THE WASHING MACHINE *** Italy / France / Hungary 1993 90 mins Dir: Ruggero Deodato.

In the barren wilderness of 90’s Italian horror, one of the genre’s most notorious exponents made this oddity, which opens with big-boobed tramp Kashia “Shame about the face” Figura bringing home her stereotypically sleazy pimp “Yuri” for refrigerator enhanced sex while her two sexier sisters (Barbara Ricci & Ilaria Borrelli) watch, one of them playing a triangle for no particular reason.
Subsequently, Yuri turns up dismembered in their washing machine, the body disappears and Inspector Philippe Caroit investigates. Unfortunately, as he listens to the sisters’ differing versions of events, he becomes distracted by the urge to shag all of them. Set in bleak Budapest, this exploitation variation on the RASHOMON narrative gimmick has enjoyably peculiar interludes, including a bizarre, strangely comic sequence in an art gallery and scenes of the beautiful Borrelli routinely luring home blind girls with whom she strips and plays the violin. Indebted to DIABOLIQUE as bodies vanish and elaborate plots surface, it’s low on gore but full of nudity and sees Deodato at his most playful, displaying an engagingly flippant sense of humour that extends to a bathtub-electrocution punchline. Claudio Simonetti contributes a terrific, insistent electronic score.

Review by Steven West

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