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(255) ESCALATION (1968) Roberto Faenza | Lino Capolicchio
(255) ESCALATION (1968) Roberto Faenza | Lino Capolicchio

director: Roberto Faenza
starring: Claudine Auger · Lino Capolicchio · Gabriele Ferzetti · Didi Perego · Leopoldo Trieste


Circa 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.

Director 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 H2S, 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.

Actress 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 78.

Underrated actor Lino Capolicchio is best known for HOUSE WITH WINDOWS THAT LAUGHED, ONLY BLACKNESS (SOLAMENTE NERO) and YOUR HANDS ON MY BODY. After 80+ films, Mr Capolocchio is still acting today.



An Italian film with optional English subtitles; uncut 93 minutes,
Extras include original theatrical trailers.


for Mature Audiences

Sale Price: $17.50
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