Joe D’Amato’s PORNO HOLOCAUST: Horrible, Even For An Italian Exploitation Flick

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I come here not to review Porno Holocaust, but to offer a stern warning to anyone who may be thinking of checking this so-called movie out. Consider me Crazy Ralph, and this movie has got a death curse on it.

It was directed by Joe D’Amato, possibly one of Italy’s most prolific filmmakers. By prolific I don’t mean he was good. He just made a shit load of movies. Mostly horror and porn. Mostly mostly porn. Porn consumed the last years of his directing career as well as his life. He probably died planning his next cum shot. I’ve seen a few of his XXX titles and they weren’t all that good. Porno Holocaust was one of two movies D’Amato (real name: who cares?) shot at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic from screenplays by his frequent leading monster George Eastman and himself. The first was 1980’s Erotic Nights of the Living Dead and that one was also pretty lousy but had the added virtues of zombies, atmospheric cinematography, a scene where a woman uncorks a wine bottle using only her hoo-hah, and the eternally gorgeous Laura Gemser.

Porno Holocaust had none of these things. It did have a leading man with a porn star mustache and an clear case of genital warts that D’Amato went out of his way to showcase in a series of embarrassing close-ups during the sex scenes. The fact that a director would intentionally have his actresses have on-camera sex with an actor with a possible sexually transmitted disease is not only appalling and unprofessional but also one of the reasons why I have an ongoing love-hate relationship with Italian exploitation cinema: the lack of regard the filmmakers often have for the health and safety of their casts and crews. Sometimes the risk pays off with memorable movie scenes, but often the danger was for nothing.

The horror and the porn of Porno Holocaust is all lamely executed. With a running time of 113 minutes it takes an eternity for what passes for a story to get into gear, and that’s only after a near-endless succession of unerotic sex scenes where the performers these depressing looks on their faces that seem to say “This certainly was in my goddamned contract!” Continuity errors are everywhere and some could have easily been edited out of the movie, along with the sex scenes. The actual plot revolves a group of horny scientists traveling to a deserted tropical island that had once been the site of radiation testing to investigate reports of mutated animal life and maybe even a radioactive zombie running about. Classic B-movie fodder that Sam Katzman or Roger Corman would have whipped into an entertainingly forgettable drive-in flick with a terrific rubber suit beastie. But the monster of Porno Holocaust is a rapey black local with a squashed nose and a gigantic dong that spews deadly sperm. Not on screen obviously. That would have cost money. Instead the zombie kills off the menfolk through dicey editing and cheap gore effects and then fucks the women to death with his poisonous pecker.

I really wish I had made that part up. In any case the women should be more afraid of the guy running around the island spreading his STDs to any member of the female persuasion willing to be his ninth lay of the day.

No one involved in the making of Porno Holocaust gave two shits about what they were doing. Therefore, why should the audience? It’s the nadir of Pastaland schlock; the horror ain’t scary, the porn ain’t sexy, and the whole thing is the absolute pits. Apparently the only member of the production staff who bothered to show up for work and actually do their job was composer Nico Fidenco, who contributes a disco-fied soundtrack that’s annoyingly catchy and may be the best porn movie score ever created. Here’s Fidenco’s main title theme:

Now that I’ve written about this movie perhaps I can finally forget about it for the rest of my life. Fat chance. Some movies can be quickly forgotten; unnecessarily hairy taints not so much.

Here’s the stupid fucking trailer:

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2 Responses to “Joe D’Amato’s PORNO HOLOCAUST: Horrible, Even For An Italian Exploitation Flick”

  1. Did Nico Fidenco base this on Riz Ortolani’s score for Cannibal Holocaust, or am I just high? It’s giving me a serious Riz vibe.

    Like

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