BRUNO MATTEI WEEK: Tre pesci, una gatta nel letto che scotta (1990)

With a title that translates as Three FishA Cat in the Hot Bed, perhaps it’s best that this Bruno Mattei — using his David Graham name — movie was retitled Three for One when it came out in the U.S. And by came out, I assume it played late night cable* and was on the “mature, but not adult” shelves in mom and pop video stores.

As written by Clyde Anderson — come on, we know it’s you, Claudio Fragasso — this movie makes the astounding move of copying The Girl Most Likely To… and replacing all the casual murder with casual sex.

Three childhood friends all grown up — Lou Sambello (Robert La Brosse, who went from being in Deep Blood and 11 Days 11 Nights Part 3 to the Coen’s Miller’s Crossing, which is pretty astounding when you think about it), Miles Gribbin (Jason Saucier, Hitcher in the Dark) and Ben Liknen (Richard Sume, who was also in two Joe D’Amato movies, High Finance Woman and Blue Angel Cafe) — all fall for the same woman, who just so happens to be the geeky girl that they all hated back in high school.

Using the names Bunny, Katy and Lauren, she appears as each of their dream girl, whether that’s an exhibitionistic stripper, a raven-hued femme fatale or a bookish nerd hiding a gorgeous face behind those glasses. All of these roles — and the ridiculously made-up geek persona — are all played by Martina Castel, who actually really excels at the multitude of roles she plays and is decent at the comedy, too. Sadly, this would be the only movie she’d make.

She reveals to them that she’s really the girl they all laughed at, Kerry Grant, before deciding that she’ll take all of them. A woman in charge of her sexuality in an Italian softcore movie? Who knew 1990 could be so open-minded?

Of Mattei’s late-period softcore films, this is the most polished and the one that feels the most joyous. The comedy helps and the fact that it’s basically a movie made up of montages helps the language and culture barriers that usually hinder his work. Let’s hope this gets a blu ray release some day.

*According to one IMDB reviewer, it played Joe Bob Briggs’ Joe Bob’s Drive-in Theater!

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