian Dolly Parton herself, Serena Grandi, supported here by the likes of Daria Nicolodi, the Grim Reaper himself, Luigi Montefiore aka/ George Eastman,  David Brandon, and Capucine, with a soundtrack by Simon Boswell, like tonight's review, and it's one for the ages, more often than not.

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"You're not still pissed about that time I pulled your uterus out and ate it, are you?", asks Alex (George Eastman).
How's this for a stretch...Gioia (Serena Grandi), a retired...model, ahem...focuses on the successful new men's publication called "Pussycat" she heads with the help of assistant Evelyn (Daria Nicolodi) and her photographer brother, Tony (Vanni Corbellini), until one of her models dies photographically on of her memorable former sets, something one would naturally assume is going to occur more than once in a picture like this. It does, and often in a surreal, red-filtered fashion, with the cover models/victims' heads metamorphosizing into giant veiny eyeballs, and the anonymous killer artistically propping the fresh corpses against a sofa in front of blown up, titular photos of Gioia, sending the morbid photographic compositions to the chesty heroine. 

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You ask what it'd take for this guy to judge on American Idol? Well, for starters...
There's the dirty prank calls Gioia receives from an adolescent crippled perv next door neighbor named Mark who displays frustration and bitterness at the loss of his girlfriend in the car crash that has left him an obsessive invalid. As the bodies start to pile up, Gioia becomes convinced she'll be the next victim on the list, though towards the middle, the film bogs down with a mostly unnecessary (much cozier than their work together in D'Amato's Anthropophagus) love angle involving Gioia and Alex (George Eastman), that seemingly puts a freeze on the strange murders and Inspector Corsi's (Lino Salemme of "Demoni" (1985) and "Demoni 2" (1986) fame) ongoing investigation, but Alex doesn't stick around for long. Eventually, after having discovered another new cadaver in a huge multi-level clothing outlet, Gioia encounters the cackling, shadowy murderer for herself, leading to a wild, twist-filled finale that should satisfy you, once you've secured yourselves a copy, which I suggest you do.

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Spoiler: Stellar costume design like this guarantees at least two wops.
I could give you the usual genre pedigree of some of the cast and crew as you'd expect, or I could go on at some length about Ms. Grandi's abundant, fleshy assets. My inner demons have advised me to inform you that masculinity has again won the day, so Serena's thick, pillowy,  physical beauty of larger-than-life pin up proportions, it is. Her massive milkwagons, on full display here, are truly awe-inspiring to a bobbler-backer from way back, like myself, perfectly complimenting the luxuriant curves of her body, which would not be out of place, represented in marble in the Roman garden of a high-ranking official of the halcyon days of the empire. Insert two banger cigarette break right here. Check out her work with Ass-man extraordinaire, Tinto Brass, and exploitative pornographer supreme, Aristide Massaccesi aka/ Joe D'Amato for depth, ahem...anatomical study. Two Wops on the scale, and certainly worth a peek.

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"Get closer to the microscope, I still can't see Ms. Grandi's wardrobe..."
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