Neapolitan Turk / Un turco napoletano (1953)

0.5 out of 5

Excruciating comedy vehicle for near God-status Italian icon Totò manges to assault the viewer with scorchingly bright visuals and color schemes, broad theatrical acting, and the kind of plot about men seducing, manipulating/disrespecting, stupid women that is as comfortable in a bad children's fable as it is in the Old Testament.

The movie's chauvinism is almost as revolting as Totò's gleeful, goo-goo-eyed sexual innuendo, and for all the childlike playfulness in the comedy, the movie leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. It obviously didn't for millions of Italians who loved it, men and women alike.

Most bewildering is the completely unexplained power that an unattractive old Italian man can have over an entire female cast, unless it's the fact that the rest of the movie is populated by even more unattractive, not to mention bulbous, mentally unstable, and borderline-deformed, male characters. Truly, a more disturbing experience than watching most violence-for-kicks Italo-exploitation fare.

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