The Film (4/5)
Sylvia's (Haydee Politoff- Queens Of Evil, Count Dracula's Great Love) husband takes a business trip and she takes a job as a female companion to rich actress Margaret (Rosanna Schiaffino- The Killer Reserved Nine Seats). Margaret is not interested in the duties of a usual female companion and Sylvia is to do whatever Margaret demands, however demeaning and becomes the titular slave of the title. In-between Sylvia's vivid daydreams Margaret has Sylvia try clothes on, requires her to be her stand in for a film role that requires her to be smacked repeatedly and covers her in plaster to be a living statue at a party. Sylvia's willingness to perform any task however degrading begins to bother Margaret and a battle of wills begins.
The Slave, directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile is Mondo Macabro's first bluray release. It's been floating around in bootleg form and this is it's first stateside release in any format. Commonly called a lesbian exploitation film I found it a bit tamer than it's reputation suggested. If you go in looking for a Jess Franco film of the same period you may be disappointed. And here I'll stress that I found the film entertaining with lots of great looking surreal daydreams from Sylvia and some excellent camera work. The film wouldn't be out of place with either a viewing of a Radley Metzger film or a Fellini film of the same period. What I'm getting at is that the film straddles being a exploitation film on one hand and being classy on the other. The soundtrack by Piero Piccioni is amazing and worth a buy on it's own.
The film is presented in 1080p 24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 transfer and it looks outstanding. The transfer boasts healthy grain detail, solid blacks and no real discernible scratches or pops while also showing off the Techniscope cinematography very well. Rich colors and deep blacks abound. The audio is presented with a LPCM mono Italian audio track and it sounds good with no detected pops or hiss and sounds especially good when Piccioni's soundtrack is playing.
Mondo Macabro packs the disc with an informative interview about the director with Roberto Curti, an interview with Filmbar 70's Justin Harries, primarily on Italian sex comedies, cast and crew biographies, trailers, and an essay on the film. The dvd included has the same extras.
Mondo Macabro has done a great job with their first bluray release. They've rescued an obscure film and restored it lovingly. if you are a fan of genres from Italian sex comedies to Jess Franco films to Radley Metzger films I say take a look. Recommended.