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  So Young, So Lovely, So Vicious sex, blackmail and dune buggies!Buy this film here.
Year: 1975
Director: Silvio Amadio
Stars: Gloria Guida, Dagmar Lassander, Silvano Tranquilli, Fred Robsham, Felicitia Ghia, Rita Orlando, Flavio Sorrentino
Genre: Drama, Sex
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gorgeous, yet spiteful, blonde teenager Angela (Gloria Guida) is vexed when her father Doctor Batrucchi (Silvano Tranquilli) returns home with his lovely, new bride-to-be Irene (Dagmar Lassander). Aided by her sleazy boyfriend Sandro (Fred Robsham), Angela digs into Irene’s past and discovers a history of psychological problems. Irene was traumatised by a failed lesbian love affair and after years of counselling, has latched onto kindly Doctor Batrucchi as a means of preserving her sanity. Angela seduces Irene, planning to blackmail and humiliate her, but unexpectedly begins falling for the sweet, gentle soul. Tragedy beckons when Sandro intervenes, pushing Irene over the edge.

So Young, So Lovely, So Vicious (love that title!) is a strange, schizophrenic movie. On the one hand it’s a soft-core sexploitation picture, on the other it’s a heartfelt psychological melodrama with some surprisingly affecting scenes. The sleaze quotient probably counts against it as serious drama, but exploitation fans craving titillation will relish Euro-goddesses Dagmar Lassander and Gloria Guida copulating in artfully arranged poses. What lifts this above ordinary sex films is Dagmar Lassander as Irene, a deeply sympathetic, tragic heroine whose sole desire is to make friends and reconnect with normal life. There is a sublime scene where Angela introduces Irene to Sandro and his boorish buddies. Irene saunters out in a gossamer dress, sits down and begins playing a mandolin. Her grace and gentility slowly mesmerize the young thugs, as they sit in silent awe. It’s surreal, silly, moving and magical all at once. A scene you could only find in Euro-cult cinema.

Lassander was no stranger to victimised heroines, after her striking work in the pop-art sexploitation picture The Frightened Woman (1969), and giallo Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970). Off screen, Lassander’s hedonistic lifestyle sadly took its toll upon her beauty, something Lucio Fulci cruelly exploited when he featured her in The Black Cat (1981) and The House by the Cemetery (1981). Gloria Guida is also very good here (except for one scene, more on that later). She appeared in a string of sex comedies, usually cast as a teenage temptress, but could handle heavy drama, including Fernando Di Leo’s gruelling, misogynistic To Be Twenty (1978). Guida worked several times with Silvio Amadio (including La minorenne (1974), Quella Eta Maliziosa (1975), and Il Medico La Studentessa (1976)), who was actually in love with her. His feelings were not reciprocated and according to actress Barbara Bouchet, whom Amadio directed in the steamy giallo Amuck! (1972), he eventually joined a monastery!

The heartrending indignities Irene suffers keep the movie compelling from start to finish. Its melancholy air survives Roberto Pregadio’s cheesy Euro-pop score, and the slightly silly dune-buggy chase climax. However, the tragic ending is somewhat undermined when it becomes obvious that Gloria Guida, while meant to be grief-stricken, has clearly succumbed to the giggles.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


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