Director: Rino Di Silvestro
Severin Films / Region 1 / Unrated / 1.85:1 Widescreen / Dolby Digital Mono / Color / 88 minutes
When I think of naive, young, innocent, virginal-yet-at-the-same-time-extremely-sexual European sex-pots, I think of Swedish dish Christina Lindberg. From Maid in Sweden to Thriller: A Cruel Picture, we see Lindberg as the fully developed woman-child that just oozes “fuck me” pheromones. So when I see that writer/director Rino Di Silvestro decided to cast young French actress Ann-Gisel Glass (who ended up starring in over 50 films, most of them French productions) as the troubled lolita “Hanna”, I wasn’t very enthusiastic from a boob lover’s point of view. Glass’ body looks like a 12 year old boy save the fact that she has a vagina… or does she? I couldn’t see for all of the hair. Maybe she tucks… but I digress. Let’s get the picture of tucking pre-adolescent boys out of our head, shall we?
Hanna is – as I said before – very troubled. She sells her sex to take care of herself and her alcoholic mother who despises her for being born and ruining her body. Every man she turns to for love and comfort ends up tricking her out and abusing her. One of them, her pimp/boyfriend, gets her hooked on heroin to keep her in line. So she begins hanging out with territorial street whores and disgusting Trainspotting-esque junkies and continues falling deeper and deeper into hell. She then meets Alex who is the only person in her life that wants to take her out of her horrible situation and make a loving life with her. But that isn’t going to be easy because Hanna, her pimpfriend and her forever-drunk mother aren’t going to make it easy. None of them want her to be happy and all of them want to use her until she is all used up.
Hanna D is an obvious Italian rip-off of Christiane F. right down to the name, but rather than being based on a real-life person’s story, Di Silvestro decided to go the way the Italians often do; straight exploitation. Scenes of young Hanna hugging her doll after turning a trick, horrific scenes of needle junkies graphically shooting up and one particularly shocking scene of a woman pulling drugs out of her asshole (yes, you actually see it) all adds up to Di Silvestro giving the fans what they want. I was amazed at the level of lurid subject matter, but the pacing seemed to slow to a very methodical pace about halfway through the movie. At some points I actually lost interest but by the end I was into it and wanted only the best for Hanna. One thing that could have caused the snail’s pace is Bruno Mattei‘s editing. That guy can be film death, just watch Zombi 3 for an example of that.
One of the best things about Hanna D was German adult and exploitation film star Karin Schubert. Schubert has acted alongside of exploitation legends Edwige Fenech, Laura Gemser and George Eastman and for Italian sleaze-meister Joe D’Amato. She is an incredibly sexy woman with some of the best curves I have seen on film. Aside from her striking looks, she can act. Playing the horrific drunken mother who only thinks and does for herself, you somehow feel very sorry for her and I found myself wondering what her life was like when she was a young girl and woman. I know I said that actress Ann-Gisel Glass looks like a little boy in the opening of this review (she does!), but she too is a very good actress. Her character goes through a range of emotions and she nails them all with realistic effect.
Before Severin’s press release about this movie, I had never heard of it. I knew of Christiane F. because of its notoriety in the genre community but this one slipped through the cracks. Like with every other Severin release, they did a great job with restoring the film. The picture was fantastic. The contrasts were deep and the images crisp. The only problem I had was a little unevenness in the sound. Some low dialogue then LOUD soundtrack had me scrambling for the volume control. Aside from the original movie trailer, the only other DVD supplement is an interview with writer/director Rino Di Silvestro called “The Confessions of Rino D” that is worth a view. This fully restored DVD version is worth picking up on even a blind buy. Fans of Euro-sleaze will dig it for sure.
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