|Nota bene: this movie is set in 1903 Ireland.|
Still a great poster though.
It's the romantic in me.
Sadly it was not to be, but that's not to say there's nothing to enjoy here. We do get slutty actresses in Victorian gear, a rampantly religious butler, lesbonic room service and bi-curious chambermaids, not to mention at least three decapitations and as batshit an ending as you could ask for. Plus voyeurism and Scooby-Doo footprints. So really, one can't complain too much.
Let me show you what I mean.
One thing director Rizzo (a prolific actor when not behind the lens, whose filmography includes in Spirits of the Dead , b-movie staple Bloody Pit of Horror , and an uncredited role in one of Nazisploitation's nasty masterpieces, The Beast in Heat ) really has going for him here is some fantastic sets and locations. Okay, maybe that's two things...anyway, here's an example:
|Cobbled As Fuck|
|"And in this outbuilding--the Orgy Room!"|
Our story, such as it is, begins in IRELAND, 1902. While all the natives are dancing jigs, playing the tin whistle, and wondering where (the fuck) all these Italians came from, an all-girl theater troupe has just closed its last performance. The actresses are understandably worried about what they'll do now that their corned-beef-and-Chianti money has dried up. It's never really spelled out what their show entailed, but I'm guessing there was scandalous ankle-baring involved. That's just the kind of sluts they seem to be.
Well, all except Evelyn, played by the lovely and bodaciously endowed Patrizia De Rossi, aka Patrizia Webley, whom Mad Movie fans will remember at first glance from her memorable turn as adulterous bitch-in-law Nais in the mmmmmasterpiece Malabimba, THE MALICIOUS WHORE (1979)--a movie that, unlike this one, DOES live up to its title.
Here Patrizia plays the diametric opposite of that character, as Evelyn is the good girl of the troupe--a widowed singer who spends her days pining for her lost hubby and NOT abusing stage manager-gofer Samuel (Leo Valeriano), as all the other girls never miss an opportunity to do. Luckily Evelyn's girl-next-villa wholesomeness has attracted the attention of mush-mouthed aristocrat Count Richard Marnack (Giacomo Rossi-Stuart), who invites Evelyn and all her gal-pals to his secluded castle for an extended stay. Since no rich guy ever invites a group of loose women out to his country estate with anything but the noblest of intentions, the girls readily accept.
|"That's right baby--I'm into the kinky stuff."|
Out at the castle, the girls are greeted by Ice Queen-cum-Hausfrau Sybil, played with repressed sexual fury by Femi Benussi, whose high collars and ruffled cuffs can barely contain her voluptuousness. (If you'd like to see her a little less restrained--and really, you SHOULD--the Vicar recommends checking her out in Strip Nude for Your Killer  where she...well, absolutely does that. Zang!)
|Strip Nude for Your Vicar|
|"So I says to the theater owner, I says, 'If I'm working with a muthahumpin' DONKEY, I'm gonna need a MUCH bigger dressing room! HAW!"|
|"Dear Lord...please send me a poster for that wall!"|
|"Hey, I have to WASH those sheets, you know!"|
|"Go on, squeeze 'em. They make squeeky noises."|
|"If you need anything, madam, just massage the bedside dragon's prostate. I'll be here in a jiff."|
To her credit Evie is not altogether on-board with this, even less so when she discovers a portrait of the Count's disappeared-and-presumed-dead wife, who of course (stop me if you've heard this one) looks EXACTLY like Evelyn!
|"You've gotta be fuckin' kidding me."|
|"I heard screaming!"|
|"Damn straight you did, Daddio."|
And the set-ups continue for a bit yet. Gregory knows something about Sybil, something sufficiently embarrassing to enable the old codger to blackmail her for sex! Weirder still, she seems kind of into it. Also, turns out the Count's grandfather beheaded his grandmother for adultery...then 20 years later, the Count's father murdered his wife for the same reason before leaping into the sea! And the current Count (that's 3) keeps his father's dagger on display in the drawing room--the very weapon that MURDERED HIS OWN MOTHER. Nope, nuthin' weird about that! Oh, and the current Countess didn't disappear--she took a lover and ran away to the city before Marnack could complete the adultery triple-header!
Counter-intuitively, this makes Evelyn weirdly hot--she finally falls for the marble-chewing aristocrat, leading to a falling-in-love montage and mucho sexy time. And Cora, desperate for cock, beds a stocky fisherman, the son of Gregory. Jeffrey continues to wait for God's wrath to strike them all dead.
Fortunately for him (and us!) the wait is over!
|How do ya like THEM apples?|
|Waiting for the Wig Fairy|
|"Don't ask me--I'm stumped."|
Yes, in rapid succession Cora and the Lesbians (cool band name alert) have been dispatched, all of them beheaded! Is this the spirit of the Count's grandfather, wreaking ghostly vengeance via harlot-disposal? Has the Count himself, traumatized by the loss of his mother AND wife, finally snapped? Or is the snappee Jeffrey? Or Gregory? Or poor old beleaguered Samuel?
Does the fact that Evelyn was in an asylum before she joined the troupe, driven mad by the loss of her villager husband, signify at all? Is she actually the Count's amnesiac wife, returned for her cursed punishment? Or is there something far more sinister and STUPID going on?
|"Come play with us, Danny."|
Also in the plus column is the gorgeous cast. Webley and Benussi are a couple of the hotter 2nd-tier Eurobabes of the era for my money, and both are fairly good actresses to boot, at least on the sliding scale of 70s genre cinema. I do think Webley seems more comfortable in the "bitch" role a la Malabimba, and struggles a bit maintaining the innocence and vulnerability the role of Evelyn requires--particularly when she bursts out of her corset and beds the Count, getting down like no good girl should, IYKWIMAITYD. The other actresses are lovely and often nude, offering plenty of eye candy for those viewers to whom such trivial things are important.
|It was a dark and horny night.|
|"Mirror, mirror, on the wall...who's the sluttiest of them all?"|
|"You are. Totes M'Goats."|
"I...couldn't help overhearing."
And the final "reveal" is wacky even for this genre, including a detective who solves the crime by pulling completely fabricated guesses out of his ASS until he happens on the correct one by sheer luck (again, Italian); a confession that is false, unnecessary, and never explained; a SHOCK REVEAL that actually made me glee-squee a little; and enough nonsensical twists and turns to leave even a seasoned viewer wondering WTF just happened.
In short, a good time. 2.5 thumbs.
Still Yet MORE images from The Bloodsucker Leads the Dance (1975):
|You tell me: is there a Volkswagen in this picture?|
|Buster Keaton in "Steamboat Bill's Night at the Bordello"|
|"I hate myself."|
"I hate you too."
|Worst. Gravedigger. EVER.|
|"Why, Johnny? Why? Johnny, why? Why?"|