Sunday, May 5, 2024

FRIVOLOUS LOLA (1998) (Cult Epics 4K UHD Review)

4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray

Label: Cult Epics 
Region Code: Region-Free
Rating: Unrated 
Duration: 104 Minutes 29 Seconds 
Audio: English or Italian DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround, 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: HDR 2160p Ultra HD Widescreen (1.85:1), 1080p HD Widescreen (1.85:1)
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Anna Ammirati, Patrick Mower, Mario Parodi, Serena Grandi, Antonio Salnies

The Tinto Brass (P.O. Box Tinto Brass) sex-comedy Frivolous Lola (1998) is set in 1950 in a small Italian village where the sexy and quite charming Lola (Anna Ammirati) is set to marry baker Masetto (Mario Parodi, Black Angel), who firmly believes that couples should be virgins when they marry, which is a constant source of frustration for flirty Lola who is looking to scratch her itch sooner rather than later. The couple argue often as Masetto is short-tempered, and during one of of their heated exchanges she leaves him, the flirtatious beauty wastes no time finding sexual adventuress to drive Masetto into a jealous rage, one such adventure includes an older man (Patrick Mower, The Devil Rides Out), who is the lover of her own mother Zaira (Serena Grandi, Anthropophagus) - and who may or may not be her father! 

This is a fun little sex romp, Ammirati is irresistible as the flirtatious beauty who cruises around her small village flashing her bare fanny to passybys while riding her bicycle. An erotic sex romp for sure but one that strays away from the harder-edged softcore of some of Brass's work, but still chock full of titillating scenes of Lola dancing for American soldiers in front of jukebox, an extended masturbation scene, peeping through keyholes, and fantasizing about an encounter of pleasure cruise, all of it gorgeously shot with a voyeuristic eye by Massimo Di Venanzo (Black Angel), with a romanticized, soft-focus gauzy lensing.  

The film is a sumptuous affair and looks gorgeous, benefitting from a wonderful score from Pino Donaggio (Carrie), including a theme song with vocals by the film's gorgeous star Ammirati, plus songs like "Be Bop A Lula" by 50's rocker Gene Vincent, "Let's Twist Again" by Curtis King Jr, Glen Miller's "In the Mood" and "Vorrei Sapere Perché" song by Mina, and co-written by none other than Italian horror maestro Lucio Fulci (City of the Living Dead)!

Audio/Video: Frivolous Lola (1998) arrives on region-free 4K UHD from Cult Epics in 2160p Ultra HD framed in the original 1.85:1 widescreen aspect ratio. The source is in terrific shape with nary a blemish to to distract the eye, and grain levels are lush and filmic. We also get the addition of a WCG HDR color-grading, that slightly plumps up the primaries, though not a huge amount over the accompanying Blu-ray, but black levels and shadow detail look superior on the UHD. The all-important skin tones look terrific as well, which we see quite often when Lola is flashing her ass and snatch. 

Audio comes by way of English or Italian DTS-HD MA 2.0 in either mono or stereo options, for a total of four options with optional English subtitles. Both language are dubbed and sound terrific. Dialogue is always crisp and clear, and the lush Pino Donaggio (All Ladies Do It) score comes through nicely in the mix. 

Extras include the UHD include a New Audio Commentary by Eugenio Ercolani & Troy Howarth; plus Trailers for All Ladies Do it and Istinto Brass. The Blu-ray sports the feature film in 1080p HD and the same commentary and trailers, plus an an Archival Interview with director Tinto Brass (2004) that runs about 27-minutes, and a Photo Gallery of still images from the film. 

The 2-disc UHD/BD arrives in a black dual-hub keepcase with a Reversible Wrap, the reverse side featuring both the English artwork and a "cheekier" uncensored Italian artwork with the Italian title, plus a 20-page Illustrated Booklet with a "A Committed Brat" sssay by Eugenio Ercolani and Domenico Monetti. Also tucked away inside are 4 Repro Italian Lobby Card Prints featuring the Italian title 'Monella", included with the First Pressing 4K UHD Only. There's also a First Pressing Only Slipcover with it's own unique artwork. 

Special Features: 
Disc 1: 4K Ultra HD 
- New 4K Transfer (from original negative) & Restoration + HDR
- New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround/2.0 Stereo / English & Italian
- New Audio Commentary by Eugenio Ercolani & Nathaniel Thompson
- Theatrical Trailers
Disc 2: Blu-ray 
- New 4K Transfer (from original negative) & Restoration
- New DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround/ 2.0 Stereo / English & Italian
- New Audio Commentary by Eugenio Ercolani & Nathaniel Thompson
- Theatrical Trailers
- Archival Interview with director Tinto Brass (2004)
- Photo Gallery
- Reversible sleeve with original Italian uncensored poster art
- 20-page illustrated booklet w/Essay by Eugenio Ercolani and Domenico Monetti
- Slipcase
- 4 Repro Italian Lobby Card Prints (First Pressing 4K UH
D Only)

Buy it!

Screenshots from the Cult Epics Blu-ray: