HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
   
 
Newest Articles
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree 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 3113 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: