All Ladies Do It (UK - BD RB)
Marcus watches Claudia Koll's bum from every different angle on Blu-ray.
Diana (Claudia Koll) and Paolo (Paolo Lanza) are happily married but Diana likes to spice things up with sexy stories that aren't always just stories. Taking on many a sexual conquest, Diana has an encounter Paolo doesn't like and he throws her out. Diana doesn't feel like she's done anything wrong (it was only up the bum after all) and she moves into a Venetian flat to embark upon an erotic voyage of discovery, while at the same time trying to win her husband back (yeah, those two things often go together).
Well then, after watching The Key, I got to see the dark jump in erotic film’s attitudes between the 70s and the 80s. Here with All Ladies Do It, made in 1992, it shows that pretty much anything was possible in the world of erotic film by the time the 90s rolled around and Tinto Brass wasn't afraid to jump right in to nitty gritty of it all it.
Claudia Koll, who is a beautiful throughout the film, is studied by Brass from every possible angle the female form can be studied from (though the main concentration is her bum it seems). She’s immediately what draws you into the film, even though the 90s make up and clothing here suddenly makes you realise just how long ago the 90s were now.
The film, which is quite bubbly, is a tongue in cheek comedy but I found that given that most of the male characters were quite unlikable, the comedy came from more unintentional areas of the film. Diana walking around in her almost non-existent lingerie in the opening of the film is adorably odd with her writing about how uneventful her life is while shedding a single tear (all while Tinto films her bare behind). I pretty much love this mood in erotic storytelling, the melodramatic, over the top, straight to the point dialogue is just the right combination of innocent yet attractive but of course all of that is superseded by the fact our characters are usually quite naked or in compromising positions when this dialogue is delivered.
Where Brass really ups his game is the sex scenes, which while still shot in arty ways, is pretty far away from the softcore visuals you expect from these titles. Nothing is really left out of All Ladies Do It and from the first sex scene the erotic cult cinema I’ve been reviewing up until now suddenly becomes very tame. Essentially a very curly haired sleazy man comes on to Diana in a public bathroom and pretty much jumps straight into sticking his finger in Diana’s much adored behind.
Now, whether intentionally funny or not, the sex scenes here are played more like an over the top Las Vegas magic trick. There’s a lot of hand gestures showing the ‘props’ before the ‘magic’ happens and the full on graphic visuals here never fail to drop you out of the story for a few seconds as you take in the lines the film is willing cross. The ongoing argument about the difference between Eroticism and Pornography is one that’s being going on for years and its films like All Ladies Do It that keeps that argument going.
Given the graphic visuals and a whole lot of skin on show, I'm sure that All Ladies Do It would have been a better experience with better HD presentation but it has to be said that this Blu-ray isn’t really all that pretty to look at. The image is muted in colour, soft and comes with a fair bit of and hazy visuals, that looks incredibly 90s. It's quite reminiscent of VHS in fate, despite the obvious HD digital boost.
Reds and blues warm up the rather lifeless looking film but given the bright lighting and almost comic book visuals, you would imagine that this film could have looked pretty amazing in HD given the right restoration. Maybe, the source held the film back from really living up to its potential but the grainy uninspiring looking visuals gives the film a rather cheap appearance and really the only show of detail is just how much make up Diana has on a lot of the time.
The score, at its best is a mixture of orchestral sounds with electric guitars, y’know a bit like Queen at its worst its super synthy in very mood killing ways. The score reaches out of the track's stereo restrictions pretty well but everything else is quite basic. The original Italian dialogue fits the film well but the English dub is so hammy and badly over acted that you could easy convince me that it was a spoof track. It doesn't help that it’s so separate from the visuals it feels like a constant voice over but it makes the actors on screen seem lousy pretty most all the time. Both tracks don’t really have much to do, with limited ambience, limited moments of dynamic changes beyond volume hikes and really this is just a simple stereo track that does all its needs to do for the fairly simply (if not visually stimulating) film.
The only extra here is the trailer (03:23 HD) which is more like an EPK hosted by the director. There’s also a DVD copy as well as a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly illustrated artwork by The Red Dress and a collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic David Flint, illustrated with rare production stills but I never got any of that with this review disc.
All Ladies Do It isn't for the timid viewer and first timers to erotic film could very well be scared off of the genre pretty early in to the film. The mood is a fine mix between cheeky and melodramatic but the visuals and general attitude towards sex from most of the characters in the film is not. There’s a fun erotic tale here but there’s a sense a lot of this is for shock value rather than a point to the story and while I can't deny it put a grin on my face, there's almost a teenage boy approach to some of the sexual situations. Either way, once you get settled in and get used to where Tinto Brass is going to take you, All Ladies Do It was a fun watch, even if you’ll be constantly on edge that people might be able to see in your living room window when they walk past and question what you are watching. It’s an art house film… promise!
The disc is underwhelming at best and felt as if it deserved a better quality of video and audio. The extras are simply an EPK style trailer and little else, so it’s quite difficult to recommend this one to anyone that isn't happy enough just to spend some time with an attractive Italian lady as she, like all the other ladies “do it”.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over
Release Date: 20th May 2013
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: LPCM 2.0 English, LPCM 2.0 Italian
Extras: Trailer, DVD Copy
Easter Egg: No
Director: Tinto Brass
Cast: Claudia Koll, Paolo Lanza, Franco Branciaroll
Genre: Drama and Romance
Length: 96 minutes
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