Saturday, April 23, 2011
Salon Kitty Not Up to Scratch
I had high hopes for Tinto Brass' Salon Kitty (1976). I had heard through the underground film grapevine (i.e. fellow sickos) that it rivaled Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS in the Naziploitation genre.
And it could have, too. The "Salon Kitty" was a Gestapo brothel; the Nazis got the idea to bug the place and listen to the pillow talk as a way to ferret out spies, potential deserters and dissenters, and the like.
But somebody got the idea they were making a serious film, albeit one with lots of nekkidity. It's the same notion that sank Caligula.
So what you wind up with is two hours plus of sporadic weirdness, some of the most annoying Nazis in screen history and entirely too many cabaret numbers.
The big ol' orgy scene near the beginning is noteworthy, if only for the sheer number of writhing young members of the Master Race.
And one musical number would have been okay to set the decadent tone. But four? (Or was it five? I don't remember, I used the fast-forward.)
And Brass does not miss an opportunity to editorialize against the Nazis, which is not a particularly bold or unusual stance.
We're talking massive orgy, filmed a la Stanley Kubrick with a rigidly symmetrical long shot to establish the thing. Pubic hair trimming. Dwarf sex. Amputee sex. Breasts galore (lost count after a dozen). Nazi in Ubermensch/super hero outfit. Toe sucking. Bread dildo. Sex with "Triumph of the Will" showing on the wall. Shouting Nazis. Mincing Nazis. Cape-wearing Nazis. Luftwaffe brains blown out in shower by vengeful hooker. True love. Interminable musical nightclub intervals, and somebody took the time to write the songs. Way too much plot getting in the way of the story.
A grudging two coils, with a fast-forward caveat.