Written by: Michael Den Boer on August 26th, 2009
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1975
Director: Sergio Ammirata
Writers: Sergio Ammirata, Marino Onorati
Cast: Pilar Velázquez, Didi Perego, Mario Carotenuto, Toni Ucci, Tino Scotti, Ugo Fangareggi, Oreste Lionello, Gigi Ballista, Gastone Pescucci, Lino Banfi, Aldo Giuffrè, Sergio Ammirata, Gino Santercole
DVD released: September 29th, 2009
Approximate running time: 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Letterboxed Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: Mya Communication
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
Italian Sex was co-written and directed by Sergio Ammirata (his only film as a director). Some reports suggest that director Fernando Di Leo who is primarily known for his crime films may have had a hand in directing this film. Besides being credited as the director of Italian Sex, Sergio Ammirata also appears in the film as Lucio a waiter at a hotel who pretends the he is gay to get women to sleep with him. As an actor he frequently worked with Fernando Di Leo. Some of his other notable films that he has appeared in as an actor include The Truth According to Satan and Revelations of a Psychiatrist on the World of Sexual Perversion. The screenplay for Italian sex was co-written by Marino Onorati, whose other standout films as a screenwriter include Naked Violence, Confessions of a Lady Cop, The Lady Medic, Sister Emanuelle and A Policewoman on the Porno Squad. The Cinematographer on Italian Sex Giancarlo Franco Villa frequently worked with director Fernando Di Leo. Some of their notable collaborations include Naked Violence, Slaughter Hotel, Milano Calibre 9, Manhunt and The Boss. Some of Franco Villa’s other notable films as a cinematographer includes, Malabimba: The Malicious Whore, Giallo a Venezia, Patrick is Still Alive and Satan’s Baby Doll. The score for Italian Sex was composed by Roberto Pregadio, whose other standout scores include Death Carries a Cane, The Last House on the Beach and Cannibals. Other titles that Italian Sex is also known by include Sex in the Head, which is actually a ruff translation of the film’s Italian language title Sesso in testa.
The plot for Italian Sex is told mostly via flashback as Diana Tornetti sits in front a panel of advisers at her school as they go over her thesis about prostitution. The bulk of the vignettes which make up the events that are foundation of her thesis are very funny. The three the standout are a scene where a waiter posing as a homosexual in hopes of luring women who want to cure him into having sex with him, a scene with an ugly looking man who reveals after they have had sex as he is paying her that the large sum of money he has just given her is from her mother and an impotent mobster who ruffs up women to prove his masculinity. While the bulk of the content hits the spot, by the end of the film some of the flashbacks start to lose their bite and feel redundant. Clearly the subject at hand is to not be taken too seriously as everything is over magnified to maximize the absurdity of the events at hand. At one point during the film Diana reveals that she has had 200 sexual encounters over a three month period with about 150 different clients. Her dedication to her work is thus established. Everything in this film relies on the performance of Pilar Velázquez in the role of Diana Tornetti and she doesn’t disappoint. Some of her other notable performances include Forgotten Pistolero, Naked Girl Killed in the Park and Evil Eye. Ultimately Italian Sex is a playful romp that works as well at it does because of the performance of its lead actress Pilar Velázquez.
Italian Sex is presented in a 1.85:1 letterboxed widescreen. The image never looks cramped or compromised. This transfer has been flagged for progressive playback. The source materials used exhibit some minor blemishes and some of the darker scenes look too soft. Besides these two flaws the colors and flesh tones fare well throughout. While some may be disappointed by the lack of an anamorphic enhancement, the only other DVD release that I known of Italian Sex is an Italian DVD release under the title Sesso in testa (Sex in the Head) from a company called Terminal and this release is also non anamorphic.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in Italian and removable English subtitles have been provided. I did notice a few grammatical and spelling errors. The audio mix sounds clear and balanced throughout.
There is no extra content with this release. Overall Italian Sex makes its North American DVD debut via a serviceable audio / video presentation from Mya Communication.