1968, London. A hippie named Luca [actually the son of a rich Italian
industrialist] is living the carefree Swinging '60s lifestyle, far removed
from any responsibilities. But his father wants Luca to be part of the
business world and he's willing to do anything to make that happen. It's
time for a tough indoctrination. (Notice
spoilers ahead) Luca is forced back to Italy, kidnapped and
jailed in a sanitarium, where he's given steady doses of electroshock
therapy. After becoming 'normalized,' Luca meets and marries a
woman [in reality she's an analyst hired by dad to continue the brainwashing
and turn the boy into a perfect calculating businessman]. But, at this
point, the transformation has already been successful. Luca is now a cold
person who kills his new wife and is ready to run dad's business with
an iron fist.
Roberto Faenza had just graduated from the Italian Art Institute when
he made this rather extraordinary picture. The studio, delighted with
the film's success, gave Roberto carte blanc for his next project.
But to their shock, he delivered over-the-top cinematic madness called
a movie that was banned and ultimately denied distribution. At that point,
he left the movie business and accepted a teaching job at a Rome university.
A decade later, Mr Faenza returned to the director's chair with a documentary
called Forza Italia! [Come On, Italy!]. He has now become
an awardwinning arthouse filmmaker, helming movies far removed from his
two early productions.
Claudine Auger - already known as a Bond Girl for Thunderball
- went on to star in almost 100 films during the next 25 years, including
numerous Alain Delon cop flics, but genre fans probably know her best
for Mario Bava's BAY
OF BLOOD and the giallo BLACK
BELLY OF THE TARANTULA. Ms Auger died in December 2019 at age