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DVD: Provocation / Provocazione (1995)
DVD Transfer: 
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Mya Communications
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November 18, 2008



Genre: Erotica / Softcore  
The arrival of an innkeeper's sexy cousin ignites his wife's liason with a visiting businessman.  



Directed by:

Joe D’Amato

Screenplay by:

John Seller

Music by: n/a
Produced by: n/a

Erika Savastani, Fabrizia Flanders, Gianni Demartiis, Lindo Damiani, and Antonio Ascani.

Film Length: 87 mins
Process/Ratio: 1.33:1
Anamorphic DVD: No
Languages:  English Mono, Italian Mono
Special Features :  


Comments :

Made as iconic director/cinematographer Joe D’Amato was approaching the end of his prolific career (and yet, with another 97 adult-oriented films to go), Provocation / Provocazione is basically softcore adult masquerading as erotica, with long sex sequences lacking the graphic intercourse details D’Amato was well-experienced with in his hardcore efforts.

The countryside location – an old inn made of quarried stone – adds the right rustic atmosphere in this familiar tale of an innkeeper’s wife (Fabrizia Flanders) who fancies a visiting businessman (Lyle Lovett lookalike Antonio Ascani, aka “Tony Roberts”), while her husband Gianni Demartiis) goes after his cousin (Erika Savastani), set to live at the house after the recent death of her papa. An idiot nephew (Lindo Damiani) indulges in some masturbatory voyeurism by sneaking around the house without his shoes and peering through floor cracks at everyone else’s fun time.

The characters are flat, D’Amato’s directorial style can’t craft any sense of humour beyond exchanges of berating insults (most inflicted on the nephew), and the performances vary in quality; the older actors fare the best, whereas Ascani seems very uncomfortable (maybe it’s the ill-fitting, wrinkled up linen suit), and Savastani’s healthy figure can’t mask her complete lack of talent.

D’Amato also slaps on stock music, and repeats the same cheesy early eighties muzak over sex scenes, and the film isn’t particularly well lit – perhaps a sign that his years in porn made him lazy after filming some very stylish ‘scope productions (such as the blazingly colourful L’Anticristo).

D’Amato’s efforts to make something more upscale isn’t a failure – there’s more than enough nudity to keep fans happy – and one can argue he was still capable of making a slick commercial product after going bonkers with sex, blood, and animals in his most notorious efforts. The photography and editing have a basic classical style, but there’s no energy in the film, making Provocation a work best-suited for D’Amato fans and completists.

Mya’s DVD comes from a decent PAL-NTSC conversion, although there’s some flickering in the opening titles. The details are sharp, the colours stable, but there lighting is rather harsh, as though the transfer was made from a high contrast print. (The film’s titles, Italian at the beginning, and English at the end - “The story, all names, characters and incidentals portrayed in this production, are fictitius” - are also video-based, indicating Provocation was meant as product for video rental shelves.)

Besides English and Italian dub tracks, there are no extras, which is a shame, given something could’ve been written about the product and its cast, many of whom were pinched by D’Amato from prior Tinto Brass productions. Savastani had just appeared as a bit player in Brass’ The Voyeur / L'Uomo che guarda (1994), and would move on with co-star Demartiis to Fermo posta Tinto Brass / P.O. Box Tinto Brass (1995) and Senso ’45 / Black Angel (2002).


© 2009 Mark R. Hasan

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