Directed by: Andrea Bianchi
Written by: Piero Regnoli
Produced by: Gabriele Crisanti
Reviewed by: Brett H.
ďLook at my body. Long for it. Itís yours if you want it and if you get aroused alone in your bed, try not to masturbate. Youíd make me feel guilty. Good night.Ē
Hardcore pornography and horror. Wow, that got your attention, didnít it? For that reason alone, one can understand why Eurosleaze avant-gardists tried their hands at it (for this review, all puns intended). Sex sells and everyone knows it. However, combining hardcore scenes with a real movie has always been a tricky teeter-totter of an idea. The ups and downs of XXX movies do not just regard the on screen sex. For many, watching a porno movie for the story is downright unheard of; they have one use for them and one use only. The Eurosleaze fan is a different breed, though. To be a follower of this trashy cinema, you must have a twisted sense of humor, enjoy the thrill of uncharted territory being discovered on film and be able to handle a sick array of subjects, most of the time all in good fun. Andrea Bianchi is no stranger to us grime film fans as being the director of the infamous, Burial Ground, starring Peter Bark and deals with the subject of incest, zombies and some twisted breast feeding. All in a dayís work for Andrea, as he proves with this earlier film, Malabimba: The Malicious Whore, featuring similar subject matter although demonic possession takes the place of the walking dead. And if the earlier portions of this review didnít provide enough of a hint, proceed with caution and necessary prophylactics, this film puts out graphically. Lots.
The Karoli family is a rich, stuck up clan thatís lived in their castle for three centuries. The occupants of the castle are Andrea (Enzo Fisichella) and his daughter, Malabimba (Katell Laennec), along with Andreaís mother, his paralysed brother and sister in law, Nais (Patrizia Webley). Tragedy has struck the family and Andreaís wife has passed away, leaving Malabimba without a mother. A medium is called in to try to contact the spirit of the deceased woman, but things suddenly take a turn for the worse. Rather than connecting with the good spirit of Malabimbaís mother, they enrage the spirit of Lucrezia Karoli, the black sheep of the family who was either killed by a lover (of which, we are told, she had many) or committed suicide. The medium flips out and collapses on the table, her body taken over by Lucrezia and people present at the sťance lose their tops and are violated by this horny entity.
The spirit of Lucrezia takes control over the sweet and innocent sixteen year old Malibimba and her personality begins to change drastically. Gone is the purity of a young lady who has never been beyond the family garden, now she has become obsessed with sex in any form. It does not matter to her if she is spying on her father and the lusty Nais while masturbating at the window; hell, she even tries to seduce her own father. Not only this, but she now has no problems referring to everyone in the family as filthy swines, sluts and any other insult she can come up with. Not even the family nurse/nun, Sofia (Mariangela Giordano, Peter Barkís mother in Burial Ground) is safe from Malabimbaís lust, as she soon becomes her main target. Can Sister Sofia survive her encounter with the demon, and can she help save poor Malabimbaís soul, while battling her own sexual urges? And, where is the line between the real Malabimba and the demon Lucrezia drawn?
Incest, profanity, teen sexuality, Nunsploitation, hypocrisy, softcore pornography accompanied with hardcore inserts, possession, seduction, good vs. evil and death by oral sex are, in a nutshell, what the sleazefest Malabimba is all about. It pushes the boundaries of good taste at every corner and pushes it even further when it hits rock bottom. Just when you think it canít go any further than that, it rams right through you. Thatís the kind of film Malabimba is and thatís whatís so appealing about it. Like The Antichrist before it, every profane Exorcist display is hyperbolized to the point of hilarity in this Italian gem, but itís not really a copy. Itís hard to copy the eternal demonic possession classic when your film is completely full of at the absolute least, softcore sex. And, not the lovey dovey kind of sex, weíre talking lust in the worst of ways, Malabimba smashes through every moral in its path. And, it's very well directed with great gothic sets to boot.
By a mere seven minutes into the film, weíve already been treated to an entire 90-minute featureís worth of sleaze. Without exaggeration, in that amount of time we witness a sťance which leads to demonic possession, a womanís top being ripped off, a manís penis being grasped by the angry spirit, frontal nudity, demonic profanity, doors opening on their own, pianos playing by themselves, shit flying everywhere and to top it off a nun is treated to her first taste of third base by the seductive spirit and likes it, so much so that she decides to explore herself a bit more closely. The film doesnít stop there, and even when thereís a scene of dialogue, itís still off the wall. Andreaís brother is paralysed and his mother wants him to marry his sister in law so as to keep the family fortune. The guy isnít even dead yet! Thereís plenty of seduction and sex from nearly every character in the film and without a doubt, the film peaks with a sex scene in which Malabimba seduces her paralysed uncle with oral sex. Not only does she promise to, and succeed, in making him able to move again, but he dies while sheís going to work on him, she performs that well. Death from oral sexÖ a horror film first for me, folks. And, I loved every sleazy minute of it!
To be clear, the majority of the film is intended to be softcore smut, and in that area, it truly succeeds. Hardcore shots were inserted after the filmís release without any real permission from anyone involved. The hardcore shots are very short and although they donít hinder the film too much, itís a lot sexier without, especially because itís not the real actors doing the deed. Nais is a seductive older lady that makes Stiflerís Mom look like a Saint by comparison, meanwhile Sister Sofia and Malabimba display innocence being corrupted by the act of sex from a conservative standpoint. Oddly enough, Nais never comes into direct sexual contact with Malabimba. The Malabimba sex scenes are a bit trickier to break down; on one hand sheís quite obviously not happy that the demon is making her do these nasty things, thereís also a part of her that is genuinely curious. Thereís a particularly erotic scene in which Malabimba presses herself up against a mirror and masturbates, while softly kissing her reflection and without a doubt itís Malabimba herself, not the actions of the demon possessing her. Nais, although voluptuous and slutty, is at times the voice of reason and comments that Malabimba was brought up without enough freedom (a thought her father agrees with) and thatís what is affecting her outrageous behavior. Well, she is possessed, but it's obvious that her life solely at the castle and monastery is a way for the filmmakers to comment on such repression. Nais also likes to be abused during sex, and even though sheís in control you can just feel the misogyny oozing from the script. Malabimba is the type of sexploration that is dealt with in a mostly indie or foreign pictures. Amidst the smut and decay, the film does make some valid points. Sure, itís more graphic than your typical sexually struggling teen film, but there are a lot of comments on the repression of teenage sexuality and people that forbid their children from experiencing the outside world. With demonic possession accentuation, of course.
The horror scenes are few, but even amidst the sensuality (which varies from extremely awkward to quite erotic) you are always left wondering just what is going to become of the spirit inside Malabimba and if Sister Sofia will take the road to heaven or get sucked into a world of salacity. Thatís plenty more than can be said about a lot of films. Severin presents Malabimba on DVD with an almost flawless transfer for such an old and unappreciated film, along with an adequate Italian mono track with English subtitles. Where the disc really excels is in the ďintegral cutĒ option that allows the viewer to watch film with the deleted scenes (which are easily noticeable due to inferior quality) put back into the flick. Some deleted scenes are just walking around, but others make the story a lot tighter and a couple feature even more nudity, including a full frontal male shot for the two ladies out there interested. All right, one lady. Rounding out the extras is a trailer and the documentary, Malabimba Uncovered which consists of informative interviews with actress Mariangela Giordano and cinematographer Franco Villa. They seem to have fond memories regarding the film, except Giordano recalls Andrea Bianchi telling young Katell Laennec that she eats like a pig, has gotten a little bit of a belly and she should go throw up. Not very admirable at all. Malabimba is sexploitation sleaze at its worst, and by worst I mean best! If the hardcore shots donít bother you and you arenít afraid to gets your hands a little dirty, Buy it!
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