Nude for Satan
October 23, 1974
Rita Calderoni as Susan Smith / Evelyn
Stelio Candelli as Dr. William Benson / Peter
James Harris as The Devil
Renato Lupi as Butler
Deep down inside, there’s a piece of all of us who get a kick out of lame, sleazy exploitation. My personal believe is that human nature opens up a doorway for simple minded entertainment, especially when cinema is the utilized platform. Restricting viewing experiences to exclusively highbrow productions seems a bit pretentious, as everyone needs to be able to laugh at the outlandishness of a film from time to time.
Luigi Batzella’s utterly ridiculous and blatantly raunchy Nude for Satan is the perfect piece of brainless entertainment. Everything about an exploitation feature that is cherished is here to soak up: hokey dialogue (really, the contradictions reach brand new heights… or lows, should I say), embarrassing makeup/special effects and of course, enough gratuitous nudity to keep a ship full of lonely sailors with their hands full.
The story is murky and disjointed, and it never for one brief moment pretends to be anything other than an 80 minute excuse to showcase loads of natural breasts and untrimmed pubic regions. As a man, it’s enjoyable. I imagine a woman would likely find the film to be far more humorous than Batzella intended. Regardless, the film elicits a positive response. It’s so ludicrous it’s actually challenging to not enjoy this one, at least a bit!
As far as the story goes, two strangers meet on a desolate road in, what I assume is Italy, given the fact that this is an Italian film. William Benson swerves when a woman is suddenly spotted in the middle of the road, and while he avoids any form of catastrophe, the car following, driven by gorgeous woman known as Susan, isn’t so fortunate. Susan spins out, and is left a bit loopy from the crash. William, a physician by trade, makes his way to a local mansion to seek help. And this is where the train completely jumps the tracks.
At the mansion, reality is picked up and dumped on the noggin. William spots images of the woman he’s attempting to help in the home, but she’s clad in extremely dated attire. And, while it is indeed the same woman, it’s… not.
Susan soon makes her way to the same mansion after waking from her tumultuous car ride. Like William, she finds herself tangled up in a confusing world filled with eerie figures and, interestingly enough, doppelgangers of both her and William. These two mysterious figures boast different names (Evelyn and Peter), and seem to have stepped out of a completely different era. But what’s the catch? Why the trickery? Are William and Susan dead, is this some form of out-of-body experience, or have two different realms collided with the devil as the mediator?
The ultimate payoff isn’t what I’d label rewarding, but it works… for what it is. And what “it” is is a unique yet cheap excuse to thrust stark naked women in front of a camera while injecting completely random visuals that attempt scares, but ultimately fail, miserably. In fact, aside from Rita Calderoni’s countless (and appreciated!) nude scenes, the picture’s score is actually the brightest element of the production. Alberto Baldan Bembo creates some genuinely creepy music that works to remind viewers that Nude for Satan is intended to actually be frightening. At least, I think it was.
Fun exploitation with a true natural beauty awaits those who intend to check this one out. And, as crazy as it sounds, those two points actually work. Nude for Satan is far more entertaining than it should be.
A note to the faint of heart, the uncut version of this film does indeed feature actual penetration, so, be careful which cut of the film you track down. We wouldn’t want anyone offended!