HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
Astronaut
Peanut Butter Falcon, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  What? perversions in paradise
Year: 1973
Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Sydne Rome, Marcello Mastroianni, Hugh Griffith, Roman Polanski, Romolo Valli, Guido Alberti, Gianfranco Piacentini, Henning Schlüter, Christiane Barry, Pietro Tordi, Nerina Montagnani, Mogens von Gadow, Dieter Hallervorden, Elisabeth Witte, John Karlsen
Genre: Comedy, Sex, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: Escaping a carload of would-be rapists, naïve but cute, American tourist Nancy (Sydne Rome) becomes lost inside a labyrinthine villa beside the sun-kissed, Amalfi coast. It’s a curious place, where time runs in circles and only Nancy notices events repeat themselves with tiny variations. Our frequently naked heroine has a series of kinky encounters with the oddball inhabitants, including syphilitic ex-pimp Alex (the great Marcello Mastroianni), jittery spear gun-wielding Mosquito (Roman Polanski), and dying patriarch Joseph Noblart (Hugh Griffith) whose ecstatic lust for the beautiful girl reaches a poetic end.

Following the tragic death of wife Sharon Tate and the bloody catharsis of Macbeth (1971), legendary filmmaker Roman Polanski clearly felt the need to lighten up. Hence this playful, perverse, but light-hearted sex comedy which drops allusions to Alice in Wonderland - a potent source for many erotic fantasies. It’s a world where people wander around naked, fornicate in front of strangers and merrily compliment the heroine’s boobs. Mastroianni is resplendently reptilian as the oily, yet oddly vulnerable cad who dresses like a tiger so Nancy will whip him silly as a prelude to wild sex.

With her bouncy, blonde curls and blue eyes, sun-tanned sylphlike Sydne Rome evokes the erotic fumetti heroines of Milo Manara. The downside of many counterculture sex comedies is that faint whiff of misogyny born from their reluctance to let their heroine share the fun. Like Barbarella (1968) and Candy (1969), the lovable heroine obligingly does as she is told even when molested or verbally abused by strangers. When Nancy tries to play along with Alex’s policeman fantasy, he cruelly slaps her. You keep wanting her to fight back, but she is required to play the victim. That familiar Polanski paranoia resurfaces when conspiring houseguests giggle at Nancy’s expense or read aloud from her diary. And yet Polanski’s affections clearly lie with his heroine, who rekindles jaded Joseph’s joie-de-vivre with a glimpse of her private parts (“What splendour!”). Amidst surreal skits that recall Polanski’s early, short films, a uniquely 1970s combination of erotic abandon and indestructible innocence carry Nancy through to the puckish, post-modern ending.

Beautifully shot around the luxurious villa decorated with original Picasso and Degas artworks owned by producer Carlo Ponti, and scored with snatches of classical music. A lovely interlude sees Nancy perform a Mozart piano duet with an arthritic maestro. For all its lapses, this evokes Polanski’s love of life, a facet that underlines even his bleakest movies. Severin’s region 2 DVD includes interviews with composer Claudio Gizzi, cinematographer Marcello Gatti (who shot interiors while exteriors were handled by Peppino Ruzzolini), and the lively, insightful Sydne Rome. Also included is the original European trailer that condenses all the nude scenes into two minutes. Which is nice.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2576 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roman Polanski  (1933 - )

French-born Polish director who has been no stranger to tragedy - his mother died in a concentration camp, his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by the Manson family - or controversy - he was arrested for raping a 13-year-old girl in the late 1970s.

Polanski originally made an international impact with Knife in the Water, then left Poland to make Cul-de-Sac and Repulsion in Britain. More acclaim followed with Rosemary's Baby and Chinatown in Hollywood, but his work after escaping America has been inconsistent. At his best, he depicts the crueller side of humanity with a pitch black sense of humour. He also takes quirky acting roles occasionally.

Other films include Dance of the Vampires, adaptations of Macbeth and Tess, What?, The Tenant, dire comedy Pirates, thriller Frantic, the ridiculous Bitter Moon, Death and the Maiden and The Ninth Gate. He won an Oscar for directing Holocaust drama The Pianist, which he followed with an adaptation of Oliver Twist and political thriller The Ghost; he nearly did not complete the latter having been re-arrested on that rape charge. Next were adaptation of stage plays Carnage and Venus in Fur.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: