'Madness' (1980)

by Michael Barrett

31 August 2012

cover art


Director: Fernando Di Leo
Cast: Joe Dallesandro

USDVD release date:

RaroVideo continues to exhume the output of Italy’s hard-hearted Fernando Di Leo, who worked in a variety of crime-oriented genres. Madness is an erotic hothouse thriller in a single setting, after an initial sequence in which Joe (imported American Warhol actor-hunk Joe Dallessandro) breaks out of prison, indulges in a bit of gratuitous mayhem, and makes his way to a deserted cottage in a valley where he’s buried some loot. Too bad this is the weekend a trio of oversexed vacationers show up: a married couple and the wife’s restless, overheated sister (Lorraine De Selle, almost always naked), who’s carrying on with the husband. Let the cat and mouse games begin, but who’s clawing whom? This film exists to titillate us with De Selle’s sensuous poses. If it’s too lackadaisically conceived and scripted to be a tense masterpiece (is there too much sex or not enough?), Di Leo’s eye for fluid compositions of eye candy within the cramped spaces keeps it attractive and watchable.



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