22 December 2012 | kevinolzak
Seen on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater in 1969
"Crazy Desire" (aka "La Voglia Matta") was shot in 1961, and while it wasn't the first film for 16 year old Catherine Spaak, it was the one that catapulted her to international stardom. Ugo Tognazzi's midlife crisis is that he has never fallen in love, preferring his females horizontal rather than vertical. While driving to pay his 12 year old son a visit at boarding school, he gets waylaid by a group of hard drinking , chain smoking youths who eventually lead him to their beach hideaway, where he simply cannot help falling 'head over heels' for the stunning Spaak, whose character admits to being only 15 (!). She seems alternately touched and amused at his occasionally awkward but genuinely heartfelt attentions, going so far as to ask her to marry him. The male characters are a chore to watch, but the girls are all gorgeous, with the China Girl (Lilia Neyung) being a particular standout, whether just dancing up a storm or doing an impromptu striptease, making all the boys drool. Still, no other actress can dim the lustre of the luminous Catherine Spaak, who I had previously seen only in the 1971 Dario Argento thriller "The Cat O'Nine Tails," where her outfits truly provided some real eye candy for this red blooded American teenager. Both "Crazy Desire" and "The Easy Life" were Spaak titles that aired on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater during the odd 1969-70 season, which saw a number of foreign comedies and dramas being paired with the usual string of low budget sci fi/horror (their two co-features were "Frankenstein's Daughter" and "Billy the Kid versus Dracula"!). The 1969 version was dubbed in English, but current prints in Italian are at least subtitled.