JOE D’AMATO WEEK: L’alcova (1985)

Ugo Moretti wrote the Carroll Baker giallo Paranoia AKA Orgasmo and for that, we should be thankful. This is another of his scripts — based on The Alcove by Judith Wexley* — which is the story of Elio De Silveris (Al Cliver), a war veteran, who returns from the Second Abyssinian War with a prisoner of war. That POW, Zerbal, ends up being Laura Gemser and you know exactly where a Gemser and D’Amato movie is going.

While the master of the house was in combat, his wife Alessandra (Lilli Carati, Escape from Women’s Prison) had an affair with Elio’s secretary Wilma (Annie Belle, who dated Cliver from 1975 to 1978; she’s also in House On the End of the Park and Absurd). Now that he’s back home working on his book, Mrs. Elio is getting with the African princess and who can blame her?

There’s also Elio’s son and a gardner who are part of the coupling and decoupling in the house, which soon becomes a place of jealousy and then Elio gets the bright idea that he should start making adult movies — in 1937! — and soon there’s a power struggle for who really is in control. And then Zerbal enacts a ritual to prove once and for all who really is the master in this whole love square. Or hexagon. Or man, who knows, it’s a lot of people.

When D’Amato is making an adult film that works, it really works. This is one of those, a movie where the story is just as important as all the horizontal moments.

*Much like most of the quotes in Fulci movies and the Necronomicon, this book does not exist.

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