Written by: Michael Den Boer on November 12th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1976
Director: Tinto Brass
Writers: Tinto Brass, Antonio Colantuoni, Ennio De Concini, Maria Pia Fusco
Cast: Helmut Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Teresa Ann Savoy, John Steiner, Tina Aumont, Luciano Rossi
BluRay released: November 23rd, 2010
Approximate running time: 133 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Espanol, English on Italian Version
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region 0
Retail Price: $34.98
Synopsis: The SS use a brothel to help them lure in traitors.
After a series of films that underperformed at the box office. Director Tinto Brass with Salon Kitty would make the shift towards soft core erotic themed films that has since defined him as a filmmaker. Salon Kitty was based on Peter Norden’s novel ‘Madam Kitty’. This title also happens to be the title used for this film’s U.S. release. In which twenty three minutes was excised from this release. The cinematographer on Salon Kitty was Silvano Ippoliti, who worked with Tinto Brass on a total of thirteen films. Starting with Deadly Sweet and ending with All Ladies do it. The score for Salon Kitty was composed by Fiorenzo Carpi. He had previously worked with Tinto Brass on The Howl.
Even though Salon Kitty was not the first film to emerge from the Nazisploitation genre. It can be seen as the transition point in which later films from this genre shifted away from the more art house aspects of this genre. And went for broke with the more exploitative aspect of this genre. This is not to say that Salon Kitty does not have its fare share of shocking moments. Like a scene in which the girls recruited by the SS are forced to have sex with deformed and other outcasts of society. What does set this film apart from those that followed it. It is the way in which it finds a balance between its art house sensibilities and moments of perversion.
Visually this film is a stylish affair that takes full advantage of Ken Adams exquisite sets. And director Tinto Brass does not waist a single frame as he creates imaginative compositions that accentuate that subject matter at hand. With the most powerful moment visually being a scene in which Leni Riefenstahl’s Nazi propaganda film The Triumph of the Will is being projected off a nude woman’s body. While a Nazi soldier is masturbating. Another area where this film excels is its exceptional cast that is a virtual who’s who of Euro Cult cinema Helmut Berger (The Damned), Ingrid Thulin (Brink of Life), Teresa Ann Savoy (Caligula), John Steiner (Shock), Tina Aumont (Fellini’s Casanova) and Luciano Rossi (Death Walks at Midnight). And while there are many things that this film does very well. The one area where some may viewers be put off is its lengthy duration. There are few stretches where things start to drag. When all is said and done. It is oddly appropriate that a film about Nazi’s emphasizes style over substance. Since the Nazi’s were notorious for doing the same thing.
Salon Kitty comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This transfer like Blue Underground’s previous transfer was sourced from Tinto Brass’s own personal vault materials. This new Hi Def transfer improves upon its predecessor in every way. Colors have never look more vibrant, flesh tones look more natural when compared how they look on DVD, black levels are consistent throughout and details generally look crisp. Even though there is print debris is it very mild. Also the grain structure looks natural. There are no problems with compression and DNR is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, DTS-HD Mono English and DTS-HD Mono Italian. It should be noted that there are some scenes that there was no English dialog recorded. These scenes are presented in Italian with English subtitles. The audio, like the transfer improves upon its predecessor. Both audio tracks sound clean and consistent throughout. Dialog is always clear and the films score sounds robust. This release comes with these subtitle options, English SDH, French, Espanol and English on Italian Version.
Salon Kitty was previously released by Blue Underground on DVD in 2003. And for this release the majority of the extras from that limited edition release have been carried over for this release. The extras not carried over from that release include a poster & stills gallery, a text bio for Tinto Brass, Ken Adam’s Production Designs, Jost Jakob’s Costume Designs and The Story of Salon Kitty a DVD-ROM extra. Extras for this release include 3 radio spots, the film’s international trailer (3 minutes 56 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and U.S. trailer (1 minutes 49 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and interviews with director Tinto Brass titled ‘Inside Salon Kitty’ (14 minutes 47 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Italian with English subtitles) and production designer Ken Adam’s titled ‘Designing Salon Kitty’ (18 minutes – anamorphic widescreen). Topics discussed in the Tinto Brass interview include the origins of the project, casting and how the film was successful everywhere, but Germany. Topics discussed in the Ken Adams interview include how he got involved with the project, Stanley Kubrick and the lavish sets he designed for this film. Overall Salon Kitty is another solid upgrade from Blue Underground.