Newest Reviews
Song Without a Name
Incident in a Ghostland
Now, At Last!
Tales from the Hood
Radio Parade of 1935
Death at Broadcasting House
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Newest Articles
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
  Maladolescenza Growing Pains
Year: 1977
Director: Pier Giuseppe Murgia
Stars: Lara Wendel, Eva Ionesco, Martin Loeb, Xylot
Genre: Horror, Drama, Sex, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Young teenagers Fabrizio (Martin Loeb) and Laura (Lara Wendel) spend their summer holidays playing in the woods. Indulging a morbidly perverse streak, Fabrizio is prone to tying Laura to a tree so a snake can crawl along her body, or else has his vicious German Shepherd chase her through the forest. Nevertheless, Laura remains devoted and the pair take their first, fumbling steps towards sexual maturity, becoming lovers. However, Fabrizio becomes captivated by doll-like, blonde beauty Sylvia (Eva Ionesco) and invites her to join their sadistic games. They make Laura their maidservant, don animal masks and chase her with bows and arrows, and force her to watch them having sex. Inevitably, things come to a nasty end.

Well, how did you spend your school holidays? If all this sounds quite sordid, perhaps it is to a certain extent, yet Maladolescenza is equally artful and unsettling. Writer-director Pier Giuseppe Murgia deliberately excludes the adult world as the forest becomes a dark fairytale setting for psychosexual angst. Like a number of European psychosexual dramas - and Larry Clark movies for that matter - this gets hysterically overwrought over its thesis that adolescence turns kids into monsters. It also betrays a certain bourgeois suspicion of sexual curiosity, blondes and kids in general, but conjures a surprisingly lyrical atmosphere of morbid romance, eroticism and horror.

The explicit nudity and sex scenes come disturbingly close to child porn, although they serve the story and are portrayed in manner more darkly poetic than exploitative. Viewers might be more disturbed by the sight of a real bird being pierced by arrows when Sylvia and Fabrizio play target practice. It remains something of a mystery why these girls are drawn to Fabrizio (introduced asleep in darkness like a Caravaggio nude), since he comes across as a neurotically self-absorbed little twerp, prone to violent mood swings and hissy fits. He has some unintentionally funny outbursts, such as when he sets his dog on Laura, then scolds it for chasing her, then screams at Laura for making him yell at the animal. Both canine and girl look confused. Yet aspects of Fabrizio’s psychological cruelty ring true, even if we never really figure out what’s going on inside his head. Which may be appropriate as events become as confusing and troubled as adolescence itself.

Of the three leads Lara Wendel went on to a career in Euro-horror including roles in Rings of Darkness (1979), You’ll Die At Midnight (1985) and most famously Dario Argento’s giallo masterpiece Tenebrae (1982) although Eva Ionesco is equally impressive as the preteen femme fatale. It is unsettling to ponder that Ionesco likely landed her role because she was the most prominent paedophilic porn model of the Seventies. The fact that there even was such a thing back then is upsetting enough. From the age of five she was the favourite muse of her mother, the famous Romanian photographer Irina Ionesco. Encouraged by her mother, Eva began appearing magazines in erotic and provocative poses becoming a sensation in art-porn at age ten and giving Louis Malle the inspiration for his most controversial film, Pretty Baby (1978) starring another underage sex symbol Brooke Shields. More happily, Ionesco parlayed her notoriety into a more mainstream movie career proving herself an accomplished actress. She eventually turned writer-director with the autobiographical My Little Princess (2011), a scathing indictment of her coldly manipulative mother.

Click here to watch a clip

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam


This review has been viewed 13128 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: