JOE D’AMATO WEEK: Sollazzevoli storie di mogli gaudenti e mariti penitenti – decameron (1972)

Facetious tales of pleasure-loving wives and penitent husbands – Decameron number 69 AKA More Sexy Canterbury Tales AKA More Filthy Canterbury Tales* is most assuredly a Joe D’Amato movie. At the time, he didn’t want to lose work as a cinematographer, so he used the name Romano Gastaldi, which mixed up assistant director Romano Scandariato name a bit. In the English version, he’s listed as Ralph Zucker. However, D’Amato used his real name, Aristide Massaccesi, for the cinematographer credit. He also shows up briefly as one of the monks who this film revolves around.

Obviously, this is a decamerotici film, a series of movies that had their main popularity between 1971 and 1975. Much like every trend in Italian exploitation, it all started with the success of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Trilogy of Life, which were The Decameron, Canterbury Tales and Arabian Nights. Beyond the box office success of those three films, the Italian censors were beginning to relax their grip and allow more nudity, so more than fifty of these films were made in four years. D’Amato also made another film in this subgenre, Novelle licenziose di vergini ogliose, which features Giovanni Boccaccio, another of the direct inspirations for these stories.

In between the three stories in this film, the framing device has some young monks attempting to get with some nuns while the Father Superior who tries to stop them ends up taken in by a very needy older nun.

In “Le due cognate,” an older husband leaves his young wife for a business trip and this leads to her  going heels to Jesus with a young sculptor, who also ends up sleeping with her husband’s sister. The second story is not as kind or nice, as in “Fra’ Giovanni,” a young priest falls in love with a woman during her confession at which point she seduces him and makes him pay for their sexual encounters. When she’s sick of him, she tells her husband, who puts the priest’s penis in a chest lid and squeezes it until the holy man must castrate himself. This will not be the last D’Amato story that ends with a man removing his own sex. And then, in “Lavinia e Lucia,” a young man sneaks into a rich man’s home and into his wife’s bed which is all good with the older man, who believes that the offspring of a hermaphrodite is always male.

At the end of all this, the monks walk back, exhausted by their sexual adventures and also because the Father Superior told them it was unfair that he never got to sleep with a young nun, so they all tried to satisfy the older nun.

Eventually, this subgenre would become the much more popular commedia sexy all’italiana genre, which was popular until 1981. But by that point, D’Amato — while he made a few, like Vow of Chastity and Il Ginecologo Della Mutua — had moved on to making horror and erotic films that combined the tropics with gross out moments.

*In Germany, it was known as Hemmungslos der Lust verfallen or Falling Unrestrainedly into Lust.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.