A little violence, a little flesh, and a bag of chips—Appellate Judge Tom Becker had a good day.
Girls! Guns! Lust! FLESH!!
For the uninitiated, the term pornochanchada refers to low-budget, soft-core, sexploitation films made in Brazil in the '70s and '80s. According to the not-always-reliable but enduringly convenient Wikipedia, these films were predominantly cheap-o sex comedies.
The couple of pornochanchadas that have made their way to the DVD Verdict offices, then, must be variations on the format. In his review of The Chick's Ability, Judge Christopher Kulik made no mention of comedy, sexy or otherwise. Violence and Flesh is the latest entry from the Classic Latin Erotica Collection—a.k.a., the pornochanchada line—from Impulse Pictures, and it isn't exactly a barrel of laughs either. It's nothing like a sex comedy and very much like a "Last House" movie—those sleazy and often foreign rape-horror films titled (or re-titled) to cash in on Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left.
The plot is that old disco-era chestnut: Take one house filled with sexy women (some of them lesbians) and ineffectual men, stir in a trio of on-the-lam armed criminals, and let the good times roll. Well, not really "good times" for everyone. We get some beatings, some buggery—generally, we get lots of Violence and Flesh. Some violence is graphic; some flesh looks better than other flesh.
In between the V and F, we get talk. Lots of talk. There are relationship problems and back stories to be sorted out, and the captives are actors and decide to entertain the criminals by quickly staging an avant garde play. Later, there's the inevitable Stockholm Syndrome conundrum, wherein a captive actress falls for a sensitive criminal, a plot element made curiously endearing by the sense that the pornochanchada makers felt this was actually something original.
"Brazilian Screen Goddess" Helena Ramos is the star here, but I can only guess which character she played. The back of the box refers to her as "the lovely Jesse," but there's no one in the film by that name, so I'm thinking she might be the well-endowed lady in the yellow dress who does a strip tease and gets assaulted for her trouble.
Besides the ample charms of Ramos (or whoever that is) and the civilized, ideologue-spouting convict, we get a pair of dim and brutish louts (who look, respectively, like Ernest Borgnine and Kris Kristofferson), lots of overwrought dialogue and acting, some quoting of Jean-Paul Sartre, more gratuitous nudity than a VH1 reality show, and a surreal scene—scored with public domain "classical music"—in which two lesbians are forced to "get it on" while one of the crooks rapes a male hostage, making this the most egalitarian "Last House" rip-off I've seen to date.
The screener disc I received sported a full frame picture—which might have been the original aspect ratio—and a mono Portuguese soundtrack. Neither was particularly good, nor was either notably terrible. The film looked a little flat and crappy with some damage, but nothing too distracting. It was pretty much what I'd expect from a "Last House"-style movie. The removable English subtitles looked fine, but there were no on-screen extras, just a single-page print insert that hawks The Chick's Ability and attempts to answer the question, "What Is Pornochanchada?"
If the sex-abuse-and-vengeance genre is your thing, then you'll want to check out Violence and Flesh. The women look good, the histrionics are entertaining, and the whole affair is so sleazy, it's almost refreshing.
This was made to be guilty.
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