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By Jay Slater | April 15, 2008

In 1980, Cavallone directed “Blow job dolce lingua”: a misleading title considering the film’s narrative. Originally shot in the summer of ’79 and released in May ’80 under the title of “La Strega nuda (The Naked Witch),” it tells of a young man (Danilo Micheli) who is tempted to a weird house by an ugly witch (Anna Massarelli) where he encounters a group of surreal characters in surreal circumstances. More a film of images and sensations than a cohesive storyline – including arresting shots such as the witch mutating from ugly to beautiful while circling Micheli, and the lead character foreseeing his own funeral escorted by bikers – “Blow job dolce lingua” is yet another Cavallone movie in censorship limbo after the authorities put a stop to an uncut release: it’s only hard scene being a scene of f******o set in a storm (producer Pietro Belpedio claimed that hardcore shots were filmed and Cavallone had been spicing his films with hardcore scenes for the French market since “Zelda”). The director preferred to use non-actors for the movie, more interested in faces than acting ability, even if they were as expressive as a piece of wood. “I use different camera angles,” Cavallone admitted, “making it an editor’s problem.”

“Le gemella erotica/Erotic Twin” (1981) is a pedestrian softcore thriller that goes nowhere fast. A film that Cavallone hated with a passion – in fact, he claimed to have dropped the movie halfway through shooting – it tells of two female twins: one a saint, the other a w***e with disastrous consequences. Some inside sources claim that Cavallone was replaced by Luigi Cozzi who was left to complete the picture which is highly doubtful considering that Cavallone edited the completed film! Cavallone, like Jesus Franco, would bend truths and lies when it suited him best: in fact, he had been shooting and inserting hardcore footage into his latter movies and it was reported that Cozzi met the director in the mid-Eighties working on the Italian dubbing on a number of foreign hardcore porn films.

1982 saw Cavallone drop his artistic vision, social commentary and bludgeoning depravity for hardcore porn under his “Baron Corvo” pseudo which was a reference to writer Frederick William Rolfe (1860 – 1913). Shot back-to-back between June and September 1981 (initially it was planned to shoot one movie) “Pat una donna particolare/Pat, One Particular Woman” and “Il nano erotico/Babysitter” are typical of cheap Italian pornography of the period, such as Polselli and Bruno Vari’s “Teresa altri desideri” (1983) and “Dyane” (1984), with grainy film and ugly performers. The first focuses on a plot where theatrical plays are a thin veil for unpleasant hardcore and a dubious thread on snuff filmmaking whereas the latter, which is practically unheard of and is not listed on the IMDB, makes no sense whatsoever. Both films were shot in a villa near Rome which was also used a year previously by Aristide Massaccesi for “Rosso sangue/Absurd” and “Pat una donna particolare” also features Italian language dubbing by ADR dubber John Gayford who would probably not want to be reminded of his shady past. The dwarf, “Petit Loup” (“Little Wolf” in French, but real name is unknown) appears in both films appearing to have the time of his life as well as being a regular in Italian sexploitation having appeared in Bruno Mattei’s “Emanuelle e le porno notti nel mondo n.2/Emanuelle and the Erotic Nights” (1978).

In 1983, after the success of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “La Guerre du feu/Quest for Fire” (1981) and the rising popularity of sword and sorcery, Cavallone lent his hand on a screenplay for Umberto Lenzi’s “La Guerra del ferro – Ironmaster/Ironmaster,” and his final theatrical movie, “Il Padrone del mondo/Master of the World.” The former is a ridiculous piece of schlock where cavemen do what cavemen do best: grunt and thump bones by a fire. Primitive clans are attacked by other Neanderthals who throw them around as if they were rag dolls, or smash their heads in with axes. Complimented by a totally inappropriate score from the De Angelis brothers that is best suited for an Indian restaurant, the narrative skips from the Stone Age to the Iron Age in less then ninety minutes, but what would one expect from bonkers Lenzi who also directed “Incubo sulla città contaminate/Nightmare City” (1980) and “Cannibal Ferox” (1981)? Compared to Lenzi’s take on alternative history, “Il Padrone del mondo” is a work of genius. Imitating Annaud’s movie, Cavallone drops dialogue by showing the life of Stone Age tribes with an eye on anthropological accuracy but going that extra mile but showcasing scenes of brains being scooped out of skulls and Homo sapiens being ripped to bits in loving detail by special effects maestros Rosario Prestopino and Roberto Pace. The film sold reasonably well abroad (heavily cut for a limited UK pre-cert) but was never released in Italy, the production company, Stefano Film, used the movie as an excuse to write-off financial losses or tax problems, to save themselves from bankruptcy. Cavallone, used to low budget productions, found “Il Padrone del mondo” to be a difficult movie to work on. Shot on the Canary Islands with a big budget with large cast and crew, Cavallone developed physical and mental issues from the film’s demanding shooting schedule and responsibilities – going so far as to personally teach his actors in a gym physical moves that a Neanderthal might have made. Surprisingly for an ambitious movie, Cavallone relied on relatively unknown actors such as eighteen year-old Swede Sven Kruger, Sacha D’Arc, a Yugoslavian ex-boxer who was “very efficient but completely crazy,” and Maria Vittoria Ghirlanda who was selected for a role because “she looked like a monkey… a pretty monkey, though!”

A sequence where a wild bear attacks the cavemen proved to be a bridge too far. Naturally, the cast did not warm to the idea of wrestling with a large bear with sharp teeth and claws. Rosario Prestopino, who had previously cut his cloth on Marino Girolami’s “Zombie Holocaust” (1980) and “Lo Squartatore di New York/The New York Ripper” (1982), had designed a fake bear suit with new special effects materials imported from America but proved too claustrophobic for the stuntman who was exhausted after three minutes of use. In desperation, Cavallone paid for two animals and their trainers for a scene by a waterfall where a bear attacks a group of cavemen. Unaware that bears enjoy playing in water, both of the animals bolted from their trainers to cool off in the waterfall and the Cavallone lost two days filming because he could not change the location due to permissions being granted. Not paying heed to “never work with children and animals” one of the bears sunk her claws into a trainer’s bicep during a shoot and the other animal escaped from her owner to charge down a field into a herd of sheep, killing twelve of them. Understandably, the shepherd was furious and called the police who charged the producer for a lot of money to pay for the damage.

From the extremities of adult cinema Cavallone cut his cloth on domestic television for Rai until the mid-Nineties. His last venture in film was planned to be shot on digital video based on a true story of a virtual love affair that tragically ended in murder of a young woman and was to star Sherry Buchanan, but was ultimately shelved when the director died in November 1997. On reflection, Cavallone’s heart for Italian cinema had already died when the first reels of “Spell” and “Blue Movie” hit the canvas of the projector screen in a series of exploding colours and vibrant images, his remaining contribution to the medium being television that time forgot. It is ironic, and unfair in that his experimental genre cannon have been vastly ignored, less than ten years later, Italian cinema were to also die: its glory days finally laid to rest.

Alberto Cavallone Filmography

LA SPORCA GUERRA [The Dirty War] (documentary)

LONTANO DAGLI OCCHI [Far from the Eyes]
director and story: Alberto Cavallone
script: Sergio Lentati and Massimo Magri
cast: Paride Calonghi, Sergio Lentati and Lino Patruno

LE SALAMANDRE [The Salamander]
original shooting title: C’era una bionda [There was a Blonde]
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Erna Schurer, Beryl Cunningham and Anthony Vernon [Antonio Casale]

DAL NOSTRO INVIATO A COPENHAGEN [From Our Copenhagen’s Correspondent]
working title: Così U.S.A. [So U.S.A]
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi], Anthony Vernon [Antonio Casale], Alain N Kalsjy [Walter Fabrizio] and George Stevenson [Dimitri]

QUICKLY, SPARI E BACI A COLAZIONE [Quickly, Shootings and Kisses for Breakfast]
aka Follow Me, Disparos y besos a desayuno
director and script: Alberto Cavallone
screenplay: Alberto Cavallone, Mario Imperoli and Leone Imperoli
cast: Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi], Antonio Vernon [Antonio Casale], Beryl Cunningham, Magda Konopka, Claudie Lange

director and script: Alberto Cavallone
screenplay: based on a novel published by Edizioni 513 [note: probably pulp/porn literature]
cast: Ivano Staccioli, Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi] and Debebe Eshetu

director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi], Franca Gonella and James Harrys [Giuseppe Mattei]

SPELL (DOLCE MATTATOIO) [Spell, (Sweet Slaughterhouse)]
aka L’uomo, la donna e la bestia [The Man, the Woman and the Beast], El hombre, la mujer y la bestia
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi], Paola Montenero, Martial Boschero, Giovanni De Angelis, Macha Magall and Mónica Zanchi

aka I Canti di Maldoror
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Gianni Garko, Jane Avril [Maria Pia Luzi] and Sherry Buchanan

aka Blue Movie Sexycompulsion – Blue Movie, Sexycompulsion
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Joseph Dickson, Patrizia [Dirce] Funari and Danielle Dugas

aka La Strega nuda [The Naked Witch], Blow-job – Un soffio erotico
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Danilo Micheli, Anna Massarelli and Mirella Venturini

aka Due gocce d’acqua [Two Drops of Water]
director and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
screenplay: Rodolfo Putignani
cast: Patricia Behn [Patrizia Gasperini], Danilo Micheli and Ornella Picozzi

PAT UNA DONNA PARTICOLARE [Pat, One Particular Woman]
aka Die Schöne Pat Und Der Supergeile Liliput
director: Baron Corvo [Alberto Cavallone]
cast: Serwan A Yoshar, Mika Barthel, Franco Coltorti, Dominique St Clair [Dominique Charon], Pauline Teutscher and Sabrina Mastrolorenzi [other credits on Italian print]: Joseph Fine, Mica Lin Yu, Alex Eu Sebi and Petit Loup

aka Il Nano erotico [The Erotic Dwarf], Being Captured – Essere tenuto, Petites Fesses juveniles, Petites Fesses juvéniles pour membres bienfaiteurs
director: Baron Corvo [Alberto Cavallone]
cast: Serwan A Yoshar, Mika Barthel, Franco Coltorti, Dominique St Clair [Dominique Charon], Pauline Teutscher and Sabrina Mastrolorenzi

aka Master of the World, Conqueror of the World, Los Forjadores del mundo
director, script and screenplay: Alberto Cavallone
cast: Sven Kruger, Sacha D’Arc, Viviana M Rispoli [Maria Viviana Rispoli], Vittoria M Garlanda [Maria Vittoria Ghirlanda] and Aldo Sambrell

DENTRO E FUORI LA CLASSE (five part documentary for Rai 1)

I RACCONTI DELLA NONNA (telefilm: three episodes for Rai 1)

note: Cavallone provided material (exterior shooting, footage, adaptations and journalistic investigations) for several editions of this popular Rai 3 program

note: Cavallone provided material (exterior shooting, footage, adaptations and journalistic investigations) for several editions of this popular Rai 3 program

note: exterior shooting and scripts for Rai 3

note: three part film special for Rai 3

PER AMORE… PER MAGIA [For love… for magic]
director: Duccio Tessari
writing credits: Alberto Cavallone, Ennio De Concini, Franco Migliacci and Duccio Tessari
cast: Gianni Morandi, Rosemary Dexter, Mischa Auer, Daniele Vargas and Harold Bradley

directors: Mohamed Tazi and Nino Zanchin
writing credits: Alberto Cavallone, Fernando Di Leo and Nino Zanchin
starring: George Ardisson, Sieghardt Rupp, Luigi Pistilli, Katrin Schaake and Lisa Halvorsen

director: Umberto Lenzi
writing credits: Luciano Martino, Alberto Cavallone, Lea Martino, Dardano Sacchetti, Garbriel Rossini and Umberto Lenzi
starring: Sam Pasco, Elvire Audray, George Eastman [Luigi Montefiori], Pamela Prati, Jacques Herlin, Brian Redford [Danilo Mattei] and William Berger

Filmography by Jay Slater and Roberto Curti
Many thanks to Roberto Curti and Nocturno

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