Bruno Mattei somewhat pre-empted the post-HOSTEL torture movie trend with this exploitation variant of Joel Schumacher’s 8MM, handled in his own, ahem, inimitable style. It opens with a topless, bound woman punched around the face by a guy in a Gimp outfit – and then follows a woman investigating the disappearance of her daughter, who has been kidnapped by a gang of snuff-porn-making thugs, though Mom dismisses snuff movies as “fake rapes, ketchup by the gallon…” Soon enough, she is also involved with the seedy filmmaking ring, overseen (naturally) by an angry midget (“The Fellini of the sadomasochists!”).
Mattei, who appears as a motel owner, balances unpleasant scenes of naked women flogged and burned with red hot pokers with hilariously broad villains – including a female antagonist named Dr Hades, who has the oddest and sharpest face in exploitation movie history, complete with tombstone teeth and a mammoth nose. Structurally an odd hybrid of sleazy travelogue and police procedural, as the heroine meanders around Paris and Amsterdam, it plods between nudity and gore, though unintentional hilarity keep it fun, including the unlikely actions of a heroine who, despite being on an extraordinarily traumatic mission to rescue her endangered daughter, still finds plenty of time to pause for a sex-o-rama with a swarthy foreigner.
Review by Steven West