Top Sensation (1969)

By the loosest of categorization, we can call this movie a giallo; it’s also an example of just how scummy an Italian exploitation movie can get.

Also known as The SeducersSensations and Swinging Young Seductresses, this movie has quite the plot: Mudy (French author Maud de Belleroche in her only movie) is the mother of a shy and mentally disturbed manchild named Tony (Ruggero Miti) who isn’t interested in women and really only cares about setting things on fire. Her plan? A sea cruise where she’s hired a prostitute named Ulla (Edwige Fenech!) to take her son’s virginity and if that doesn’t work, she also has her married lovers Paula (Rosalba Neri!) and her husband Aldo (Maurizio Bonuglia, The Perfume of the Lady in Black) aboard.

Everybody wants the oil project that the wealthy Mudy can give out. And somehow, Tony can resist both Fenech and Neri — this movie is science fiction — and only shows affection for Beba (Eva Thulin, who the New York Times misread as Ewa Aulin), the wife of goat herder Andro (Salvatore Puntillo). Also, someone has been strangling women everywhere the boat docks, someone that looks a lot like Tony.

Directed by Ottavio Alessi (who wrote Emanuelle In Bangkok and Emanuelle In America, so yes, he’s a maniac), who co-wrote the script with Nelda Minucci from a story by Lorenzo Ricciardi (who made Savage Man, Savage Beast and the cockfighting comedy — oh man, an Italian film about fighting cocks can’t be friendly to animals — Venere creola), everybody is having sex with anybody and everybody — and yes, there’s a scene with Fenech and Neri you filthy-minded reader — is doing it except for Tony, who Mudy thinks will break out of his lack of development if he can just get on top of Beba, who is rushed out of a Fenech and Neri sandwich into the young boy’s room so he can show off his slot cars while everyone keeps Beba’s husband busy.

Also: Neri shooting everything she can with a rifle, Fenech making out with a goat and a choking after a post-incestual makeout session? Oh Italy, you do know how to make a movie.

Just listen to the music from Sante Maria Romitelli in this and wonder why life can’t always be this good.

Oh man — I found a Pittsburgh Press review of this movie from when it played the Warner and it referred to it as “something dreadful” and said, “The Warner has brought forward some real doozies in recent months, but certainly nothing low enough to touch this number.” The best line? “Garbage is the best way to describe Seducers, which was apparently meant to be a poor man’s version of La Dolce Vita.”

That’s a rave review, dude.

Also: the movie ends with a Bible verse like some kind of demented apology for all the sin we’ve just witnessed.

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