One from the to watch pile…
Top Sensation aka The Seducers (1969)
Film: Shameless Screen Entertainment have to be given credit for releasing some movies that most companies would never even give a sly sideways look at. This film, aka The Seducers is probably one of those films… I can’t really see Disney or Sony whipping this out amongst their cheery chick flicks, sad message-filled animated tear-jerkers and rom coms!
This film was written and directed by Ottavio Alessi, who gave us the films Emanuelle in America and Emmanuelle in Bangkok, which should be a fairly big clue as to what to expect with this film. It was co-written by Nelda Minucci, whom has no other cinematic credits and Lorenzo Riciardi, who did a few bits and pieces but is really only known for directing 1961’s Venera Creola.
Ok, so buckle up for this story!
Mudy (Maud Belleroche) wants her clearly brain damaged son, Tony (Ruggero Miti) to lose his virginity, so she invites her friends of loose morals, married couple Aldo (Maurizio Bonuglia)and Paola (Rosalba Neri) and whore Ulla (Edwige Fenech) on a sailing boat trip to help him with his ‘problem’.
Unfortunately, their boat gets stuck on a sandbar and they attempt to get help from the goat farmers on the island close by, engaging in various disturbing sexual adventures here and there, but Tony is quite taken by the farmer’s wife Beba (Eva Thulin) and when Aldo spots this he starts machinations to get her to pop his cherry, which include kidnap.
This of course leads to further crimes on their cruise of doom….
This is when of those times that even though a film may not be very good, at least someone has gone to the trouble of restoring it to their best efforts. I would rather see a film, no matter how bad, than think it may have been lost forever.
To that point, having a film with both Edwige Fenech and Rosalba Neri restored isn’t a bad thing in the slightest.
This would definitely make a disturbed double feature with Nico Mastorakis’ Island of Death, though that film is far superior… Yeah, that’s right: I’m saying that Island of Death is BETTER than something else! Over and above any issues with the actual restoration, the problem with this film is the film itself. Sure there is some great footage of Fenech, Neri and Thulin ever so slightly in states of undress, and even some of the scenery is beautiful, but the story isn’t compelling, the ending is flat and some of the acting is overblown and annoying.
The real difficult thing for me is I really like to see cruel people punished at the end of films, and there doesn’t seem to be any come uppence in this film, which would be OK if it attempted to be a dark, disturbed film, but it doesn’t come across as that either, possibly due to the performances being almost pantomime, but also due to the summery, holiday environment.
Basically, one shouldn’t attempt to sell a film on the basis that one of the female characters gets cunnalingus from a goat.
Format: It’s difficult to judge this film too harshly on its quality as it is a rebuild of a film from 1969 that Shameless had done of the total film from a variety of sources, but I have to report honestly. This release goes for 91 minutes and the visuals, presented in 1.33:1 is covered in various artefacts and hairs and isn’t very sharp! The sound comes in Dolby Digital 2.0 and switches with no warning from English to Italian (with English subtitles) throughout. I guess you don’t want a warning, as that may make the film a bit stuttered, and you do eventually get used to it, to the point you don’t even really notice it at all!
Extras: The disc opens with trailers for future Shameless release The Sect, and current releases of The Sister of Ursula and Formula for a Murder, before hitting the menu screen.
Of Goats and Boats is a subtitled feature lincensed by Shameless from Cinema Obscura and is a series of interviews with Rosalba Neri and Salvatore Puntillo. Interesting for us and nostalgic for them, I think.
The alternate ending was just stupid, and really, not entirely different.
Whilst I am normally a detractor of stills galleries, this one was OK as it wasn’t just freeze frames from the movie but instead was a selection of promo material for the film, done as a slide show over a portion of the soundtrack.
There is also a trailer park, featuring trailers of The Bronx Warriors Trilogy, Love Goddess of the Cannibals, Satan’s Baby Doll, Beat in Space, New York Ripper, Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Cannibal Holocaust, Almost Human, Don’t Torture a Duckling, House on the Edge of the Park, Foir Flies on Grey Velvet, Dellamorte Dellamore, Amsterdamned, The Nurse, Viva, Formula for a Murder, 10th Victim, Contraband, Washing Machine and The Sister of Ursula.
I have to also point out I am a sucker for a reversible sleeve, and this has one as seen above, and another that’s pretty average, but it’s the thought that counts.
WISIA: I don’t want to seem harsh, but I can’t imagine ever needing to ever watch this film ever again for any reason whatsoever.