The Key (1983), Miranda (1985), All Ladies Do It (1993)
The first and last name when it comes to "ass men", Tinto Brass has somehow made a career out of gleefully exploiting the female derriere (among other parts of their heavenly bodies). Having previously released the three Tinto Brass flicks presented here on DVD, Cult Epics have returned with the moderately priced Tinto Brass Collection. Not only a repackaging of these three films (together at last in one box set), but each film has also been given a slight facelift to improve ass clarity even more. These asses have never looked so good. Being that I've already reviewed both Miranda and The Key you'll have to please pardon me if a lift a bit from those two reviews for a reprint here, such is life.
The Key (1983)
Nino (Frank Finlay) is finding it harder each and every day to keep up with his much younger wife Teresa (Stefania Sandrelli). It's soon discovered that jealousy and desire is the viagra that Nino needs, and Teresa is more than happy to comply. She begins a torrid and most sexually charged affair with her son-in-law Laszlo (Franco Branciaroli), much to the chagrin of their daughter Lisa (Barbara Cupisti of Stage Fright). Such a host of goodies follows including bizarre sexual encounters, photo sessions like you've never seen before, senior citizen cross-dressing (nope, that's not a typo), and more ass-slapping than you can shake a stick at (or would want to for that matter) Hope you like yourself some ass, Tinto sure does!
The Key, in my opinion is one of Tinto's more accomplished and watchable films, which makes sense considering The Key pretty much set the standard for Brass and many of his future cinematic endeavors. Full of great sets, mostly impressive performances (amidst all the ass-slapping) and an awesome score from composer Ennio Morricone, The Key is a fine example of early 80's erotica done right (this ain't no "skinemax" jerk-off fest that's for sure). One thing that I really admire about Brass is that despite the obviously low budgets his films have, they manage to never look or feel cheap. He seems to stretch his film dollar pretty far, which I'm sure makes his investors quite happy. He may not make the best films, but I still feel that his unique style has plenty to offer for fans of this type of cinema. It's most certainly not for everybody, but if your idea of heaven is ass, well then let the angels sing!
The buxom Serena Grandi (The Grim Reaper, Bava's Delirium) stars as the title character Miranda (a sort of soft-core AMELIE if you will), a tavern owner and all around pleasure givin' love machine. Among her repeated conquests are a local boy (Andrea Occhipinti of New York Ripper), an elderly politician (Andy J. Forrest) and a visiting soldier with many a bizarre fetish. All the while, poor Miranda teases those less fortunate (meaning those unable to bed her) and searches for the perfect mate. From the looks of things, Miranda would be much happier with the sampler platter. Of course there is plenty of skin on display (of the male and female variety) along with some "close call" sexual situations (I'll be damned if it didn't slip in once or maybe twice even). Brass succeeds with Miranda in that he produces a much more interesting story (and characters) and some truly witty dialogue than some of his other efforts. As usual Brass exhibits his expertise with the camera and winds up producing a nicely composed film that outclasses many erotica films in comparison.
All Ladies Do It (1993)
Even though it was made 10-years after The Key, All Ladies Do It sees Brass returning to a similar theme in what ultimately becomes my favorite of the three flicks in the set. Diana (Claudia Koll) is married to Paolo (Paolo Lanza), a giving husband who ultimately allows his wife to take in some sextra curricular activities with some more than willing male counterparts. Of course when Paolo gets off on the stories, so does Diana. However, as with all good things, infidelity must come to an end (get it, end?) and who'd of thunk that Brass could turn the act of anal into an artistic endeavor? Not I!
Slickly produced, All Ladies Do It is a visual feast with great sets and locations. Of course let's not forget the trademarked Brass ass-play, as there is aplenty. Brass skillfully takes us from one sexcapade to the next and in the process manages to fill his frame with beautiful photography along with likeable and sympathetic characters (and ass, did I mention the ass?). The score provided by longtime DePalma collaborator Pino Donaggio also manages to add a certain level of class to the proceedings. Not to mention the fact that this film features one of the oddest post-apocalyptic type raves/orgies that really does need to be seen to be believed complete with a truly bizarre rendition of the dance hall classic EVERYBODY DANCE NOW that I have ever heard; easily worth the price of admission on its own. Oh, and did I mention this bit of inspired dialogue "It's 8:00! You'll have to rape me later!" Brilliant! This movie rocks!
Both Miranda and The Key boast slightly sharper presentations than their previous editions. Deeper black levels and somewhat more of a sharper color palette. All Ladies Do It fares really well with extremely bold and smashing colors and great definition. Also of note is the fact that this edition of All Ladies Do It is the slightly longer "extreme" edition if you will, which has moments that verge on hardcore and many more penises to go around. Audio on all three films feature solid mono tracks, All Ladies Do It being the only Italian Language version with English subs. Both Miranda and The Key are in English while The Key features some Italian language only segments that do indeed feature subs.
Extras on Miranda and The Key remain the same. We get a different Tinto Brass interview on each disc, trailers and photo galleries. All Ladies Do It also features a Brass interview, trailers and a photo gallery in addition to some behind the scenes footage/outtakes. Seeing as how this set can be picked up for under or around 40 bucks online it's easily the way to go for Tinto Brass fans, and worth the upgrade for those who may have invested in these flicks prior.