4 November 2007 | lazarillo
This may disappoint some people expecting, from the English title, some lost horror film from the late Italian horrormeister Lucio Fulci. This is actually a sex comedy, a genre that Fulci was even more active in than horror early in his career. Ironically, Fulci and his fellow horror legend Mario Bava actually directed two of the best Italian sex comedies I've personally ever seen (and, god knows, I've seen far too many)--Bava's "Four Times that Night" and Fulci's "The Eroticist". This movie re-teams Fulci with comic actor Lado Buzzanca from "The Eroticist". It is not as good as the latter film, but it's definitely much more clever and sophisticated than your average Italian sex comedy (not exactly a high compliment I know). Buzzanca plays a successful but very superstitious and not particularly bright Italian industrialist who goes to Transylvania on business and has an "encounter" with Count Dracula. In a plot that is eerily similar to the later Hollywood film "Kiss of the Vampire" with Nicholas Cage, he comes to believe he is a vampire, and starts, very literally, feeding on the blood of his workers.
The Marxist satire will probably escape most Americans anyway, but it's not nearly as well-aimed as the political satire in "The Eroticist". The industrialist suffers not only blood-lust but "gay panic" after he drunkenly cavorts with Dracula's naked female minions but finds himself in bed with his host the next morning. This leads him to stare uncomfortably at a men's basketball team he owns as they shower, and for some reason it causes him, in the most famous scene, to assault his acquisitive society wife (played by Silva Koscina)in the bath and bite her on the rump! What gay panic has to do with vampirism or the exploitation of the workers I don't know, nor do I know what is so gay about biting a gorgeous woman like Koscina where the sun doesn't shine. That's the main problem with this movie. As a satirical comedy it is kind of random and scattershot.
Still there is more intelligence and sophistication than is usual in these kind of films, and it has all the usual assets of this genre (the nicest one belonging to Ms. Koscina). I think anyone that knows enough about Fulci and Italian sex comedy genre to even be reading this, will no doubt find it at least mildly entertaining.