Director - Andreas Bianchi
Cast - Ursula Heinle, Femi Benussi
Country of Origin - Italy
Discs - 1
Distributor - One 7 Movies
Reviewer - Bobby Morgan
The Film: 2/5
Widowed hotel manager Corrado (Lucio Flauto) receives a welcomed visitor in the form of his sweet, comely niece Daniela (Ursula Heinle), who he is surprised to discover has grown to resemble his late wife Laura very closely. Ever since Laura died Corrado has desperately kept her memory alive by storing her wardrobe in his closet but the arrival of Daniela stirs in him feelings of longing that soon grow into an uncomfortable obsession with his niece. He’s not the only one with their sights set on Corrado’s niece: there’s his next door neighbor Riccardo Attenni, a horny airline employee who passes himself off as a pilot to have his way with women; Franco (Francesco Parisi), a smitten Naval officer who wishes for Daniela to run away with him; and a brusque anarchist stud who lures the impressionable young woman into a pot-fueled orgy. Also adding to the confusion is Corrado’s sexy housekeeper Marietta (Femi Benussi). Soon Corrado’s disturbing, voyeuristic tendencies become too much for Daniela and the two close relatives head for an emotional confrontation where some very dark secrets will be brought against their will into the light.
Although the packaging refers to it as a rare Italian comedy, you won’t find much funny business on display in Naughty Teen - not even in the actual humorous scenes. It’s a very sexual and somber film about obsession that finds its more interesting moments undercut by pointless smut that tends to be creepy rather than amorous. Obsession as a cinematic theme has been executed much better in the past with Alfred Hitchcock’s timeless masterpiece Vertigo being one of the best examples. In Naughty Teen (or as it’s known in Italy, Cara Dolce Nipote, which translates to “Dear Sweet Grandson”, which for once means that One 7’s exploitative renaming reflects the film more accurately) the theme is more of a functional plot device to attempt to give dramatic heft to multiple scenes of women disrobing, showering, and being rogered by horny old men and sleazy young turks. I certainly never mind the former two, but it’s the latter than we see far too much and it gets to be unpleasant fast. Maybe that was the intention of director Andrea Bianchi, the Italo schlock-meister whose filmography is littered with grimy gems such as Strip Nude for Your Killer, Malabimba, and the monumentally craptastic zombie flick Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror. Perhaps you wouldn’t consider that to be the resume of a master filmmaker, but seeing Bianchi’s name in the credits briefly gave me hope that this would be an entertaining watch. Man was I wrong.
The lovely Ursula Heinle gets plenty of chances to show off her amazing body in all its naked glory, even though most of the time Bianchi cruelly undercuts the eroticism of those scenes by intercutting them with shots of her uncle or Attenni gazing lustily upon her bare flesh like horny pedophiles parked outside a high school. It doesn’t help that uncle Corrado is a dead ringer for comedic actor and writer Carl Gottlieb (Jaws) and Attenni bears an uncomfortable resemblance to F Troop star Larry Storch. Seeing these two slovenly, charm-free geezers get horny is about as erotic as an all-Muppet orgy.
One 7 never puts much effort into restoring the picture and sound quality of their DVD releases, but the quality of Naughty Teen’s transfer is poor even by their questionable standards. The 1.33:1 full frame picture appears to have been transferred from a videotape copy salvaged from the poorly-ventilated attic of a shut-in. The colors are drab and depressing and there’s a distracting blur at the bottom of the picture. Fortunately the Italian 2.0 mono audio track fares better with good yet unimpressive space given to the numerous dialogue scenes and the repetitive light jazz score. English subtitles are provided but are packed with annoying grammatical errors. You really do get what you paid for.
Having reviewed several One 7 releases in the past I expected them to include no extra features on this disc and by jove those wonderful bastards did not disappoint me. There’s nothing of added value to be found here, unless you enjoy looking at a static menu until your eyes go cross.
I enjoy seeing beautiful women frolicking in the nude as much as your average heterosexual male, even on celluloid. But I have to ask for a little more than that in my cinematic entertainment, like interesting characters and an involving storyline. Naughty Teen has neither of those and even its scenes of titillation lack passion and joy. One 7 did itself no favors by unearthing this generic sexploitation curio and sticking it on a ninth-rate DVD to boot. Avoid this like it was on fire and carrying bubonic plague and let’s hope and pray that some day soon One 7 will no longer befoul the waters of home entertainment consumerism with its sorry slate of releases.