Saturday, April 15, 2023

The Laughing Woman, Misogyny, Humiliation, and Torture

Before there was "Fifty Shades of Grey," there was this Italian deviance.  The sultry Dagmar Lassander called our feature today her favorite film. She would have to turn in a performance of humiliation, pain, and bondage.  Are all men pigs? Are all know?  Choose a side and see what unfolds in 1969's Italian film "The Laughing Woman" (aka "The Frightened Woman") directed by Piero Schivazappa. Fear won't have to tell anyone how much you enjoyed this film...or that you even saw it.

Initially we meet Gida (Lorenza Guerrieri), a trashy whore.  The beaten and just humiliated lady of the night is dropped off, smarting and a few dollars richer.  Fast forward. We meet our twisted and refined misogynist, Dr. Sayer (Philippe Leroy). He's handsome and very rich.  This bloke runs a philanthropic institute that parcels money out to researching issues facing the relationships between men and women. Here comes the sultry reporterette, Maria (Lassander). She is doing a story that will advocate the sterilization of all men...she hates them. This is fair, Sayer hates all women and believes they should all be bound, whipped, and raped. Here in 2023, these two points of view seem to be the dominant ones in western culture. Sayer lures her to his mansion under the premise of providing her with research materials on sterilization.

Bang! This won't take long. Maria is instantly rendered unconscious and when she wakes up she is bound. The naked feminist is now at the mercy of the tortuous doctor. He'll whip her...rape her...spray her with a fire hose...humiliate her some more...and break her will. Maria knows she is at his mercy and that resistance is futile. He'll use her as a toy...and she will obey.  Okay... see what's coming?  No? Either does Dr. Sayer.  Maria's will is not broken.  She has a plan.  What unfolds is hard to watch, deviant, and very prurient.  Uh oh...are Maria and Sayer falling in love? Even as the two appear to be falling in love the torture and humiliation continue.

What is this plan Maria has?  Are the two idiots, in fact, falling in love?  Just how does Sayer plan to end his tryst with the reporterette?  Okay...deviant and prurient are the two operable words here. Tasteless and dirty? can cover yourself on that one by reminding yourself this is a foreign film. For a neat cat-and-mouse love story with plenty of bondage, BDSM, and deviance...see "The Laughing Woman."

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