Written by: George Pacheco on June 26th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, May 2th, 1973
Director: Mario Caiano
Writer: Mario Caiano
Cast: Orchidea de Santis, Rosalba Neri, Peter Landers, Toni Ucci
DVD Release Date: May 6th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: One 7 Movies
Region Encoding: Region o NTSC
Retail Price: $24.95
The Italian “decamerotic” cycle is a curious period of the country’s ever-moving genre cinema culture, one which combines the bawdy, foul mouthed nature of the sex comedy with a bevy of carefree nude situations ripped straight from Geoffrey Chaucer’s classic Canterbury Tales and Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron.
The success of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s own cinematic take on The Decameron in 1971 naturally led to an influx of trasher, cheaper and more exploitative photocopies to arise in its wake, with this Mario Caiano-directed effort serving as one of the more successful and light-hearted examples of the genre. Caiano’s film was originally released as The Sexbury Tales, a.k.a. I racconti di Viterbury – Le piu allegre storie del ‘300,’–although this One Seven Movies DVD releases offers the re-titling of The Real Decameron–and presents a very simple story structure, that of a group of women washing clothes and sharing dirty stories to pass the time.
These stories all take the place of rural peasant vignettes set during the Middle Ages, and usually dealing with the subjects of sex, infidelity and religion, all with the required bit of innocent nudity and peppered with the potty mouthed jokes usually found within these typical Italian sex comedies. The whole affair moves at a brisk pace, with most of the stories getting in, getting off and getting out without too much down time or stagnation for the viewer. Those with a particularly keen eye for Italian genre beauties will likely notice the appearance of sultry star Rosalba Neri and the gorgeous Orchidea De Santis in two particularly effective tales, with the latter, famously uninhibited actress providing the film’s most tantalizing bout of nudity.
The Real Decameron is better and more enjoyable than it really needs to be, particularly for Italian trash addicts who simply can’t get enough of this stuff.
One Seven Movies presents The Real Decameron in an anamorphic widescreen presentation which preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. There is little to no print damage which is readily apparent to the viewer, while the image itself appears free of cramping issues. Colors are warm enough, while the sound quality is audible and up to snuff. The same unfortunately can’t be said for the poorly translated subtitles-perhaps the work of a subtitling program?-which are often jumbled and containing grammatical errors. This is a common problem for many One Seven releases, sadly, and is just the sign of a company which just doesn’t care too much about quality, despite their track record for releasing some of the most obscure Italian cinematic rarities on the market.