Oct 2, 2014

Baby Sitter (1982)

You can pretty much guarantee that when a filmmaker enters the forbidden realm of pornography, his career is more or less coming to a bitter and truly degenerate end of no return, both artistically and professionally. Indeed, aside from the rather rare exceptions like Wes Craven, who left a comfortable job as an English professor and entered the more lucrative pornographic underworld where he apparently made “many hard core X-rated films” under various pseudonyms (even working on Gerard Damiano’s 1972 crossover hit Deep Throat, though the actual role he had in the mafia-backed film is still unknown to this day) before he directed his first feature The Last House on the Left (1972), the filmmaker who begins directing porn is more or less a dead filmmaker who is whoring himself out just to pay the bills. While Guido artsploitation auteur Alberto Cavallone (Man, Woman and Beast aka Spell – Dolce mattatoi, Blow Job – Soffio erotico) did enter the final stage of his career when he began directing fuck flicks under the ‘classy’ pseudo-aristocratic pseudonym ‘Baron Corvo,’ his career is interesting in that a good number of his ‘classic’ films were released in alternate pornographic cuts well before he the director ever became a full-blown pornographer. Indeed, Cavallone’s singularly aberrant cult classics Zelda (1974), Blue Movie (1978), and Blow Job – Soffio erotico (1980) were all released at various stages with pornographic inserts, though this should be no surprise to anyone that has seen the original non-pornographic cuts of these works, as they are ultimately more subversive and perverse than the fuck flicks that were being made at the time, even if they were less sexually explicit. Indeed, while ‘subversive’ sex has always been a major theme of Cavallone’s oeuvre, the director mostly chose to depict carnal pleasure in a decidedly ‘anti-erotic’ and even deranged fashion and this is, somewhat ironically, most apparent in his straight fuck flicks. In that sense, Cavallone was a sort of poor man's Pasolini, albeit rampantly heterosexual and much more nihilistic.

Directed under the name ‘Baron Corvo’ (a pseudonym he borrowed from gay English novelist, artist, and would-be-priest Frederick Rolfe), Il nano erotico (1982) aka Baby Sitter aka Being Captured aka Il nano e la strega aka Petites fesses juvéniles (pour membres bienfaiteurs) reflects Cavallone’s rather reluctant attitude in regard to directing his first ‘straight porn flick’ (though his previous work, the 1980 ‘erotic thriller’ La gemella erotica is assumed to have been shot ‘hardcore’), which is about as sexually appealing as syphilis as a work featuring a demented dago dwarf in a thong raping a young girl with giant dildos to meta-kitschy sounds of disco music. A sort of Guido take on the superlatively sleazy American-Danish coproduction The Sinful Dwarf (1973) aka Dværgen directed by Vidal Raski, which depicts a depressed and lonely yet equally deranged and deadly Danish dwarf running a white slavery and heroin ring with his mother, Baby Sitter depicts the insane, if not largely inane, Italo-degeneracy that ensues when a young girl comes to work as a babysitter for a young couple, only to find that baby is really a full grown, phallus frenzied, dildo-wielding dwarf who enslaves her and dementedly defiles her. Needless to say, Cavallone’s dumbfounding Dwarfsploitation flick is for initiates only. In other words, if Werner Herzog’s Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970) aka Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen made you squirm with abject disgust at the sight of devilish little people doing depraved and destructive things, Baby Sitter will prove to be the ultimate anti-aphrodisiac, especially if you’re a member of the fairer sex, as a nihilistically wanton work of whimsical derangement where a swarthy and perennially giggling achondroplastic dwarf pulls out a suitcase of large dildos and inserts them in the various holes of a naïve teen as if he is an Asperger-addled toddler experimenting with building blocks.

Exotic 19-year-old redheaded babysitter Sabrina ( Sabrina Mastrolorenzi) loves her boyfriend Johnny so much that she gently jerks him off while riding on his Honda crotch-rocket, but she is put off by his indomitable jealousy and she questions whether he really loves her or not. Luckily, a nightmare day involving debauched dwarfs and dildos will ultimately prove to Sabrina that Johnny does indeed love her after all. After giving Johnny fellatio in a scenic field and stroking his main gear while he gives her a ride on his super cool Jap motorcycle, Sabrina is, to the chagrin of her boy toy, picked up by a wealthy middle-aged blonde babe named Dominique (Dominique Saint Claire) and her swarthy mustache adorned chauffer in a white Mercedes so that she can carry out her latest babysitting job. As Dominique explains to her, Sabrina will be watching a little boy named ‘Willy,’ though little does he realized that she will be ravaged by the ‘child’s’ Willy. Indeed, soon after Dominique leaves Sabrina at her plush countryside home that is just a couple miles outside of Rome, the baby sitter discovers she has been locked inside the house and soon after that, Willy aka ‘Peeping’—a discernibly dago-like achondroplastic dwarf (Petit Loup) in a classic children's sailor outfit—abruptly appears from his baby bed and pierces the young lady with a blowdart with tranquilizer on it, thus knocking her out instantly.

When Sabrina awakes, she is tied in bondage to a fireplace and wearing nothing but a tiny thong. While she was asleep, little Willy took the liberty of stripping her of her clothes and providing her a rather unflattering thong similar to his own. After pulling out a suitcase full of various large dildos, Willy begins probing Sabrina’s nether-regions in a rather perverse fashion. Meanwhile, Dominique and the Chauffer have sex while watching Willy defile Sabrina via security footage. When Willy goes down shoving dildos in Sabrina’s various flesh-wounds, he ties her to a footstool and begins whipping her in a savage fashion. Ultimately, Willy gets Sabrina to ‘voluntarily’ do anything he wants, so long as he agrees to let her go at the end of the night. After proclaiming, “I am very eccentric,” Willy has Sabrina sit on top of him reverse-cowgirl style and jerk him off. Meanwhile, Sabrina’s boyfriend goes looking for his girlfriend, as he seems to rightfully suspect that Dominique is a demented bitch with uniquely unsavory intentions. Eventually, Willy confesses to Sabrina that Dominique is his wife and in reciprocation for him allowing her to fuck any man she wants, she calls babysitting agencies and tricks stupid young girls to come to their home so that he can kidnap and defile them. Of course, one would assume that the rather odd couple would have been caught by now, but as Willy brags to Sabrina, he kills all the babysitters when he gets bored with defiling them. Indeed, Willy plans to kill Sabrina by giving her a poisonous enema, but just before he invades her anus, she hits him in the ribs and manages to escape. While the Chauffer runs out and attempts to capture Sabrina at the demand of deranged bitch Dominique, boyfriend Johnny arrives at just the right time. In the end, Sabrina confesses to her boyfriend, “This has been an experience I will never forget” and, to the delight of Johnny, agrees that she will never babysit again.

Believe it or not, Baby Sitter was not the last XXX debauched dwarf flick that Albert Cavallone directed. Indeed, the director followed the film with the supposedly somewhat superior work, Pat una donna particolare (1982), the same year which, aside from featuring most of the same ‘actors’ from the previous film, also once again starred petite pervert Petit Loup. Interestingly, both of the films were shot at the same villa a couple miles outside of Rome where Rosso sangue (1981) aka Absurd directed by Joe D'Amato (as ‘Peter Newton’ aka ‘Aristide Massaccesi’) was directed the previous year. As someone with a small softspot for small people, I somehow managed to enjoy Baby Sitter more than most Cavallone fans, even if I found myself forwarding through some of the overlong sex scenes. When it comes down to it, the film is essentially a strangely humorous nihilist comedy directed by a disillusioned auteur who seemed like he wanted to take revenge against the film world by directing one of the most distinctly unsexy and just plain debasing fuck flicks ever made. In that regard, Cavallone is a lot like American artsploitation auteur Roger Watkins (The Last House on Dead End Street, Shadows of the Mind), who directed three masterful and strikingly artful, if not discernibly anti-erotic, misanthropic, and nihilistic dark blue movies—Her Name Was Lisa (1981), Corruption (1983), and Midnight Heat (1983)—under the Teutonic classical music inspired pseudonym ‘Richard Mahler.’ As Roberto Curti noted in his excellent 2007 essay Alberto Cavallone: Story of an Eye, Cavallone’s son Giulio offered the following speculation as to why his father directed porn: “Alberto did them for money, I wouldn’t say negligently, but doing things his own way, just to piss off the producer […] You know, this is a compromise that could have made sense in Alberto’s logic: 'You don’t let me do the film I want to do and instead you almost force me to make shitty hardcore porn? Well, that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna shoot these films but I won’t put my name on them, and I’m gonna do them my own way!'"

 A work I can only recommend to Cavallone completists, sadomasochistic dwarfs, and/or morbidly masochistic individuals who get off to being debased by the unnatural sights of a malevolent midget defiling a young dame, Baby Sitter is nothing short of a sick celluloid joke at the expense of both pornophiles and the Italian film industry. With his purported masterpieces, Maldoror (1977)—a lost adaptation of pseudonymous French poet Comte de Lautréamont’s late-19th-century proto-surrealist poetic novel Les Chants de Maldoror aka The Songs of Maldoror, which was also unsuccessfully adapted by cine-magician Kenneth Anger and successfully adapted by Japanese auteur Shūji Terayama—never being released as a result of distribution problems and a number of his other films negatively affected by everything from suicidal producers (e.g. Blow Job – Soffio erotico) to being completely aborted (e.g. Il ragazzo che fece fumare il Vesuvio aka The Boy Who Made the Vesuvio Erupt), Cavallone had every right to be aesthetically vengeful, thus one could argue that Baby Sitter and Pat una donna particolare are almost just as much ‘auteur’ pieces as his early works, as they reflect the filmmaker at his most incendiary, iconoclastic, and misanthropic. Indeed, what other man would take aesthetic revenge against society by making a fuck flick where a beautiful young girl is defiled by a dildo-wielding dwarf?! 

-Ty E


Anonymous said...

Two things:

"Cavallone completists"

Somehow, I doubt that such a group exists.

"Exotic 19-year-old redheaded babysitter"

A guidette with a bad dye job does not a true redhead make.

I'm loving all these textured analyses of "classic"-era skin flicks, by the way.

Soiled Sinema said...

"Somehow, I doubt that such a group exists."

Oh, it does...I should know, I am one of them. Though, to be fair, it could not be more than a couple dozen people judging by what I have seen. Surprisingly, someone even just made Cavallone a wikipedia page. RaroVideo also just re-released one of his 'masterpieces', "Blue Movie."