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Well if you thought that ‘ol (God rest his soul) Lucio Fulci could only crank out zombie/splatter flicks, well then you should do your homework! For someone to suggest that Fulci's only strong suit was gore, they are the ones who need a 14 inch splinter rammed into their eye! This sleazy, really twisted film shows that Fulci could also do an erotic thriller better than anyone has in the past five years. In fact, with a film so bizarre as this, you wonder how films like BODY OF EVIDENCE could not have been influenced by it.; Still, this one really needs to be presented on its own, and not lumped in with all the other dreck out on the video shelves.
Our love story (yea, right) starts with us being introduced to our two lovebirds, Jessica (played by Bianca Marsillach) and Johnny (Stefano Madia) enjoying some kinky adventures. So kinky, that we see that she gets turned on by a saxophone (he is a jazz musician) rubbing against her crotch. Then for thrills Johnny takes her on a cycle ride, only to have him demand that she give him a handjob while riding the bike! Their relationship at this point in this film is one of dominance by Johnny. Jessica replies to his twisted sexual desires, "You treat me like a piece of meat for your dinner!". But no matter how hard up Johnny gets, she always falls for the cliché, "I love you" line each time. You know he is a sleaze bag, but hell, she likes it!
Cut to Dr. Simpson (Brett Halsey) who is fighting with his wife Carol. Seems he can't satisfy her sexually, ("I want a husband who can satisfy me!") and also he can't put her before his work. So when she decides to leave him, naturally he gets pissed. Now why this subplot is introduced seems irritating, but when you think Lucio has flipped out, we cut to Johnny and Jessica again. After showing off on his cycle, he takes a nasty header, hitting his cranium on a rock. Seemingly unhurt, all goes well. That is until music practice, where Johnny passes out. Rushing him to the hospital, we see that the doctor performing the tests will be....well you know who! Seems he is too worried about his wife to do anything to Johnny, so ‘ol John dies. Obviously distraught, Jessica decides to get revenge.
Her "revenge" consists of kidnaping Dr. Simpson, smashes his car, making him pee in his pants (how awful!), trying to drown him, making him eat dog food, and pouring hot wax on his back.
Now to top this, they decide to make love! Not just love mind you, but hot passionate sex the like of which the Doctor has never done before! Wacky!
From here the film goes into several flashbacks with Jessica and Johnny. Two scenes are notable. One is where the couple goes to buy some jewelry from a street merchant. Who should the merchant be but Lucio himself! Another one of his appearances in his own film where he proves he can at least act.
The other scene is where they go to a movie theater with their male friend Nicky. Seems that Nick and Johnny like to "do things" to one another as a horrified (as well as the audience!) Jessica looks on!
All in all, this films plays pretty good, with a rather somber mood prevalent throughout. Not one to pour on doses of sappiness, Lucio instead focus' on the obsession each character has. The key is control, whether it be over someone's life, or their entire being. This film has it all.
Also the release by AIP plays good, despite claim that some more "unacceptable" behavior was cut out. Also note that the film is also known by the title THE DEVILS HONEY. If you come across this oddity at your video store, remember you read it correct, Lucio Fulci did direct this. So go out and check it out. You may be surprised.
- DAVE KOSANKE