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Madness

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  •  
    Horace Cordier
    Senior Member

  • Madness



    Released by: Raro Video
    Released on: August 28, 2012.
    Director: Fernando Di Leo
    Cast: Joe Dallesandro, Lorraine De Selle,Gianni Macchia, Patrizia Behn
    Year: 1980
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Italian crime maestro Fernando Di Leo was primarily known for his crime films but his 1980 film MADNESS was a detour into the kind of sexually charged eurosleaze of films like LAST HOUSE ON THE BEACH and Ruggero Deodato's HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK.

    Andy Warhol icon Joe Dallesandro (bearing a striking resemblance to THE WARRIORS James Remar) stars as Joe - a convict recently escaped from the most pathetically guarded prison in Eurocult history. Our bad boy quickly murders two innocents, grabs a car and heads off to the cabin in the woods where he stashed some loot from a previous robbery.

    Problem is, the cabin has some weekend visitors - namely amoral Paola (Lorraine De Selle), her straight-laced sister Liliana (Patrizia Behn), and Liliana's sleazy husband Sergio (Gianni Macchia). Joe is here to get the cash, but first he's going to have some fun with these three...

    Di Leo eschews a lot of twisted plotting and essentially stages this one as pure sexploitation. Dallesandro spends the first 20 minutes of the film skulking about unseen but the sexual shenanigans get started before he even gets to the ladies of the house. The sleaze kicks off in earnest with De Selle masturbating while her sister engages in a softcore romp with her two-timing husband. After Sergio goes off for a day of hunting and his wife takes a trip into town for some shopping, Dallesandro makes his big appearance.

    This is the point where things get, depending on your point of view, either entertainingly sleazy or utterly offensive. Joe rapes Paola - but lets be clear. If you thought the assault in STRAW DOGS was morally ambiguous its got nothing on this one. Lets just say it starts with a "No!" and ends with De Selle telling Dallesandro that's he's a "good lover". The actual sex scene is not quite as brutal as say, THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK, so those with strong stomachs can take a step back and hoot at some of the dialogue.

    First Liliana comes home and then Sergio. This leads to tying up the girls and forcing the husband to dig up the fireplace grating where the cash is hidden. The real star attraction of the film is De Selle's delirious performance as Paola. Slyly manipulative and completely amoral she spends the majority of the film either cruelly flaunting her affair with Sergio to Liliana or using her sexual wiles on Joe to try to get close to his stolen cash.

    One of the most interesting things about De Selle's performance is its surprising depth for this kind of thing. She's quite fearless (and nude for large parts of the film) but never seems awkward or embarrassed. She makes this loathsome character a great deal of fun to watch. Dallesandro has little dialogue (and since the film is dubbed into Italian, it's not his real voice) but he looks good and gives an excellent physical performance. And while the climax of the film is a bit abrupt it certainly hits the right note.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Raro's DVD looks quite good - this was a cheaply made film and it has a moderately soft image but this new HD transfer has very nice color and far less damage than previous versions. Sound is a solid Italian mono track (no English dub of the film exists) and the GOLDEN EARRING-esque (check out those flutes!) rock score sounds robust.

    Extras include excellent and comprehensive liner notes, and a text-on-screen director filmography and bio.

    The Final Word:

    Those with a taste for sexploitation L'Italia, naked De Selle fans and general Eurosleaze aficionados should find much of interest here.





















    • Todd Jordan
      #1
      Todd Jordan
      Smut is good.
      Todd Jordan commented
      Editing a comment
      Why no mention of Travolta's performance as a poster? Please send this movie to me Horamce. I would like very much to see it.

    • Horace Cordier
      #2
      Horace Cordier
      Senior Member
      Horace Cordier commented
      Editing a comment
      Article: Madness

      I had to leave SOME surprises for the viewer. Your comment should have had a spoiler warning!

    • Ian Miller
      #3
      Ian Miller
      Flattery and foreplay
      Ian Miller commented
      Editing a comment
      Just caught up with this the other night, if not for the re-used MILANO CALIBRO 9 music, I probably wouldn't have guessed that Di Leo directed it (the word “minimalist” applies but is quite an understatement!), and though I liked the film well enough, it's De Selle's wild performance that makes it come alive. The ending definitely gave me a chuckle!
    Posting comments is disabled.

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