Sep 21, 2021

I Prosseneti (1976)


A nihilistic Italian film about an aristocrat couple who create a "Fantasy Island" for perverts - where rich men come to have their unwholesome desires fulfilled, no matter how strange or elaborate.

Gilda (Juliette Mayniel) is an aristocrat who, along with her husband, have set up this brothel for the world's elite.

Her husband Davide (Alain Cuny) talks with their customer, Aldo Brando (Jean Valmont) who got rich from being a mercenary. 

Davide learns of the Aldo's sick lusts and will work to accommodate them. 

But Davide yearns to retire from this life and publish a book on cocktails. 

A very specific girl is chosen for Aldo, and we'll learn why. Odile (Stefania Casini) is taxied to the estate.  I love that she's reading Jacula, a wonderfully perverted fumetti. 

Odile gets dressed, wondering why she has to dress up like it's 1954.

Aldo starts out like your typical john.

Aldo and Odile horse around.

He takes her up on the roof.

Then Aldo starts to get a little psycho.

He tears open her dress.

Aldo reveals that he knows about Odile's mother who was tortured and raped in North Africa in 1954. "They wanted your mother to reveal the names of her comrades." 

Aldo then has sex with Odile on the ledge of the rooftop. 

Brief full frontal nudity from Stefania Casini as she rolls over on the bed.

Odile wants to know how Aldo knew about her mother - and why did he choose her?

Aldo reveals that they tortured her mother with electric wires.

He explains that "I needed you to be born from torture." It's a funny little kink he has.

Aldo gives her a gun; she tries to shoot him, but it's not loaded. 

Gilda is greeted by the next kinky bastard to visit their estate - Giorgio (Luciano Salce) a theater director

Giorgio wants a peek at Gilda's boob, and she obliges.  The only nudity from Juliette Mayniel in this film.

Giorgio inspects the maids.

The girl chosen for Giorgio is Silvia (Silvia Dionisio).

Giorgio has an elaborate fantasy where he's a shipwrecked captain who hooks up with a tribal island girl.

Silvia does her tribal dance.

Once Giorgio's fantasy is complete, he coldly walks away from Silvia as if it all meant nothing.

Gilda greets the next rich pervert, José (José Quaglio) an ambassador 

Lyl (Ilona Staller) is chosen for the job.

Lyl must undress in front of a movie featuring his ex, Angela.  

Giusi (Gabriella Lepori), the countess' assistant, scours the streets of Rome with her posse, looking for just the right girl.
They find Linda (Consuelo Ferrara), a poor girl who has just arrived in the big city.  Ginsi has her purse stolen and then pretends to be there to help her.

Ginsi offers Linda a place to stay at the estate.

Linda is drugged and raped.  A religious girl, she contemplates committing suicide.

She threatens to go to the authorities and is subsequently punched in the face and knocked out.

Linda does finally escape this horrific place.

Gilda's birthday party.

Jule (Sonja Jeannine) arrives on a motorcycle. She's just turned eighteen. 

The girl is hypersexual, constantly saying things to the guests like, "Your breasts are so marvelous. Why keep them hidden in the dark?"
Finally, she has all the guests rip her clothes off and go to town on her.

Jule wonders why some of the guests are reluctant.

Finally, they all join in and rub food on her, then slurp it off.

Gilda wants out of this lifestyle.  She feels they behaved like beasts last night, and wants to call it quits.

But then Linda returns.  Evidently, she couldn't make it in Rome, and seeks food and shelter with them. And so the business of the "prosseneti", the panderers, continues. THE END

The dismal atmosphere, the nihilistic and perverse worldview on display here is suffocating.  Not a smile, not a joke, not a single frame of levity to ease the dread.  Plus, it's pretty boring; the dialog is well crafted but no one talks like this. A healthy amount of sleaze, but otherwise not going to be on anyone's Letterboxd top ten.


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