The Voyeur

Director-  Tinto Brass


Cast- Franceso Casale, Katarina Vasillissa

Country of Origin - Italy

Discs - 1

Distributor - Cult Epics

Reviewer - Steven Lewis

Date - 02/24/16

The Film (4/5)

A young college professor Eduardo, nicknamed Dodo, his voyeurism fetish has ostracized his wife from their stagnant and dwindling marriage.  Troubled by his wife's decision to be estranged from him, Dodo continues the attempt to win her back, but when he learns that though his wife is still madly in love with him, she has been seeing another man; a man that's more sexually aggressive with her, defining a more lustful, than passionate, relationship that's new and enticing for her needs. After she spills the details of her and her stranger's encounters, Dodo is convinced that his very own unrefined, wealthy, and well hung father might be the culprit for Dodo and his wife's marital problems.

 

Director Tinto Brass is certainly an aristocrat of erotica.  The Italian born Brass wrote and directed the 1994 film "The Voyuer" adapted liberally from the novel "L'uomo che guarda" by author Alberto Moravia. As true to form from other of his previous films such "The Key" or "All The Ladies Do It," Tinto Brass, from start to finish, gladly overflows gratuitously the erotica portions in "The Voyuer," spilling the body parts and their accompanying sexual organs into every nook and cranny of the viewer's iris while incorporating various shades of drama from hints of melodrama to a highly sexual farce.  His films are borderline X-rated. "The Voyuer" is nothing different from Brass's archetypical mold. 

 

Francesco Casale and the gorgeous, Polish born, Katarina Vasillissa are the on screen estranged husband and wife, Dodo and Silvia.  Their hot and cold scenes together are ambitiously sensual and dramatic. Casale and Vasillissa have a noir chemistry that's much different any other combination of characters. Characters such as Dodo's financially successful and chauvinistic father Alberto and their scantily-cladded house maid Fausta are colorfully contrasted upon comparison to the leads. Franco Branciaroli, a common actor in Tinto Brass's arsenal, portrays the temporary crippled and extremely perverted boisterous father and does a convincing job, being the womanizer that he is, in leading one to believe he might be Dodo's sexual nemesis.  Then there's Cristina Garavaglia and her sexually objectified laden character Fausta is every man's wet dream, submitting to nearly each single advancement by Alberto and being a complete tease with her all her goods living outside her wardrobe. Garavaglia and her slender, yet voluptuous figure, was simply sculpted by God to play Fausta.  Fausta in Italian means fortunate and I would say Alberto, and even Dodo, were fortunate to be in her company.

 

The narrative focuses firmly on Dodo's and Silvia's marital struggles throughout while only the last half of the film emphasizes on the mysterious man who Silvia loves to being taken roughly by, but there are other tangents explored such as Dodo's voyeurism.  During one of his lectures of the subject scopophobia, the fear of being seen, Dodo is approached by a student and not just any student, but a flirtatious girl who loves to be watched.  The two end up together at the girl's girlfriend's place for a bit of modeling fun. If you're a male, the scene is total blue balls for Dodo, but in general, the scene is also alluringly suggestive and pleasurable to be a voyeur yourself.  This particular situation felt like a statement about human behavior in being that it's natural and common.  There are a few other Dodo side adventures that don't flourish more into the narrative, leaving an external after taste rather than be a part of the Dodo and Silvia extravaganza.

 

Audio/Video (2.5/5)

 

By way of our friends at Cult Epics, "The Voyeur" Blu-ray is presented in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio with a 1080p transfer. The original print, through the grain and scratches, has been converted to a dreamlike eloquent appearance; colors come out soft and hazy and darker scenes lose some sharpness. While that's erotically fantastic, the overall rim is a bit smudged, but brighter in a soft blue-ish tint.  More of the flesh tones and the more elaborate sets pop with the color, such as the scenes in the Chinese restaurant or in Alberto's clean room kitchen.  The image is stable with little-to-no shaky transitions.

 

Audio options include an English Dolby Digital 2.0 English subtitles and an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 with flawless optional English subtitles.  The iconic Italian composer Riz Ortolani's score channels through well, bringing life into not only the film, but into the characters also. Dialogue tracks have adequate range and clarity with only a bit of the misalignment when coinciding video. Lastly, faint popping and distortion underline the ambient track, but you have to really be keeping an ear for it.

 

Extras (1.5/5)

 

The extras are disappointing for such a promising release. Extras include a 24 minute interview with director Tinto Brass on his reason for adapting the Alberto Moravia novel as well as his visual style on filming "The Voyuer." The audio quality isn't as sharp and much of Brass says in the interview is lost through mic distortion and a thick Italian accent.

 

Tinto Brass film trailers for "Monamour," "Kick the Cock," "Cheeky!," "Private," and "Black Angel" are included.

 

To round out the extras is a 1080p photo gallery of stills from "The Voyeur."

 

Overall

 

Fans of Tinto Brass will fall in love all over again with the story that has been transferred to a 1080p quality improved release. A story that also produces classy nudity and makes a statement about human nature.  The Cult Epics Blu-ray might have skimped out on the bonus material much like the skimpy clothing that Silvia and Fausta wear throughout the duration, but that won't stop the whimsically dramatic and fiercely foxy story, that includes stellar performances from a foursome of actors, from obtaining more viewers for it's already established fan base.