girls - Lia (Gloria Guida) and Tina (Lili Carati) - meet on a beach
during a hippie Love-In. They decide to hit the road and hitchhike
to Rome, in search of a famous commune where they can bask in the
atmosphere of peace, free [sexual] love and happiness promised by
the late 1960s. But the commune has long since fallen from an idealistic
utopia to a soul-crushing purgatory, rampant with absurd political
posturing, thievery, empty spiritual philosophies, prostitution, fleecing
scams and drug abuse.
PLEASE NOTE: The rest of this description contains
major spoilers. Fernando Di Leo's movie - with its naughty
humor and abundance of nudity - plays like a whimsical sex comedy
laced with a hint of impending tragedy. But nothing will prepare the
viewer from the unflinchingly brutal ending where both girls are beaten,
tortured, raped and murdered. The last sequence is one of the most
disturbing in exploitation cinema.
distributors saw the film, they demanded that it be re-edited into
something more accessible, In reality, the resulting English version
was severely juxtaposed with scenes no longer following the same order.
Some music was changed [to disco], sex scenes were shortened, the
notorious lesbian encounter between Guida and Carati went missing
as did the entire opening beach Love-In sequence [with full frontal
male and female shots]. But the big difference is the ending. The
shocking original ending is gone. Both versions of the film are included
in this DVD package.
Fernando Di Leo
was generally considered the best of the European Crime directors,
elevating the Italian gangster film to an art form (see MILANO
CALIBER NINE). But besides mastering that genre, he is known
for the quintessential horror sleaze BEAST
KILLS IN COLD BLOOD with Klaus Kinski, a disturbing Lolita
and his home-invasion thriller MADNESS
(Vacanze per un Massacro). Fernando was also a prolific scriptwriter
throughout the '70s and '80s, responsible for numerous Spaghetti Westerns
OF DOLLARS and DJANGO)
and a variety of horror films (ORGIES
OF FRANKENSTEIN) and crime movies (LIVE
LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN). Mr Di Leo retired in 1985; he
died from a stroke in December 2003 at age 71.
Gloria Guida was
Miss Teenage Italy 1973. She parlayed that notoriety into box-office
gold. After her 1974 debut film, Silvio Amadio's sex romp THE
[La Minorenne], she delivered 25 more movies within ten years,
these include the giallo SO
YOUNG SO LOVELY SO VICIOUS (also for Mr Amadio), Mario Imperoli's
JEANS and YOUNG
[Ragazzina]. As Gloria approached age 30, she chose to make fewer
films. In 1991, she married singer/actor Johnny Dorelli [IL
MOSTRO]. They have one child and remain married today.
Her co-star here,
Lilli Carati (born Ileana Caravati in 1956) was a popular model and
star when she made this film. Afterwards, Lilli's life took a downward
turn due to heroin addiction. In 1981, she suffered from an overdose,
passing out during an interview on the Italian Broadcasting network.
Later that year, she had a car accident, causing fractures to her
patella and shoulder. Miss Carati took a three year work hiatus but
returned in a series of films (for Joe D'Amato) including THE
LOOK OF DESIRE, and THE
PLEASURE. In the late '80s, she briefly turned to Hardcore
(XXX) before retiring in 1990. Lilli Carati died from brain cancer
at age 58 in October 2014.