Joe D’Amato – Anima ribelle (1997)
Joe Hit the Nail on the Head with This One
Author: Dirtymoviedevotee from Brugge, Belgium
Despite their usually impressive production values (for porno, anyway), I have always thought most of D’Amato’s hardcore efforts – especially the costume flicks – to be tired and labored affairs, the elegant 120 GIORNATE DI SODOMA a rare exception to that rule. When he abandoned historically inspired sex films for contemporary carnality at the twilight of his career, he actually put out a few halfway decent titles such as the ROCCO, THE Italian STALLION series. The stupidly titled RAW AND NAKED gets my vote though as his most, well, satisfying porno picture. It has a more involving story than Joe (whose real name, Aristide Massacesi is rarely mentioned in conjunction with his explicit endeavors) usually attempted and, perhaps as a result, shows more care towards directing and acting.
An innocent young man is implicated in a crime by the town mayor (an eye-rolling performance by bald-headed Claudio) whose wife (Kelly Trump) he was having a not-so-secret affair with. Unable to prove his innocence, the man takes his own life, leaving his loving sister (Selen) to vow vengeance against Claudio and his entire family.
Well-shot melodrama with the added perverse pleasure of hearing a non-dubbed cast, none of whom speak English as a first (or, judging from evidence, even second) language struggle through pages and pages of English dialog ! Once you can get over that distraction (if you’re a twisted bugger such as myself, you may not even want to) you’ll find some committed and occasionally even touching performances from Selen (hardly known as a thespian but surprisingly adept here) and blonde amazon Trump as Claudio’s cowering wife. Sex scenes also display considerably more energy and enthusiasm than was D’Amato’s norm, especially Selen’s climactic romp with too hunky for his own good Hakan. One drawback is that the movie stops rather than ends, leaving the whole revenge bit dangling in mid-air. The very fact that one should actually care about that makes this a special treat from the late great uncle Joe indeed.