I just watched Umberto Lenzi’s Un Posto Ideale Per Uccidere AKA Dirty Pictures or the english title I prefer Oasis Of Fear. This is a great film! The cast is superb, Ray Lovelock, in perhaps his greatest role, Ornella Muti, so young, so beautiful, so innocent and so sexy, Irene Papas, so dark, so severe, so attractive, like a sexy Greek witch.
This movie is a little like Hansel and Gretel with a sexy witch enticing our two innocent children into her gingerbread house, although the house isn’t made of gingerbread, candy canes, gumdrops, spun sugar. It’s made of champagne, caviar, exotic, erotic clothes, cigarettes, psychedelic music, and sex. Our story begins in Denmark where our two hippie love children are on holiday. They see the sights, run around Copenhagen and cavort like extras in a Dava Clark Five movie. But suddenly the Italian genre sensibility kicks in. They go into a Sex Shoppe, buy a ton of porno mags and bring them back to Italy to sell so they can pay for their vacation.
This works out great, they’re rich, they live like hippie Gods in Italy, eating at fancy restaurants, feeding champagne to cats, releasing doves at stuffy establishments, dancing at psychedelic discos, just having fun. There’s a scene that I find fascinating. At one point Ray sells a 45 record of people having sex to a foppish rich guy on a yacht.
Is That Moana Climax and the Heavy Breathers?
I’ve heard of “porno records” but I’ve never seen one. Frank Zappa was once busted for producing a “pornographic recording” and selling it to an undercover cop. Did people actually sit around at a stag party and listen to a record of people having sex? I heard Mickey Cohen bugged Johnny Stompanto’s bedroom and recorded Johnny and Lana Turner going at it.
You wanna go listen to a record?
Oooooh Johnny, You Bug Me!
The Mickster made a ton of money selling pressings to Hollywood hipsters to play at Tinseltown shindigs. But back to Oasis of Fear, our two heroic hippies run out of cash and decide to produce their own dirty pictures starring themselves,
they do but they get busted in Pisa trying to sell their wares and are told to leave the country,
Is that the leaning tower of Pisa or are you just happy to see me?
they hit the road in their old MG and run out of gas out in the country. They spy the beautiful estate of the wicked witch and push their car in hoping to get some gas.
At first Ms. Pappas tries to run them off, but then mysteriously she switches gears and invites them in. She offers them refreshments of all sorts, access to her copious closets of exotic outfits. Ornella dons an Eastern sari, she looks incredible, a vision from the Orient and she dances to a sitar record like a shimmering jewel.
at one point Irene looks at her through a cut crystal goblet and we get a telidoscopic view of Ornella’s bare breasts spinning psychedelically before our eyes.
A bare chested Ray assumes various Yogic poses at the command of Ms. Muti, The Lion, The Cobra, ” We are each other’s total slaves” he says to a bemused Irene.
A heady brew of sexual intrigue is bubbling furiously on the stove when murder and treachery rear their ugly heads. I’m not going to reveal what happens, YOU must seek out this film to find out for yourself. One of the aspects of this film I find so appealing is the summoning up of a bygone time. The 60’s, the Age Of Aquarius, the Innocence of these two young beautiful people perfectly captures that time and let’s us re-expieience it, like a fly in amber or Ruth Gordon’s scent collection in Harold and Maude. There is a dance scene with a rock band playing and our heroes frugging and watusiying their hearts out. It captures the energy of that time perfectly.
You can feel what it was like to be alive then. To feel like the world was yours, sex and music were a magic carpet to fly you around the globe.
This is the birthright of every person, an ideal we’ve lost touch with today. This is one reson why films like this are important. They’re the Dead Sea Scrolls of the hippie era. We can all learn a lot about the Spirit of that Age. This is also a reason why I feel Lenzi is a great filmmaker. His film resonates with truth, true senasations, what a real person would feel, not some corporate crap selected by a demographic computer print out. There’s a dance scene in Mike Hodges’ great Get Carter that rings true with the same soul transporting realism. He also is a great filmmaker and you can tell from details like this. But for me the stars of this film are the stars. Lovelock and Muti are so captivating, so charming, you really care about them. And Irene Pappas is so evil, she’s great! The score is by Bruno Lauzi, a pop star singer. It’s great, melodic, moody, jazzy. Even the pop song that’s used in the film is excellent. It works , it’s got a hook, it grabs you and you dig it. I think the Marc 4 played on this song because the bassline is so ass kickingly funky and hip, it must be the incomparable Maurizio Maiorana.
Looky here I just found the opening credits on YouTube!