Nude for Satan (Nuda per Satana)

April 15, 2012 at 10:48 pm (4 Heads, Nude for Satan) (, , , )

Nude for Satan – 1974 – Italy

Nude for Satan was directed by Luigi Batzella (A.K.A. Paul Hamus, Paolo Solvay, Dean Jones, Ivan Kathansky, and Paul Selvin). It’s always fair to assume that anyone with so many pseudonyms makes porn. Batzella’s other work of note is The Beast in Heat (1977), about a mutant sex fiend in a Nazi concentration camp.

In Nude for Satan’s opening, a naked lady slowmo sprints through the night. Her crotch is fully visible and her breasts slosh crazily. Soon, a man wrecks his car on a dark mountain road. He walks to a decrepit castle filled with cobwebs and trash. Inside are rooms containing people dying or screwing and paintings that move. Time and space become subjective and evil doppelgangers appear. Cloaked figures utter enigmatic lines and then vanish. In one dreamy sequence, lesbians fondle and then strangle each other before being whipped bloodily. In another, a woman is menaced by the cheapest looking giant spider I’ve ever seen. Allusions suggest the castle is actually a hellish afterlife, but the jumbled plot is never explicit and who cares enough to say for sure?

Surprisingly, Nude for Satan isn’t as raunchy as you might hope. While there is much frontal female nudity, the sex mostly amounts to rubbing and wet kisses. Instead the focus is on symbolism and hallucinogenic imagery. Unfortunately, the surrealism doesn’t have enough logic to be meaningful. Strange spookiness happens just for the sake of it. At least some of the psychedelic effects are interesting. Flashing colors and kaleidoscopic visuals combine with constantly seesawing camerawork.

At best, Nude for Satan is unique. At worst, it’s dumbly incoherent and cheap. Its gothic elements create atmosphere but they never develop into a story and the sex is utterly tepid. Ultimately, Nude for Satan is merely a trippy curiosity.

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. Nude for Satan’s gripping title ensures many of you will see it anyway.

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