Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 7th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1981
Directors: Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia
Writers: Franco Castellano, Giuseppe Moccia
Cast: Adriano Celentano, Edwige Fenech, Renato Salvatori, Sylva Koscina, Pippo Santonastaso, Gianni Magni
DVD released: August 11th, 2009
Approximate running time: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Thunder Island Releasing
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Synopsis: Unable to let go of his passion for poker. A gifted card player named Ace convinces his bride Silvia to let him play just one more game. His finally night as a gambler ends tragically when he is killed by a hit man on his way home. Shortly after his death, his ghost goes to tell his wife that he has been murdered. At first she refuses to believe that he is dead. As time wears on she finally comes to terms that her husband is now a ghost. Not wanting to leave his wife alone and without any financial means of support. Ace decides that he is going to find his wife a new husband.
Asso was written and directed by Franco Castellano and Giuseppe Moccia, a prolific duo who worked under the name Castellano and Pipolo. Some of their more notable credits as screenwriters include The Maniacs, Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs and Dr. Jekyll Likes Them Hot.
This film is clearly built up around the Ace character who is portrayed by Adriano Celentano, a Italian pop singer. He certainly looks the part with his suave demeanor and more than holds his own during the film’s more comedic moments with his exaggerated facial expressions. Some of his more notable films which he has appeared in include Serafino and The Five Days of Milan.
Cast in the role of Ace’s bride Silvia is Edwige Fenech, who is no stranger to the comedy genre and she more than holds her own throughout this film. Even though her character is essential the comic foil of the film. That doesn’t mean that she is not given a few comedy set pieces of her own like a scene at a bank where she is standing next to a vent and Ace turns on the air conditioner which blows up her dress or a scene where she is auditioning to be a dancer and Ace who is now ghost does everything he can to mess her up.
From a pacing stand point things move along briskly from one moment to the next with not a moment wasted along the way. Story wise there are not that many surprises along the way. If anything that I found lacking it would be the film’s predicable ending. The premise about being unable to leave the Earthly realm even though you have passed on may give some a feeling of déjà vu. And even though there might be some similarities between the plot of Asso and the Patrick Swayze film Ghost. These similarities are most likely coincidental. Ultimately the whimsical take on the story at hand make is easier to accept the moments where the plot defies logic.
Asso is presented in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. This transfer has not been flagged for progressive playback. The source used is in good shape with colors, flesh tones and black levels faring well. The interlaced sourced does exhibit some mild instances of ghosting and edge enhancement.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been included. The subtitles are easy to follow and error free. It should be noted that there are a few instances where dialog goes un-translated. The audio is also in good shape with no problems with distortion or background noise. Everything sounds balanced and clear.
Extras for this release are limited to a image gallery with music from the film playing in the background. Overall Asso gets a well rounded audio / video presentation from Thunder Island Releasing.