a.k.a All'onorevole piacciono le donne(ITA) The Eroticist (USA)
Lucio Fulci directs this light hearted, but highly politically charged satire. Severin Films US R0 DVD release.
Senator Puppis is involved in the tense battle for the Presidency vote
in Parliament. However, this all seems to be jeopardised when he is
filmed pinching the bottom of a visiting female Head of State. After
helping to repress the tape, Father Lucion decides to send Puppis away
for a 'Spiritual Retreat' to the convent of a Father Scirer, and expert
in psychoanalysis. However, Puppis finds that the presence of dozens of
young attractive Nuns is doing nothing to cure him. Meanwhile, his
sudden disappearance has left the Army and Police concerned, with talk
of a coup, and when the Mafia find out what is really going on, their
church contact Cardinal Maravigli is appalled - having spent years
working to get Puppis to be President, he has to make sure the Senator
is fully cured...
Co-written by frequent Peplum writer Sandro Continenza, and Fulci himself, The Senator Likes Women
is a long way from the dark and grim horror films with which the
Italian director is most commonly associated. At first impression, and
certainly to modern eyes, the film seems to be an average 'naughty'
comedy about a lusty Senator, and on this level it is a genuinely funny
and entertaining film - remniscent of the antics of the British 'Carry
On' team, although with more nudity. However, taken in context, the
script is also a very potent political satire and most notable for its
attacks on the Catholic church (still a potent force at the time) who are seen as being in league with the
Mafia, involved in election rigging and responsible for several murders. Unfortunately
a rather clever sub-plot with the police and army fearing coups as a
result of the Senator's diappearance is forgotten about in the second half of
the film. As a whole, the scipt balances well, although it does
seem to drag on a
little in places, and could probably have used a trimming to 90
conclusion is perfectly fitting.
Fulci's direction is strong
throughout, but paticularly in the surrealist dream sequence he gets to
show off some of the distinctive style that he used so effectively
in during the 1970s (most notablyalso in Lizard in a Woman's Skin
(1971)). The film's budget serves it well, with some great looking
sets, and the film is boosted by a comically fitting soundtrack
from Fred Bongusto.
known outside Italy, the comedy actor Lando Buzzanca takes the lead
role and gives an absolutely superb performance in the role. He is
joined by blacklisted American actor Lionel Stander as a Cardinal,
while Feodor Chaliapin Jr. gives a good turn as rival politician
At the time, considered so shocking that the Christian Democrat Party attempted to buy out the production and bury the film, The Senator Likes Women
is now quite a tame satire - the Catholic Church has been accused of
many worse things than vote rigging since then. It is hard therefore,
for a modern, Anglo-American audience to fully appreciate the full
extent of the comedy - the fact that Senator Puppis is clearly made-up
to look like a serving Italian minster of the time is completely lost.
However, there is still plenty to enjoy, and the film is certainly
recommended to fans of Italian cinema. Fulci fans hoping for some of
his trademark horror movie styling will doubtless be disappointed, but
it makes a fascinating contrast with his later work, and is a good
example of his lesser known early work.
Anyone famous in it?
No-one well known.
Directed by anyone interesting?
Lucio Fulci - the cult favourite horror director, responsible for such films as Zombi 2 (1979) and City of the Living Dead (1981), but many other films as well, including the Spaghetti Western Massacre Time (1966).
A number of soft female nude scenes.
Who is it for?
Recommended to Italian comedy and cinema fans, certainly of interest to Lucio Fulci fans.
Original Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Colour. Picture quality is generally strong, with good colours and definition. Quite heavy grain throughout.
Italian mono - sounds fine.
The disc includes:
interview segment with lead actor Lando Buzzanca, the cinematographer
Sergio D'Offizi, and the make-up artist Giannetto De Rossi. Very
interesting, as they speak frankly about the film, and explain many
moments that might not make sense to a modern audience. (42 minutes)
DVD Title: The Eroticist
Region 0 (ALL) - NTSC
Belived to be fully uncut. The print is in Italian.
An enjoyable comedy, with some strong satirical elements that are sadly rather obscure today. Recommended.
A good looking DVD release,
with a very interesting and lengthy interview piece. A rare chance to
see an Italian comedy of this era with English language options.