While Andrea Bianchi's Cry Of A Prostitute and Strip Nude For Your Killer stand as popular Italian genre films, the director remains best known for the insanity that is Burial Ground starring the one and only Peter 'Mother, this cloth smells of death!' Bark and Mariangela Giordano who, not so coincidently, also stars in Malabimba The Malicious Whore. While the first three films mentioned all stand out as remarkably depraved, the can't hold a candle to Malabimba and its mix of hardcore sex scenes and off the wall murder set pieces.
A young woman named Bimba (Katell Laennec) is saddened when her mother passes away during a sťance but soon begins to act rather strangely. At first, Bimba's behavior is just odd - she lifts up her skirt at rather inappropriate times and seems to be suffering from, shall we say, an inflamed libido. Soon, however, she's completely out of control and giving her bed-ridden old uncle oral pleasure while he lies in bed, unable to stop her from doing the dirty deed.
Bimba's father, Andrea (Enzo Fisichella), seems more intent on getting laid than dealing with his dwindling finances now that his wife is out of the picture but when Bimba kisses him on the mouth and gets fresh with him, he starts to wonder if something isn't a little off. Daddy's little girl ain't a girl no more. Complicating matters even further is the fact that Andrea also has to deal with his overbearing mother, and his sister-in-law, Nais (Patrizia Webley) who is intent on getting into bed with him now that her paralyzed husband (Giuseppe Marrocu) is no longer able to perform. After having some doctors explain that Bimba is just dealing with some morbid sexual issues, he decides to bring in a foxy nun named Sister Sofia (Mariangela Giordano) to help him out. They soon find that his daughter is possessed by a spirit bent on ruining her.
Filled to the brim with all manner of perversions, the film leaves no kink unturned. Once poor little Bimba is possessed she'll stop at nothing to get herself off, whether that require an encounter with the nun or a graphic romp in the bed with her stuffed animals, the girl is intent on doing it as often as possible and with whoever or whatever is handy. As such, these scenes make up a fairly large portion of the film's running time and, seeing as there are hardcore inserts included here, essentially throw what appears to be a horror film into straight up porno movie territory. That said, it's a very well shot film with some truly inspired and insane performances from its cast and a couple of eerie moments that remind us we're watching more than just a simple spank film.
Bianchi's picture borrows quite liberally from Friedkin's The Exorcist what with Bimba's indecent exposure at a party held in the family home and with the way she's able to move furniture around the room without actually touching it. The influence is obviously there though the locations and sexual overtones definitely set this one apart. The whole melodramatic affair plays out in a wonderfully creepy looking old stone castle out in the middle of nowhere, giving Malabimba a fantastic gothic look that works quite well in the picture's favor. Despite the uber-trashy content the film looks fantastic and it's obvious that the crew put some serious effort into the visuals and that the cast put their all into the performances with Laennec really standing out in the lead. As it stands, the film is an interesting mix of sex and gothic horror that makes no qualms about exploiting its ridiculous premise.The DVD:
Severin's 1.85.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer of Malabimba looks great. There's a little bit of grain noticeable in a few of the darker scenes but aside from that the picture is quite clean and clear and there are no major print damage problems to report. Mpeg compression artifacts are never an issue and only a hint of aliasing is present. Color reproduction is strong and flesh tones look lifelike and natural. Detail levels are quite solid and really, the movie looks surprisingly crisp on this DVD.Sound:
The sole audio option on this release is a Dolby Digital Mono track in Italian with optional subtitles provided in English only. While the track sounds a little flat in some spots, there aren't any problems with hiss or distortion to complain about and the levels are properly balanced. The score sounds quite good and dialogue is clear and concise. The subtitles are free of typos and easy to read.Extras:
First up, as far as the extras are concerned, is a featurette entitled Malabimba Uncovered which is seventeen minute interview with actress Mariangela Giordano and the film's cinematographer, Franco Villa. Both participants declare that the film's producers basically pulled a Caligula on them and put the hardcore inserts into the feature after principal photography was finished and without their knowledge. Aside from that, they also talk about the locations where the film was shot and what it was like working with Bianchi on the production.
Also of interest is a selection of thirteen deleted scenes which total roughly fifteen minutes in length. Some of these are in pretty rough shape and obviously taken from an old VHS source but it's better to see them in this condition than not at all. Severin allows us the option of watching these scenes on their own or by way of an Integral Version which basically acts as a composite and inserts these scenes into their proper place among the restored version of the feature that serves as the disc's main attraction. Some of these are brief little snippets while others actually do serve to fill in some blanks as far as the storyline goes, so if you're okay with the fluctuations in video quality then the Integral Version is the way to go as it is definitely a more complete version of the film.
Finishing off the supplements is the film's original theatrical trailer presented in anamorphic widescreen in Italian with English subtitles, as well as some basic static menus and a chapter selection sub-menu.
One of the most insane of the Italian possession films of the seventies and early eighties, Malabimba The Malicious Whore is a remarkably trashy film with some fantastic set pieces and skin galore. The hardcore inserts might through some viewers off but those with a taste for sleaze should find much to love here. Highly recommended.