Bye Bye Monkey / Ciao maschio (1978)

2.0 out of 5

Marco Ferreri brings to the screen possibly the only film ever made containing Gerard Depardieu, Marcello Mastroianni, a porn starlet and King Kong's dead body. Carrying on from the strangeness of his Don't Touch the White Woman, Ferreri introduces what seems to be an alternative, slightly futuristic, New York populated by bizarre characters and 1930s monster movie stars.

The plot involves rape, frequent nudity, inter-species adoption and the sight of a professional cast trying their hardest while Ferreri spins the insanity wheel. The film looks glossy, is obviously well made, and therein lies the problem. The material would be far better suited for a cheap, down and dirty exploitationer rather than this multi-national collaboration. In the hands of a less competent director, the giant ape could have gone toe-to-toe with John Saxon or Fred Williamson, with Edwige Fenech looking on adoringly. Instead, Ferreri gives a film which ultimately falls between the art house and the grindhouse, which will leave both camps disappointed.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics