Check to the Queen / Scacco alla regina (1969)

3.0 out of 5

Pasquale Festa Campanile follows in the erotic drama tradition of The Libertine in this cool and sexy feature of the kind that European filmmakers produced throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s but surprisingly this one was to be overlooked by Audubon Films despite it being a perfect companion to Venus in Furs or the work Radley Metzger was directing at the time.

A pre-Interrabang and Queens of Evil Haydée Politoff, bored and rich, seeks comfort in her enslavement as she gives herself to a mistress who looks after her and rewards good behaviour and punishes the bad.

If there is a serious political point being made then it is that the bourgeois crave the order and deference of slavery but, rather than dwell on this aside, it is better to revel in the parade of swanky parties, erotic situations, boudoir philosophy, psychedelic bondage dreams and a Blow-Up inspired photo-shoot.

Those who love Belle de jour, The Coming of Sin or The Story of O will no doubt love this too. It is in that ballpark after all and at times has themes common to all three. The is film clearly meant to appeal to those who fetishise sadomasochism yet the considerable nostalgia value of the styles and the swanky retro-futurist sets is likely to find a considerable amount of love way beyond the initial target audience.

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