Theatrical Release: 1974/1978/1984
DVD Release: February 12, 2013
Director(s): Vidal Raski / Enzo Milioni / Rino Di Silvestro
Rating: Not Rated
Review by James Klein
Wanna get dirty? Wanna get demented? Wanna see some nasty, sick, depraved movies? Well folks, the Euro-Sleaze Collection may wet your appetite if you are new and just starting out watching cult/strange/obscure films. But for a vet like me, I’ve seen much worse (aka: better).
The first film in the collection is The Sinful Dwarf. You may recognize this title as I have previously reviewed the XXX rated version here. Now for some strange reason this collection only contains the unrated version which does not include the graphic sex scenes of actual penetration that was added into the film and only available in the XXX version. While these clips are not really missed, if you are going to have a “sleaze” collection, why not include the most graphic cut of the film? The Sinful Dwarf may be the best film in this collection or at the very least the most shocking.
The second film in the collection is The Sister of Ursula. This Italian made shocker plays like a Giallo film but on a weaker scale. The film focuses more on the nudity and sex but less on the mystery and suspense.
The Sister of Ursula starts off with two sisters who travel to Italy in search for their estranged mother. The sisters have received an inheritance from their recently deceased father, who in his will, asked for a certain amount to go to his ex-wife. As the sisters arrive at a hotel/resort, we see that these siblings are not much alike. Dagmar, the older of the two, is much more open in her sexuality and wants to have some fun while she is staying at the hotel. Her younger sister Ursula (the beautiful Barbara Magnolfi) is much more introverted and doesn’t seem to like men. She also has a psychic gift and suspects something bad is about to happen to not only them but to other guests at the hotel. Like most films in this particular genre, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going to happen.
There is a black gloved killer roaming loose in the hotel who seems to be dispatching his victims while having sex. The killer’s weapon of choice: a huge wooden phallus. While this sounds wonderfully nuts and really sick, the film is rather tame. Sure, there is plenty of full frontal nudity but the kills are all done off screen with so many scenes of long, drawn out conversations which never amounts to anything, thus killing any suspense the movie tries to garner. When something interesting does finally happen, it just can’t make up for the fact that the rest of the movie is a bore. I will say the two female leads are very good in their roles and very beautiful to watch. But this doesn’t overcome an overlong movie with bland subplots regarding a lounge singer and a junkie who falls for Ursula that happens to be an undercover cop.
Severin does a great job with giving fans a clear picture in the original Italian dialog. One can watch the film dubbed if desired. There is a lengthy interview with director Enzo Miloni that is rather interesting as he speaks about the making of the film. It’s rather touching as Miloni discusses Magnolfi’s sudden departure from acting and how the death of one of the stars, Marc Porel, effected not only him but also Magnolfi as well, who happened to marry Porel after the film was wrapped.
The final film in the collection, Hanna D: The Girl From Vondel Park is the most strangest one. Hanna D jumps all over the place and has no idea what it wants to be: a sleazy exploitation picture, a moral drama, a teen angst film, etc. Capitalizing on the success of the German film Christiane F., Hanna D is almost a remake in the aspect that it is about a teenage girl who is hooked on drugs and takes to the streets to support her habit.
We first meet Hanna on a train whose on her way to see her slutty, drunken former starlet mother. Hanna is paid by a strange man who watches her undress, allowing him to see her goods (actress Ann-Gisel Glass who was only 20 at the time, has no problems getting nude, she’s naked quite a bit). When she gets home to see her mother (not before she sees her Mom’s former lover by teasing him by walking up the stairs, showing off her camel toe) the two instantly argue and she takes off onto the street. Hanna then starts taking drugs and turning tricks at the drop of a hat. She soon meets up with an adult film maker who forces her onto heroin to control her.
When Hanna meets a clean cut young man on the bus one day, he gets her to try and kick the habit while keeping her away from the adult world and prostitution ring. In a hilarious climax, Hanna suddenly falls in love with the young man and is able to overcome her problems rather quickly. Yeah…
Hanna D does have plenty of sleaze going for it like nudity, drug use, suicide, rape, vomiting and even a scene where a woman pulls out drugs she hid up her anus. While I enjoyed the film for its silliness, the movie suffers the same problems as The Sister of Ursula: it becomes boring. There are long sequences of characters walking down the street as if the film makers were trying to pad out the running time. The editing is illogical as well as the inept storyline. Much of the acting is really bad and lazy. Director Rino Di Silvestro has no idea what he was trying to say or do with Hanna D. The film is a complete mess and only worth a look if you want to see plenty of nudity. But female pubic hair can only be entertaining after seeing it so many times.
Hanna D does look well on DVD despite some film damage. I was bummed out that the movie was dubbed but after reading up on the film, it looks like most of the actors spoke in their native tongues and the film was dubbed for an American release. The DVD does contain a long interview with the late director whose interview was annoying. Every time he’s about to speak about the making of the film, he would go off on several tangents about themes and his idea on what Hanna D is really about. It’s self-indulgent to say the least.
While the three films in this collection could be entertaining to some, I was left disappointed and wanting more. I will say that it is nice to see Severin releasing some of these lost/forgotten films.
The Sinful Dwarf Rating:
The Sister of Ursula Rating:
Hanna D: The Girl From Vondel Park Rating: