( Peccati di gioventu)
Reviewed By-Sean Patrick Dolan Director: Silvio Amadio Cast: Gloria Guida (Angela Batrucchi), Dagmar Lassander (Irene), Silvano Tranquilli (Doctor Batrucchi), Fred Robsahm (Sandro) Source: RARO Video & NOCTURNO (DVD, PAL, Region 0) Runtime: Approx. 86 minutes
Angela Batrucchi (Gloria Guida) is a beautiful young blonde, a recent college graduate, and the daughter of a wealthy Italian diplomat. Despite all of this, Angela is not happy. Her father, Dr. Vittorio Batrucchi (Silvano Tranquilli) has returned home from a long business trip and announced that he has met a woman, Irene (Dagmar Lassander) who has become his fiancée. Angela is furious with this development. She doesn’t want a stepmother around telling her what to do. Beyond this, she is jealous of this new woman who has entered her father’s life and is consuming all of his attention. Although she would have liked him to be, Angela’s father, due to his demanding job, has never been a large presence in Angela’s life- and she now fears this will never change. Angela is used to getting what she wants, and she is certainly not afraid to take chargeof a situation when the need arises. With her boyfriend, Sandro (Fred Robsahm), she begins to scheme of ways to rid herself of Irene. Taking advantage of Sandro’s job as a realtor, they stage an accidental meeting between Irene and Sandro. Once Sandro has been introduced to Vittorio, he proceeds to sell him a piece of beachfront property- the perfect excuse to get close to the family. The plan is for Sandro to seduce Irene, so that Angela’s father will break the engagement.
Sandro flirts constantly with Irene, but she doesn’t seem receptive. Despite his best efforts, he fails to seduce her. While Sandro nurses his bruised ego, Angela decides to dig into the secretive Irene’s past- and hits pay dirt. While in high school, Irene had a lesbian affair with a teacher that ended in scandal and the teacher’s suicide. She was expelled from school, her family moved away from the town, and Irene has hidden the secret ever since. Armed with the knowledge that their initial plan had a fatal flaw, Angela resolves to seduce Irene herself. Vittorio is called away to Rome on business, leaving Irene and Angela alone in the house- providing Angela with the perfect opportunity. She proceeds to tease, sends mix signals, and torment Irene. She shows her slides of her and her young friends on nude beaches on vacation. She hints at a failed lesbian romance with one friend, Marisa. Irene, of course, feels bad for her, and tells her she can confide in her. Claiming that the shower in her bathroom is broken, she asks to use Irene’s- then undresses and showers with the door wide open for Irene to see. With monumental effort, Irene resists the temptation.
Finally, Angela and Sandro stage a fake rape attempt. Irene is waiting up for Angela, worried because she had gone out with Sandro, who she has not trusted for some time now. Angela comes home crying, her blouse torn open, a sleeve ripped nearly off. Irene comforts her and sleeps in her room that night. This brings the two even closer, and finally Irene can no longer resist Angela. They have a tryst on the beach the next day and Sandro, hiding behind the large rocks down the shore, photographs every embrace. Angela and Sandro now have what they need to blackmail Irene. They develop the pictures and send copies to her with a note threatening to send the pictures to Vittorio in Rome. However, Irene, racked with guilt over her affair with Angela, has already decided to leave Vittorio and Angela’s lives. When Irene tells her this, Angela feels guilty. She has a heart after all, and had grown to genuinely like Irene while getting close enough to the woman to seduce her. Angela stops her from finding the pictures and the blackmail note, and burns all of it, to save her the pain of her betrayal. With Irene on her way out of town, Angela is happy with the outcome and considers the matter resolved. But Sandro does not feel the same. He is under pressure from his other lover, his boss, to repay over 400,000 lira he has stolen from her business accounts. Sick of his infidelity, she has given him only a few days more to get the money back to her before she reports him to the police. On a good day, Sandro is amoral and ruthless. When desperate and backed into a corner, he is a very dangerous man indeed . . . . .
Director Silvio Amadio, like many Italian directors, began his career with an assortment of miscellaneous genre pieces, including mythological films, thrillers, comedies, and westerns. And, like many European directors, he embraced the erotic film boom of the ’60’s and seventies. His first film in this vein, L’isola delle Svedesi (ISLAND OF THE SWEDES (1969)), was a tale of two lesbian lovers and the tragedy which ensued when they allow a young man into their romance. Peccati di gioventu (SO YOUNG, SO LOVELY, SO VICIOUS), follows the same basic formula- it was in fact written by the same author, Roberto Natale. It is an erotic film which is at the same time a dramatic piece with a strong plot- rather than a mere backdrop of story for the characters to frolic around in. In fact there is far more plot here than eroticism, though by no stretch of the imagination can this film be considered a giallo (as some reviews have labeled it). It lacks all the crucial elements of the genre, mainly the lack of graphic violence, and is far too straight forward, lacking the suspense of a thriller. If you’re looking for a giallo, you might want to try another Amadio film, Alla ricerca del piacere (AMUCK (1972)). SO YOUNG, SO LOVELY, SO VICIOUS is more of a psychological study than anything else. That said, both Gloria Guida and Dagmar Lassander turn in fine performances here, portraying characters that are dynamic- showing depth and growth as the film progresses. But fans of the fiery redhead Lassander be warned: you will probably be a bit disappointed that the vast majority of the flesh revealed here is the young Guida’s. However, that is hardly a complaint, as the latter is a gorgeous blonde bombshell in her own right. Unfortunately, the former Miss Teenage Italy (1974) did not go on to do too many more films after this, aside from a couple more erotic films directed by Amadio. SO YOUNG, SO LOVELY, SO VICIOUS is a well made film that should satisfy most fans of European cinema, provided you go in to the experience with reasonable expectations.
I reviewed the RARO Video & NOCTURNO DVD release of this film, part of their "Il Cinema Segreto Italiano" collection. The film is presented in the 4:3/1.33 aspect ratio, with three audio track choices: the original Italian, Italian with English subtitles, and dubbed English. The release is bare bones in the extras department, including only a brief director biography and filmography, and a short essay in a DVD booklet insert.
Story: 3.5/5 Bitch Slaps Extras: 1.5/5 Bitch Slaps Pictures/Audio: 4/5 Bitch Slaps Overall DVD: 3.5/5 Bitch Slaps
Purchase this at X-Ploited Cinema
Discuss this in our forums.
© 2005 cinema-nocturna.com