Review: Long a staple of late-night cable and VHS rental outlets, the new millennium has, surprisingly, left Inhibition rather hard to find. This is certainly a shame, as the film is head and shoulders above most exploitation fare, and is a rather well-made character study, and an emotionally touching one at that. Inhibition takes genre conventions and defies them all brilliantly. What could have been standard T&A fare becomes an intriguing and involving film about loss of self, and lashing out at a cold and cruel world.
|Ilona Staller and Claudine Beccarie|
in the film's opening moments.
Not content to simply make another T&A picture, director Paolo Poeti (under the name Paul Price) instead delves deep into the psyche of his leading character.
|Ivan Rassimov and Claudine Beccarie|
in a powerful cinematic clinch.
Just as her consistent diatribes on how all men are users, abusers and degenerates threaten to make the audience lose any interest in Carol and her motivations, the film flashes back to a traumatic illustration of her husband's sick and twisted cruelty towards his bride. A younger Carol, in what seems to be a trauma-induced trance, is paraded nude in front of her husband and his friends, who have been engaged in a rape-themed orgy. As they, in turn, violate and humiliate Carol, her husband suddenly dies of a heart attack. At last Carol is free, and the rage she has held inside bursts forth, as she lashes out at all those around her.
|Ivan Rassimov as Peter Smart|
The most telling scene in the film, an example of Carol's dysfunction, occurs when she seduces the man that Anna has been seeing. It is obvious that her enjoyment comes not from the sexual act itself, but that she has, in a perverse way, proven herself correct: men cannot be trusted. They only care for what they can have sexually. She reaches climax just as she notices that Anna has caught them in their tryst.
The direction, cinematography and especially the music are all top-shelf. While the film may seem like an exploitation standard-bearer on paper, it is obvious that all involved had loftier notions.
The film was, by all accounts, a success upon release. Inhibition should have been Beccarie's springboard into mainstream motion pictures, but it was not to be.
|Ilona Staller, aka Cicciolina, in one|
of her earliest film roles.
While her dreams of a career outside of porn may have gone up in smoke, Inhibition will stand as a memorable picture, and a testament to what could have, and should have been.