Poor old Simona. Her once passionate marriage to engineer Marco has become stale – their raunchy sex life now reduced to the occasional bit of conventional rumpo. Soon her eyes are elsewhere and she enters into a series of sordid encounters with complete strangers in an attempt to put some spark back into her life.
You’ve got to hand it to the Italians – they know how to mistreat a lady. Lady of the Night is a ‘classic’ slice of eighties spaghetti smut, in which all the woman are sex-starved harlots in need of a good slap, and all the men are ugly, misogynistic goons ready to take these wenches in hand. Serena Grandi takes the lead as the troubled Simona – she was one of Italy’s most popular exploitation stars during this period, and her, er, talents, can also be witnessed in Tinto Brass’ similarly saucy Miranda. In Lady of the Night her character works as an aerobics instructor, which provides ample opportunity for her not-inconsiderable cleavage to be displayed in a variety of colourful leotards and for some groovy footage of pretty young things grinding away to a horrible disco beat.
Simona’s husband Marco seems like a nice enough fella, but he just doesn’t deliver the goods where it counts. In one particularly funny scene he is about to break down a door to ravage his wife when he is distracted by an aeronautical magazine; when he finally gets round to entering the bedroom he finds Simona finishing the ‘job’ herself. On the other hand, her illicit encounters with strangers are far from ordinary – she’s taken roughly from behind at the entrance to her apartment while Marco watches TV upstairs, and is pleasured with the barrel of a shotgun in a public toilet by a bearded clay pigeon shooter.
All of which is trashily entertaining, but both Simona’s life and the film take a turn for the worse around the hour mark when Marco catches her in flagrante with a creepy photographer who had been stalking her for weeks. Marco finally snaps and beats the shit out of both the photographer and his cheating spouse – from there on the film becomes a rather dull melodrama, as first Simona tries to win back Marco, and then vice versa after she finds him carrying on with their neighbour. That said, director Piero Schivazappa does save the best – or rather worst – for last, as a savage rape finally knocks some sense into our heroine. This would all be a lot more offensive if it wasn’t so silly, and for those romantics out there, Schivazappa gives us a happy ending that Richard Curtis would be proud of. Ahhhh!
Aka: La Signora Della Notte
[Argent Films' uncut Region 2 DVD presents the film in a dubbed, widescreen print and reinstates three minutes of raunchy footage originally removed by the BBFC.]