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Cugini Carnali (1974)  full Italia Movie

This is rather unusual sex comedy for director Sergio Martino. While Martino was a master of the genre, he was mostly known for the goofy screwball bedroom farces he made with actors like Edwige Fenech or Lino Banfi. This movie, however, is a more subtle, serious, and very Italian-flavored “erotic family” comedy-drama, the kind of film more commonly associated with directors like Salvatore Samperi.

Cugini Carnali 1974

Cugini Carnali 1974

The protagonist is a provincial adolescent boy who has just graduated high school, but still lives with his parents.His parents are strict and religious in the typical provincial manner, but also hypocrites–his father, for instance, is not only messing around with the voluptuous family maid (Rosa Neri), but he pushes HER aside in favor of a pretty local teenager he hires to, um, help out around the villa. The entire family meanwhile is waiting for a wealthy, bedridden old uncle (the protagonist’s godfather) to die, so they can inherit his castle and fortune, but the old man is contemptuous of his relatives and determined to spend all his money on local hookers. The real drama starts though when the wife’s no-account brother shows up from Rome and drops off his adolescent daughter (the protagonist’s cousin) in order that she can finish her studies undistracted by the temptations of the big city. The fast, blonde “carnal cousin” (Susan Player) drives the protagonist to distraction and creates a scandal throughout the entire town as she constantly dresses in panty-flashing miniskirts and sans bra (even in church!), and sunbathes nude on the roof of the family villa. Worst of all, she starts messing around with the protagonist’s friend, a muscle-headed lady-killer just back from military service.

This is not one of Martino’s best films. He seems a little bit out of his element. (And on top of that, the version I saw suffered both from horrid dubbing and an incompetent pan-and-scan full-screen TV transfer). Rosalba Neri is criminally wasted. This voluptuous Italian beauty is not remotely believable as a domestic servant (but I guess that’s par for the course in these kinds of films). The bigger problem is she just has a very inconsequential part for such a talented actress (Although she does have one memorable scene where she gives a bath to the new young mistress of her lover/employer while he watches). Susan Player, however, has a great–I mean, is a great–asset to the film. She’s very cute and sexy and there’s a lot more to her teasing minx of a character than first meets the eye. This obscure American actress is best known for 70’s American drive-in fare like “The Pom-Pom Girls” and “Malibu Beach”. Somehow though she ended up starring in this very Italian movie and she was also in the British-Spanish film “Las Adolescentes”.

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