aka Fotografando Patrizia
Director: Salvatore Samperi
Cast: Monica Guerritore, Lorenzo Lena
One7Movies / Region 0 / Unrated / 1.85:1 widescreen / ITALIAN & ENGLISH Dolby Digital stereo / ENGLISH subtitles / 93 minutes / BUY FROM TLA
Disk Extras: None
There is little subject matter that exploitation cinema won’t delve into. I would challenge anyone to come up with a worthwhile subject that has not been at least touched upon. But there is one that has been tackled in very few and most of the time controversial films: incest. Whether it be siblings or maternal/paternal, that subject (along with pedophilia) seems to be territory that only fearless filmmakers will tread. Yes, quite a few movies have nods to or subtexts of family loving, but I’m talking about a plot that is driven by the forbidden act. Probably the most infamous of all incest films is the 1980 adult classic Taboo starring the very sexy Kay Parker. Five years later Italian filmmaker Salvatore Samperi would dip his toe into the gene pool with his twisted and well written Fotografando Patrizia (Photographing Patricia) aka The Dark Side of Love.
The mother of neurotic, hypochondriac shut-in teenager Emilio has died and his older, more worldly sister, Patrizia, has moved back home to take care of him. She finds a sullen, hopeless boy who never goes outside into the world or socializes with other people. As far as she can tell, he has never had a girlfriend or sex except for the copious amounts of masturbating he does in front of “art films” (which I can only guess means “porn” in Italy). During a particularly emotional point, Patrizia pulls her little brother to her bosom to console him but soon realizes that he has a raging boner. That is the point at which sexual tension begins to build between the two as she catches Emilio watching her touching herself and she tries to defuse the situation by telling him hot stories about her past sexcapades thinking that it might ignite something in him to go out and meet a girl, but it backfires and she starts having inappropriate sexual feelings toward him.
There are twists and turns as the siblings play sexy, sick games with each other; trying to make each other jealous and pushing one another right to the edge of giving in to their lust. During the whole, dark saga you get the feeling that there must be something in their past to allow them to justify acting out with each other. Or maybe writers Massimo di Luzio and Riccardo Ghione merely wanted to guess what could happen if “normal” family love and dependence became something warped. While there was loads of nudity and “adult situations”, there weren’t really any actual sex scenes. This one little touch drags The Dark Side of Love out of the proverbial gutter by removing the exploitive element of the brother and sister actually having sex and building on their perverted yet somehow sympathetic emotional relationship. Director Salvatore Samperi also made sure we knew that the two were spiraling downward with an actual cut-in every so often of the image of a spiral with the still of the former scene progressively getting more salacious.
One7Movies have uncovered this pretty sleazy but very well-made darkly dramatic film and did a very good job with the transfer and sound. The overall picture was very nice with only flashes of occasional film damage that never detracts from the coinciding scene. The Italian and English Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack is smooth and robust enough to accentuate some fantastic mid-Eighties New Wave music. Although there is not one disk supplement to be found, the obscurity of a movie like this makes it worth the price of admission. And since it’s an all region disk, more of us can enjoy this incestuous love-fest.