Sunday, September 9, 2012

DVD Review: NAUGHTY TEEN (1978)

Label: One 7 Movies
Region Code: 0 NTSC
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 86 Minutes
Audio: Italian Dolby Digital Mono with Optional English Subtitles
Video: 16x9 Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Andrea Bianchi
Cast: Ursula Heinle, Femi Benussi, Francesco Parisi, Lucio Flauto

NAUGHTY TEEN (1978) aka CARA DOLCE NIPOTE is an Italian sex-comedy from director Andrea Bianchi whom notably brought us the stylish Giallo shocker STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER (1975) and the fantastically entertaining BURIAL GROUND: THE NIGHTS OF TERROR (1981). It tells the story a sweet, middle-aged man by the name of Corrado (Lucio Flauta) whom has recently lost his beloved wife of many years. During this time of grief his wife's attractive niece Daniela (Ursula Heinle, in her only onscreen performance, sadly) comes to Milan to help her uncle in his time of loss. Not having seen the sweet young thing since she was but a child Corrado is equal parts shocked and spellbound at the similarity of teen niece and his departed wife. The well-meaning widow slowly begins to lose his mind and become obsessed with the nubile beauty who herself is not exactly an angel, toying with his emotions and egging on his aching libido. Not merely content to toy with her uncle's emotions Daniela also busies herself with the attentions of a young officer, a counter-culture hippie and Corrado's neighbor, a sex-crazed airline pilot named Attenni who's wild orgies and famed womanizing have not only pique her curiosity but also that of Corrado's gorgeous housemaid Marietta (Femi Benussi, STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER) whom is quite a stunner in her own right.

As 70's sex comedies goes this is a pretty mediocre  and workman-like production with stagnant humor, clunky dialogue (at least that's how the English subtitles read) and one-note characters with no depth. Ursula Heinle and Femi Benussi are standouts here, attractive women both and their plentiful nude scenes certainly do please and may just be worth the price of the DVD alone if that's what you crave. While the script and plot are simplistic and uninspired the performances are above average considering what a throw-away film this is really, also worth mentioning is the wonderfully comic performance from the actor portraying the horny airline pilot next door Attenni, fun stuff.

Standout scenes include the ever amorous Attenni seducing Corrado's sexy ginger-maned housemaid Mariette while she tends to the laundry as he describes what it's like to fly a plane during intercourse, a later scene wherein Daniella exposes Attenni as a sad little man whose sexual exploits have been greatly exaggerated and the poor confused Corrado rescuing his drugged-out niece from a counter-culture orgy only to have the attractive girl throw herself at him, his frustration is quite entertaining. Honestly, the main attraction here for me is to simply take in a formerly rare Andrea Bianchi film with some nice lurid peeping moments but overall this only gets a weak recommend.

DVD: One 7 Movies give this Italian rarity a 16x9 widescreen (1.78:1) transfer and while it's marred with imperfection it is quite watchable. The image is  murky and marred with compression issues throughout. There are also two blurred spots along the lower frame of the film - not sure what this aberration might be but at the very least while it's distracting it's not ruinous. The DVD has a Italian Dolby Digital mono soundtrack with optional English subtitles. Dialogue comes across decently and the Esio Mancuso's (DJANGO: THE BASTARD) jazzy 70's score sound quite good, overall there's minimal background noise. It should also be noted that the DVD cover art features a woman who does not actually appear in the film which I just find sorta weird when you have both Ursula Heinle and Femi Benussi to choose from.

Special Features: One 7 Movies have been great with unearthing rare Italian Euro-sleaze a getting them on DVD in their original aspect ratios but the bonus content offerings have been  less than phenomenal and less so here with absolutely nothing.

Verdict: The film is a one-note Italian sex comedy that's not without it's charms, it's fun stuff. The sleaze-factor is pretty low, this is more a sex-comedy than anything else with some decent performances that make for a fun watch particularly when you keep in mind this is from the demented mind of the director of BURIAL GROUND: THE NIGHTS OF TERROR (1981) which features one of the most mind-bending incestuous tit-chomping scenes in cinema of all time. While this doesn't even come close to that level of gotta-see-it awesomeness the association is at least enough to land it on the to-watch-list. 2 Outta 5