Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Lonely Violent Beach (1971) aka La lunga spiaggia fredda

For a movie that bears the title The Lonely Violent Beach, never has there been a movie with such a title that has such little violence. Made back in 1971, this Italian exploitation rarity is virtually impossible to get your hands on (I actually stumbled upon it on Youtube, it’s since been deleted). Directed by Ernesto Gastaldi, a writer of many a Giallo, that turned director during the 1970’s.

The story follows a couple played by Mara Maryl and Walter Maestosi, who decide to take a weekend vacation to the beach, when in fact they should be with their friends skiing. It soon becomes apparent that all is not so rosy in this relationship, in fact decidedly frosty, and husband, Harry has in fact organized the vacation as a way to salvage the marriage. It turns out their weekend is not as peaceful as he planned however, when a gang of bikers force their way in and take control.

Much is made of the movies “rape”, when the bikers decide to take Harry’s wife Jane, rather like Straw Dogs however, there is not much struggle, just a war of words, and as we all know words mean little if rape is on the cards. 

There is good reason why The Lonely Violent Beach is so hard to get hold of, it’s because it’s a profoundly bad entry to the Italian B-movie genre. From the preposterous rape scene, the “flesh and blood” conversation between rapist Fred and Jane, a “for he’s a jolly good fellow” chant, and the relationship that “blooms” after the rape; it’s all pretty bad. Every action is over lingered, if Harry decides he is going to make a stand, he takes five minutes to decide, then at the first point of confrontation throws in the cards. While the passage of time (set in the same time frame) is stretched between two different scenes at an alarming level, downstairs there are fights, arguments, and hostility, in the same point in time that upstairs Fred opens a door.  

I’m glad I saw The Violent Lonely Beach, but I’d never watch it again, even for a cleaned up, restored and re-edited print.

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