on May 25, 2007
This comedy is about two men in late Middle Ages Italy trying to bed each other's wives. Things are complicated by the fact that both men put their wives in to chastity belts, which only aids the women avoid sex with either of them. However, as the girls have both managed to procure duplicate keys, it hasn't slowed down their interest in other men, so there are assorted lovers secreted in or under various items of household furniture.
The comedy is based on light slapstick: falling down ladders, being clunked over the head with a pipe, brawling in the flour mill. That sort of thing. It has a lightweight script and plot which romps happily along and makes the movie reasonably enjoyable, aided by the Maciavellian machinations of all concerned.
What makes the movie even more enjoyable are the two female leads (Edwige Fenech, before she so tragically cut her hair, and Karin Schubert) who are both sensationally gorgeous and who are rarely fully clad. There is no full frontal nudity or graphic sex scenes, thus preventing the movie deteriorating into outright sleeze, but the ladies spend considerable time desporting themselves in only their chastity belts, which, although they are supposed to have been made by the local blacksmith, appear to have been designed by the Middle Ages equivalent of Victoria's Secret. There is a marvellous scene of Edwige running through the countryside in slow motion in only her chastity belt. This scene on its own makes the movie worth the price and demonstrates, without doubt, why healthy, naturally beautiful women are so much more attractive than modern anorexic, young skeletons with two halves of a basketball sewn on their chests. Especially when they are running topless! Oh, for the good old pre-plastiboob days!
In short, this movies is no masterpiece, but it is lightweight, sexy fun. Watch and enjoy! Oh, and watch for the priest with the reputation!
on November 13, 2010
In the realm of Italian sex comedies circa late 1960's through the mid 1980's, broad comic silliness bordering on outright stupidity prevailed; none of the biting social satire, bittersweet melancholia or neo-realistic nuances that made them great during the 50's - mid 60's were displayed, and they weren't being marketed outside of Italy. To say the humor is painted with broad, obvious strokes is an understatement - crude slapstick (something I personally despise), vulgar bathroom (again, not a fan) and bedroom jibes abound to the point of making Abbott and Costello appear like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and the Three Stooges like the Three Musketeers.
This film is one of those with 'loose ties' to The Decameron, medieval period costume farces which were abundant in the late 60's-early 70's and plumbed the erotic aspects of these tales, hence given the film term 'Decamerotica'. It isn't as obnoxious as some I've seen but, like the others, there are moments where the attempts at humor fall with resounding, repetitive thuds heard blocks away, yet a few moments can't be denied their jovial appeal. Thankfully, this effort is salvaged entirely by the talents and physical virtues of its two female stars, Edwige Fenech and Karin Schubert. If you're not enamored with these women, you have no right to be reading this, let alone seeing the film (unless the term cine-masochist rings a bell). For the most part, the characters are more cartoonish caricatures than people.
Pippo Franco stars as the trademark buffoonish soldier returning from war only to find out his wife (Karin Schubert), who he had fitted with a chastity belt (and what a belt it was!), had another key made and was, shall we say, somewhat unfaithful in his absence. She has lovers stashed all over the house - in barrels, cupboards, closets - you get the drift. His neighbor and he share rights to a stream that runs through both properties, and this man has similiar problems with his wife (Edwige Fenech), but these two must resolve this water dispute, and when Pippo sees the delectable Fenech, he falls over himself in lust. So the two males attempt to bed down each others wives, sometimes with humorous, sometimes with painful (to the viewer) results. That's all one can say without giving the rest away.
As stated, the leading ladies are the primary reasons to endure this lampoon, but it wasn't as painful to sit through as 'Lady Medic' or the 'The Schoolteacher Collection', other Fenech comedies from the 70's that are akin to having a root canal without anesthesia. I know this doesn't sound like a glowing recommendation, primarily `cause it's not, but as a longtime follower of Fenech's fertile flesh, I had to see it, and was glad I did. If you're in her choir, it's mandatory - if not, avoid.
I would strongly suggest seeking out the NoShame edition of this film, as it's a far superior print to the MYA (an acronym for "mislead your audience") release - the MYA version is bare-bones, no features, etc. The NoShame edition has better subtitles, a booklet, featurettes w/ Fenech, trailers, a shagadelic sex reel - you'll feel better about yourself in the morning with this one - all naked and warm...