HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
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
Ip Man 4: The Finale
Card, The
Bloodshot
Intruder, The
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
   
 
  Trap, The Caught by wanton women!
Year: 1985
Director: Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Stars: Laura Antonelli, Tony Musante, Florinda Bolkan, Blanca Marsillach, Cristina Marsillach, Laura Troschel, José Maria Bastos, Achille Brugnini, Manuel Tienda
Genre: Drama, Sex, Thriller, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ageing playboy Michael (Tony Musante) is already having an affair with the married Hélène (Florinda Bolkan) when he spies an old flame, Marie (Laura Antonelli), in the apartment next door. Many years ago, Michael drew an innocent teenage Marie (Cristina Marsillach) into his kinky S&M sex games, only to abandon her for his next conquest. Now he jumps at the chance to pick up where they left off. But the morning after, Michael awakens to find himself tied to the bed as a vengeful Marie sets out to abuse and humiliate him. After days as a captive sex slave, Michael sees a chance to escape by seducing Marie’s daughter, Jacqueline (Blanca Marsillach), who turns out to be even more unhinged than her mother.

If there was a game called Six Degrees of Italian Horror then La Gabbia or The Trap, also known as Dead Fright in some territories, would serve admirably as some kind of Kevin Bacon style nexus point. Not only was the screenplay co-written by none other than Lucio Fulci in collaboration with Francisco Barilli, director of the celebrated giallo The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974), but the cast includes Fulci collaborators both past (Florinda Bolkan in A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971) and Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)) and future (Blanca Marsillach in The Devil’s Honey (1986)) alongside Tony Musante who played the male lead in Dario Argento’s groundbreaking giallo The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969). As if that weren’t enough, director Giuseppe Patroni Griffi previously made Metti, una sera a cena (1969), a film pairing Bolkan and Musante with a script written by Argento, while the beautiful Cristina Marsillach went on to star in Opera (1987) directed by, yup, Dario Argento. It’s a small world, ain’t it?

The Trap is not a horror movie so much as another of those morbid psychosexual dramas that proliferated in Italy in the wake of Last Tango in Paris (1972) and The Night Porter (1974). By the Eighties these kinds of arty soft-core movies were being overshadowed by glossily dumb Hollywood erotic thrillers like Fatal Attraction (1987), with which this shares some themes and a fair few failings in common. While the film puports to skewer the misogynistic mentality of heartless womanizers like Michael, in reality it reinforces an irksome Italian cinema stereotype that beneath the most elegant, rational-seeming woman lurks a sex crazed animal craving male domination.

If watching Michael indulge his S&M impulses with the naive young Marie was not queasy enough, the sight of psychotic nymphet Jacqueline succumbing to his advances edges the film further into middle-aged fantasy, with a further unsettling implication given we never really learn the identity of her father. Michael certainly suffers, bound naked and led around like a dog, but the film isn’t especially critical of his past actions. It is not abuse but abandonment that drives Marie. Once Michael is in their clutches, both women seem more intent on ravishing than torturing him, though things soon get out of hand when he tries to leave. Even so the film is an unlikely precursor to “torture porn” unless one considers being forced to watch Laura Antonelli and Blanca Marsillach cavorting in kinky underwear particularly torturous. Antonelli began her career as pretty much the one good thing about Mario Bava’s worst film, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs (1966), before becoming a celebrated sex star in the likes of Venus in Furs (1970) and the acclaimed Malizia (1973). Thereafter she graduated to increasingly ambitious roles in movies by major auteurs, notably L’innocente (1976), the last film by Luchino Visconti, Passione d’Amore (1981) by Ettore Scola and Wifemistress (1977) which combined her twin aspects as sex symbol and serious actress. Patroni previously directed one of Antonelli’s most acclaimed films, Divina Creatura (1975), though he remains perhaps most infamous for Identikit (1974) a.k.a. The Driver’s Seat which paired Elizabeth Taylor with Andy Warhol in a rare acting role.

For what it is, The Trap is well crafted and fairly involving, but fatally silly with its tendency to brand all women as potentially dangerous and unstable. Even Hélène drags her little son away from home on Christmas day in search of her feckless lover and shrugs off revelations of his numerous infidelities with “a man is a man.” Interestingly, it is the little boy who proves the undoing of our antiheroines and is drawn as a potential misogynist in the making as he describes his young playmate as “a stupid porter’s daughter” and innocently, if significantly remarks: “Why do girls always try to play boys’ games? They’re just not good at them.” Shot in English, the film is well acted by the strong cast although dodgy sound recording renders some lines hard to follow. Ennio Morricone supplies the disco funk score.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2700 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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: