BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Un Grande Amore (1995)

Along with Gatta Alla Pari and Innamorata, Bruno Mattei made three uncredited films for producer Nini Grassia, who claimed himself as the director. This was a mainstream — well, softcore — vehicle for Ileana Carusio, an adult actress who went by the stage names of Malù and Ramba, which was given to her because she constantly posed with guns.

She became so popular that an entire comic book series was created, in which she portrayed a mercenary assassin who not only killed everyone she met, but often slept with them too. This would include other assassins, her targets and even a group of Russian mutants. The only person she ever loved was her cat. If Bruno Mattei’s movies could be comics, these would be those funny books.

Carusio retired around 1990 because of pressure from her Catholic family. For some strange whim of fate, they had no issue with her playing in softcore films. Hence, she did five more movies, including the aforementioned three that Mattei wouldn’t even design to use one of his many pseudonyms on.

Two young couples — Fay and Joe Williams (Carusio and Carlo Macaro) and Nick (Antonio Zequila, who was in a bunch of Mattei’s late period films like Madness and Omicidio al Telefono) and Lucy — go on a fancy vacation with only one shared bedroom. They all have some sexual issues to deal with — Fay wants to throw the hot dog down the hallway so often that Joe has become chronically limp, while Nick and Lucy are way into each other, but she sees every other woman as someone who wants to sleep with her husband.They’re soon joined by two newlyweds named Lou and Rose Aiello (Alex Damiani and Cristina Barsacchi) who have been given separate rooms instead of a bedroom to consummate their recent marriage.

This may seem like the set-up from a screwball fifties comedy or a sixties wink wink, nudge nudge sex comedy or even a seventies commedia erotica all’italiana, but it’s a 1995 Bruno Mattei movie. You know, if you love a lost genre and wonder, “Why don’t they make these kinds of movies any longer,” Mattei was making them after anyone else.

I’d say this was only for completists of the director, but I really think we’ve pushed beyond that into the limits of fandom.

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