La settima donna(1978)

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La settima donna(1978) aka “last house on the beach” “terror”

directed by:Franco Prosperi

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German vhs sleeve

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Argentinean vhs sleeve

cast:Florinda Bolkan, Ray Lovelock, Flavio Andreini

Ένα υπόδειγμα ευρωπαικού exploitation/horror κινηματογράφου,αυτό είναι το “Τerror” και τίποτα λιγότερο.

Τρεις ληστές καταφεύγουν σε μια θερινή παραθαλάσσια κατοικία.Εκεί βρίσκεται μια ομάδα μαθητριών μαζί με τη συνοδό τους αδελφή Christina(Florinda Bolkan).Σύντομα οι νεαρές γυναίκες θα βιώσουν τον απόλυτο τρόμο στα χέρια των κακοποιών.Κακοποιημένες σωματικά και ψυχικά θα μεταμορφωθούν από θύματα σε θύτες και θα κατασπαράξουν τους τρεις άνδρες.

Πολύ θεωρούν τη συγκεκριμένη ταινία σαν ένα rip-off του “last house on the left”.Eγω έχω να καταθέσω οτι και να ισχύει αυτό,το συγκεκριμένο φίλμ είναι ένα διαμαντάκι,με ένα σενάριο και μια σκηνοθεσία υποδείγματα ρυθμου,πανέμορφη φωτογραφία από τον Cristiano Pogany(βλέπε “L’occhio dietro la parete”)και ερμηνείες που απεικονίζουν με απόλυτη αληθοφάνεια τα κατώτερα ένστικτα και το απάνθρωπο πρόσωπο του ανθρώπου.Οι όποιες ομοιότητες του “Terror” με το “last house on the left” εξαντλούνται στο σαδιστικό αξίωμα ανδρας=θύτης,γυναίκα=θύμα και για ν κλείσω το θέμα κάπου εδώ όσο αρχετυπικη και επιδραστική και αν είναι η ταινία του Craven,τούτο εδώ το φίλμ μου φαίνεται ποιο ολοκληρωμένη δημιουργία σε όλα τα επίπεδα.

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‘Ενα πορτραίτο της ανθρώπινης σκληρότητας με ένα συγκλονιστικό τέλος.Exploitation με νόημα και Eurohorror στα καλύτερά του…

Δείτε το…

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A perfect example of a great exploitation movie is what I’m presenting in late night movie crypt tonight.

Partly influenced by Wes Craven’s paramount “Last house on the left”, “La settima donna” is a lot more than a mere rip-off movie.It’s a great study in human psychology and sadism and a great display of how the “sheep” when threatened can turn into “wolves”.Of course haters are always going to hate and will claim that the film is not original or that it takes advantage of gratuitous sexual and physical violence,but after all it’s an Italian politically incorrect exploitation movie featuring arthouse cinematography and  done with an overall great sense of pacing.

A bunch of three robbers flee to a coastal area and they invade a house inhabited by a group of female students.The students are on vacation rehearsing a theatrical play supervised by Sister Christina(F.Bolkan).The leader of the robbers’ bunch(R.Lovelock) is trying to keep the rest of the gang with their pants zipped,but he is  also a man  of contradictions himself.While he seems like the most refined of the crew,he is as callous and heartless as the rest of his mates.The girls are subjected in a myriad of ordeals and tribulations until one of them dies as a result of her being raped with a cane.This event will signal a change in the girls’ behavior and they will brutally vindicate the death of their friend…

With ‘La settima donna” Prosperi really nailed the formula of success.His direction is impeccable,the cinematography by C.Pogany is almost of arthouse quality with some really inspired compositions and the performances by the entire cast are impressive.

In some ways this is a more complete movie than “Last house on the left”.While Craven’s film definitely paved the way for countless of imitators and zillions of rip-offs,still it is an immature sample of its creator’s craft.In “la settima donna”Prosperi effectively develops his characters and the story is overall  credible.The viewer can’t help being appalled by the deeds of the robbers and of course will applaud the cathartic finale.Yet the curtains’ fall will  leave a bitter and hard to stomach feeling, as the viewer watches a pure soul(Sister Christina),initially unwilling to follow the violent frenzy,finally snapping and giving in to the psychological corruption that hate and violence bring.This is just another image of wasted human potential.

A great sample of visceral eurocult cinema.

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