Written by: George Pacheco on September 23rd, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1987
Director: Mario Gariazzo
Writer: Mario Gariazzo
Cast: Florence Guerin, Martine Brochard, Marino Mase
DVD Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Approximate Running Time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 aspect ratio
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono Italian
DVD Release: One 7 Movies
Region Encoding: Region Free NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Mario Gariazzo was an Italian director who worked amongst all of the popular genre cinema styles, from spaghetti westerns to science fiction, horror and even comedy. A prevalent atmosphere of sleaze and sex always pervaded the man’s scripts and productions, however, with this 1987 piece of erotica serving as one of the director’s late period theatrical outings.
L’attrazione-titled here on the One 7 Movies disc as Top Model, not to be confused with Joe D’amato’s Top Girl-suffers from the relatively cheap and poor production values which tended to afflict Italian productions from this era of Italian cinema, a period when television was rising quickly as the country’s primary form of entertainment, with many (formerly popular) cinematic ventures falling by the wayside.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as many prime examples of trashy Italian cinema greatness emerged from this period, from action pictures and horror to sleazy soft (and hard) pornography. Indeed, many of the country’s directors were slumming around during this period-including Sergio Martino, Ruggero Deodato and Umberto Lenzi-yet Gariazzo’s sleazy pedigree with such films as 1974’s Enter the Devil, the triple X giallo Play Motel and the gang bang-as-comedy sci-fi romp Very Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind in 1978 would ensure that the director would adapt to the changing climate of the cinematic times.
Top Model, however, doesn’t quite know which kind of film it wants to be: an erotic thriller or a nudist romp. Ultimately, the film fails at both, as neither extreme are met within Gariazzo’s middle-of-the-road script and direction. The plot follows a fashion model by the name of Nadine (Florence Guerin), who enters into a sexual game of chess versus playboy Victor Schneider, with the end gamble being Nadine’s total submission to Victor, against Schneider’s promise of suicide, should he lose. As ridiculous as this sounds, the film offers further insult to injury via its sub-Emmanuelle sax score from Franco Campanino, sex scenes without sizzle and Guerin’s flat, passionless performance.
Perhaps Top Model could have been saved had Gariazzo not taken the subject matter so seriously. Unfortunately, what we are left with is an adequately shot, yet flaccidly unappealing slice of Italian erotica which is probably best left forgotten.
One 7 Movies presents Top Model in a full frame transfer with nice colors and a decent sound mix. Subtitles are provided for the Italian audio track, and-as opposed to many One Seven features-they seem to be without any major errors in translation. If this disc was taken from a VHS master, then it was a good one, although Top Model may have been shot full frame, so as to accommodate Italy’s rising television market with RAI Italia. There are no extras, making this a bare bones release from One 7 Movies.