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  • Despite their usually impressive production values (for porno, anyway), I have always thought most of D'Amato's hardcore efforts - especially the costume flicks - to be tired and labored affairs, the elegant 120 GIORNATE DI SODOMA a rare exception to that rule. When he abandoned historically inspired sex films for contemporary carnality at the twilight of his career, he actually put out a few halfway decent titles such as the ROCCO, THE Italian STALLION series. The stupidly titled RAW AND NAKED gets my vote though as his most, well, satisfying porno picture. It has a more involving story than Joe (whose real name, Aristide Massacesi is rarely mentioned in conjunction with his explicit endeavors) usually attempted and, perhaps as a result, shows more care towards directing and acting.

    An innocent young man, convincingly played by US second string stud Warren Scott who's usually strictly on board for the boinking, is implicated in a crime by the town mayor (an eye-rolling performance by bald-headed Claudio) whose wife (Kelly Trump) he was having a not-so-secret affair with. Unable to prove his innocence, the man takes his own life, leaving his loving sister (Selen) to vow vengeance against Claudio and his entire family.

    Well-shot melodrama with the added perverse pleasure of hearing a non-dubbed cast, apart from Scott none of whom speak English as a first (or, judging from evidence, even second) language struggle through pages and pages of English dialog ! Once you can get over that distraction (if you're a twisted bugger such as myself, you may not even want to) you'll find some committed and occasionally even touching performances from Selen (hardly known as a thespian but surprisingly adept here) and blonde amazon Trump as Claudio's cowering wife. Sex scenes also display considerably more energy and enthusiasm than was D'Amato's norm, especially Selen's climactic romp with too hunky for his own good Hakan. One drawback is that the movie stops rather than ends, leaving the whole revenge bit dangling in mid-air. The very fact that one should actually care about that makes this a special treat from the late great uncle Joe indeed.
  • Raw and Naked (1997)

    * (out of 4)

    A young woman walks mysteriously into a family and soon begins to seduce all the men and women too. This hardcore flick from D'Amato is pretty much by the numbers. It features some rather wild sex scenes but none of them are overly erotic and I must admit that once again I feel the director just isn't interested in the material. Fans of D'Amato, like myself, who need to see everything he's done might be interested but don't expect to be entertained.

    Director Joe D'Amato will always be remembered for his horror films like BEYOND THE DARKNESS and ANTROPOPHAGUS as well as his long running Emanuelle series with Laura Gamser. After the Italian horror market dried up, D'Amato had a comeback with the softcore ELEVEN DAYS ELEVEN NIGHTS, which eventually led to the director doing porn titles. The director had previously mixed sex and horror in such titles as PORNO HOLOCAUST and EROTIC NIGHS OF THE LIVING DEAD but those films were a long way off from his later day porn.
  • A porno. Simply a porno, and not a very good one ( the kind of pornos you watch and immediately forget just after - assuming of course you went 'till the end ). Not even a 'sex with horse' scene ( "Emanuelle in America", "Caligula 2" ), or a mutant/zombie killing people with his huge penis ( Porno Holocaust" and its twin "Erotic Night of the Living Dead" ), or just porno ( as usual in D'Amato 's movies ) mixed with gore ( the "Grim Reaper" serial )... His legendary 'magic touch' lacks here. Maybe it was because he was getting too old, but that one is disappointing. Joe was planning a "Grim Reaper 3", but as everyone knows, he died a year ago. It's sad because it would have made a a much worthy end of career.

    On the other hand, Selen and the landscapes are beautiful ( Who cares about the landscapes in a porno ? ). And the close-up are better ( no shadows ) than his earlier movies. The quality of the filming is better, but the whole does not deserve more than 4. Remember ( discover ? ) him for the ones I mentioned , and his true masterpiece "Troll 2".