Now Judge Daryl Loomis likes turkey even less.
Who's this cockerel that did not crow?
There's little worse in my mind than Italian sex comedies. Take all the stupid puns from bawdy British movies and make them even more juvenile and you have all the makings of something that will irritate me to no end. I'd like to say, because it's loosely based on Boccaccio's 1353 story collection, The Decameron, that The Real Decameron (also known as The Sexbury Tales) might be an exception to that rule, but that's only because I really don't like hating things. The truth is that this movie is just as awful as I feared, and there's almost no sex, to boot.
A group of maids are standing at the wash tank doing their bosses' laundry. To pass the time, they exchange stories of the sexual exploits, embarrassments, and follies that they've either witnessed or imagined about their lords and ladies.
Thanks goodness there are only six stories presented in The Real Decameron instead of the one hundred in Boccaccio's classic book. That book, like The Canterbury Tales and One Thousand and One Nights, is a delightful collection of erotic comedy, morality play, and satire surrounded by a thin framing story and it works very well, even today. The only thing The Real Decameron maintains from that timeless piece of work is the weak framing story, with everything else consisting of some of the worst acting and the worst storytelling that you're likely to find.
Each of the six stories essentially comes down to one idea: that somebody is trying to have sex, but can't for some various reason. Sometimes, it's because the woman is ugly and, sometimes, it's because the man is old and fat, but regardless of the circumstance, it's the same end result: poorly staged sex scenes with ridiculous music played over top of it. The only exception is a story about a recently married woman who hates her old and fat husband and wants to sleep with her lover. Their house is haunted, though, so she winds up having sex with the priest who performs the exorcism, only to find out that the ghost is in the head of a really horny turkey. That right there is the height of the comedy we get in The Real Decameron, and if that kind of thing appeals to you, then I am so, so sorry.
Director Mario Caiano (Nightmare Castle) appears to have been in another room while this movie was made, because it's so full of mistakes that it's easier to believe that than to believe that he agreed to some of this work. It's bland and boring with some of the most unrealistic sex scenes ever committed to film. He employed a number of beautiful actresses for the production, including Rosalba Neri (Lady Frankenstein) and Christa Linder (Alien Terror), but even their beauty can't overcome the lameness of their roles. There is literally nothing to recommend about this movie, except the recommendation to stay as far away as possible.
To its credit, though, One 7 has done a fine job on the DVD. The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is better than it probably has any right to be, with solid detail, good colors, and no digital errors to speak of. There are some bits of dirt and damage, but never enough to distract from the oh-so-compelling proceedings onscreen. The audio is decent, as well, with little dynamic range in the single channel mix, but clear dialog and no distracting background noise. The only odd thing about the release is in the subtitles, which are fine except that it seems the person who typed them up had a defective "I" key, as any lower case version of the letter is represented as an "l." A small thing, but kind of funny, at least to me. There are no extras on the disc, however.
If I never see another Italian sex comedy, it will be too soon. This is, to me, the worst genre in all of world cinema and something that I have a genuinely difficult time understanding its appeal. Don't be fooled by the Boccaccio trappings; The Real Decameron is as steaming a pile of garbage as you're likely to see this year and I feel like a worse person for having watched it.
Give us your feedback!
Scales of Justice
Studio: One 7 Movies
Review content copyright © 2014 Daryl Loomis; Site design and review layout copyright © 2015 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.