Jessica (Blanca Marsillach) is a sexually confused and repressed young lady who is deeply in love with Johnny (Stefano Madia), a hot young musician who also is deeply in love with Jessica. The two of them have several sexual adventures, each time Johnny pushing Jessica in directions she doesn’t want to go but finds exhilarating thrills when she does. He is the domme in a reluctant relationship, one which Jessica resists but constantly gives in to. But Jessica can’t live without him, and when Johnny has a motorcycle accident and dies on the operating table, her mind snaps. She blames the doctor for incompetence and kidnaps him. Now the tables are turned and she is the aggressive one in control. She sexually tortures the doctor, not ever hurting him too badly, but completely and totally dominating him. The doctor, a philandering macho man before he gets kidnapped, finds true release in his captivity. In the end, the two of them have rowdy sex and we are left wondering what is next, as Jessica eyes a pistol, contemplating killing the doctor for good.
Here is a Lucio Fulci film I had not seen before. It comes after his wild cycle of crazed Horror films in the early to mid-80s and is an obvious attempt at entering the erotic thriller market. There’s shades of 9 ½ Weeks in here, as well as bits of the cruelty found in his earlier catalogue, reaching back to his giallos of the 70s. The film is kind of a mess and meanders quite a bit, jumping back and forth between flashbacks and present-day shenanigans. Johnny and Jessica’s relationship is roughly romanticized by Jessica, even as it seems contradictorily cruel. There is a perversion and callousness to all the sex in this film, and when Jessica takes the upper hand, that doesn’t change. Tons of nudity in this one, so if you can’t handle that, you should probably stay away. But yes, lots of bush and boobs, some ass, but no dongs. The sex itself falls short of hardcore but not by much. The thing that I really liked about this film, and something I think people totally miss out on when it comes to this period of Fulci films, is the sense of humor going on here. Things are over the top and funny as hell, the emotions reaching operatic heights. I don’t think this stems from inept direction or bad acting; I think it’s on purpose. The actors will be quite excellent one moment and then histrionic the next. I think that’s all Fulci winking at us, telling us not to take it so seriously. Also, when you have a guy fucking a girl with his saxophone while he’s playing it, you can’t really do anything other than smile and maybe even laugh a little. It’s like Fulci is saying, “You thought that scene in 9 ½ Weeks was crazy? Check this shit out!” And it is this absurdity that makes the movie so enjoyable and memorable.
So yeah, this ain’t Horror, although it has some blood in it, and plenty of brutality. This is Fulci trying to break into a developing market, I think, and take on a new direction with his career, one echoing back to his early filmmaking days, touching on his comedy films and his giallo. It works quite well, because the sex is wild and the perversity steamy, and the sexual politics is confusing and yet compelling. But whoever his investors were wanted more blood and horror, so this one becomes a bit of a one-off. I would have loved to see what he did with more movies like this. Would they have become increasingly insane like his Horror films did? In any case, if you’re a Fulci fan, here’s a chance to see him being outrageous in a different, but quite similar way. Check it out because it’s weird, man, in all the right ways.