10 June 2009 | lor_
The maestro only gets worse
The late not so great Joe D'Amato has a deservedly bad reputation based on his dozens of bad films, notably with Laura Gemser, but Top Girl represents an extremely lazy programmer, notably worse than his usual output. Budding film students should check it out -yet another catalog of what to avoid.
Filmed in L.A. (at least some quickie exteriors including a frequently repeated shot of the office building used as transition to indoors -probably filmed back in a studio in Rome), this is simplistic cinema by the numbers: avoid anything that might be difficult to stage or cost money. Though made in the '90s, it most closely resembles a mid-1960s softcore porn film but is much duller. The badly dubbed, sleepwalking cast seem to be enunciating in English (poor sync) but might as well have been reciting the alphabet as in early Fellini shoots. D'Amato seems conflicted regarding the porn content for fans: most bed scenes (not all) have the man on top chastely covered up for the camera, but there is also a random insert closeup of male-hand-fingering-female-groin that belongs in a stronger film -nothing hardcore at all.
Trite story of a simple beauty lured to Hollywood by a talent competition to select a soap opera leading lady ends up recycling clichés about Tinsel Town that date back a good 50 to 80 years ago. Heroine is played by Carla Solaro, a bland version of Anna Nicole Smith (minus the humor), who gets pawed by the male cast, notably in one of the phoniest rape-her-while-she's-drunk scenes I can remember, for which colorfully monikered villain Claudio Kleen (yes, that credit is actually on screen for this bald dude) should have paid Gold Film rather than taking a salary.
This marks the film debut, per IMDb, of unsympathetic leading man Robert Madison, son of fine Cowboy star Guy Madison. I didn't know this fact until I had finished watching the film, but did notice that when Robert & Carla walk down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the camera lingers on a medium closeup of father Guy's star on the sidewalk. A nice, sincere touch, the only one in the entire running time.