Monday, February 23, 2015
Digging Out With TOP MODEL
Mario Gariazzo is a director who produced some extremely odd films during his career, ranging from UFO conspiracy and sexploitation such as EYES BEHIND THE STARS and VERY CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND to Spaghetti Westerns like ACQUASANTA JOE and the infamous WHITE SLAVE, not to mention PLAY MOTEL, a thriller on the distinctly hard end of the "giallo" shaft of celluloid.
So, it was quite intriguing to see TOP MODEL, a latter day sex film that features such top of the bill talents like Florence Guerin and Martine Brochard hobnobbing with Marino Mase and a bunch of stock players that include Geretta Geretta – Rosemary from DEMONS – lounging in lingerie.
Sandwiched between his hot streak and the utterly bizarre THE BROTHER FROM SPACE, L'ATTRAZIONE (aka TOP MODEL) has enough odd flourishes in its short running time that you can tell it's Gariazzo's work, but only upon close inspection. With a Blu Ray of his EERIE MIDNIGHT HORROR SHOW recently released by Code Red, it's a shame this one isn't quite as bizarre. But, if you like 80s softcore, TOP MODEL is certainly worth watching.
Nadine is a fashion photographer out for shoot with a rich couple, and even as things wrap up it's clear the man of the house – Victor – is smitten by her. How could you not be, as she is frequently naked and was being being groped about and rubbing lustily against a stranger (Florence Guerin)?
Marino Mase and Guerin end up in a strange battle of wills, desires, chess with a handgun (you need to watch that bit to believe it) and a whole lot of nudity. Victor's wife, played by Martine Brochard, wobbles between anger and fascination as the scenarios play out. It's all good dirty fun with lots of dramatic dialog and references to literature mixed with tits and Mase's not-so-sensual ass... though I would take one for the team and shoot those scenes, too!
Gariazzo probably gets a bum rap at times, mostly because his films are so damn weird that they tend to feel almost like berserk parodies of the genre he's working in, but he has visual flair at times, and even in the 80s glut of films that would shimmy to cable around the world he presents work as stylish as Filmirage's output. Go ahead, you can snicker, but I do so love the Filmirage sexploitation catalog.
This, as with many of One 7's releases, is definitely a completist item and this particular Italian Skin Film obsessive was charmed by the film. It's not exactly loaded with tension, but the star is beautiful and the scenarios are just odd enough to keep it compelling.
One 7 does not shock in the visual department. The flick is not great looking, but I haven't seen it any other way and most likely we never will again on the US shores. The picture is soft looking (and yes, many European Sex Films were "shot that way" but I'm not referring to the cinematography) and in mono Italian with English subtitles.
Hardly a landmark, but Guerin's performance and sex appeal will draw you in. I just can't believe the retitling at One 7 (as per usual) since TOP MODEL is the cable and VHS name for Joe D'Amato's Filmirage presentation also on DVD as 11 DAYS, 11 NIGHTS PART 2. Cheeky!! Wait, that is the name of a Tinto Brass film, so... that could end up as the title for a Peter Bark movie where he plays a boy scout (yep, it exists, I've seen it). Best not give them more ideas!! – David Zuzelo
TOP MODEL is available from Amazon.