Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Hard Sensation

With the school term over, three somewhat over-aged students, played by Annj Goren, Dirce Funari and someone else, go for a fortnight’s fun in the sun on a private island. The extent to which they can get all-over tans they desire and to sexually experiment individually and collectively is however constrained by the presence of their teacher, played by Lucia Ramirez, as chaperone, and of two sailors who know that any games with the girls are more bother than they are worth in terms of their employment and continuing liberty.

Such concerns are not shared by three escaped convicts, played by Mark Shanon, George Eastman and someone else, who are hiding out on the island after their boat ran aground.

While Eastman remains focused on evading the authorities, Shanon and the other guy are more intent on having fun with the girls and, in the case of the other guy, a homosexual, the sailors...

As any serious student of Eurosleaze can probably tell from looking at the main names among the cast, Hard Sensation is another one of Joe D’Amato’s Dominican Republic pornotropic horrors.

Shanon and Ramirez

Whereas Erotic Nights of the Living Dead combined porn and fantasy horror and Orgasmo Nero porn and cannibal primitive melodrama, Hard Sensation is a combination of porn and the Desperate Hours / Last House on the Left hostage / rape-revenge scenario.

As a slice of sick and sleazy exploitation it does the job in that inimitable D’Amato fashion, with the relative brevity of the film and the sex scenes in the version under review – even when regular hardcore performers Shanon, Funari and Ramirez are involved – appearing more indicative of cuts than self-imposed restraint.

The homosexual convict, a J&B bottle and a symbolic rape / real power scenario

In particular, whilst the rape scenes are not really sufficiently developed to shift from no-means-no rape to no-means-yes porno-rape that they are accompanied by traditional porn funk grooves courtesy of Alessandro Alessandroni (albeit perhaps more likely to be via stock library cues than original compositions) is telling.

So too is that we are told about but not shown any male-on-male rape, as an indicator of where the boundaries of what D’Amato was willing to film in order to shock his audience lay.

On the plus side, the film is better acted than one might expect – again, we must remember that Shanon was an actor who appears to have turned to porn to pay the bills – while the dialogue has a pleasingly authentic air of abusiveness, teaching all manner of useful Italian words and phrases that you don’t get in your average language class.

Those interested in the film should be warned, however, that the video-sourced English subtitled AVI available from Cinemageddon is of rather poor quality, making it for the D’Amato completist rather than the casual viewer.