The Washing Machine
"You can't wash away the terror."
This second tier giallo from Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust)
turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me.
Oh, it has its problems. OK, I'll be honest - it has a LOT of
problems. Like most of the films in the genre, even some of the best
ones, the plot is nearly impossible to follow. It starts out with a
hooker rejecting her pimp, then moves to a scene where the hooker's
sister finds the pimp dead inside a washing machine and calls the
police. Of course, nothing is as it seems. The police conclude that
there never was a body inside the washing machine at all, and that the
sister who called in the discovery has a few splinters in the
windmills of her mind, so there is really nothing to investigate. The
pimp does seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth, but the
scene with the washing machine was apparently the fantasy or the
nightmare of a crazy woman.
Unfortunately, the police inspector can't escape the hooker and her
crazy sister. There is also a third sister who has some intriguing
theories of her own about the pimp's murder and/or disappearance. All
three of the sisters seem to have the idea the one of the other
sisters murdered the pimp, and they insist on relaying these ideas to
the police inspector at all times of the day and night, whether he is
home or in his office. The three sisters are not only interested in
annoying the inspector, but they all want to seduce him as well. What
makes the film so difficult to follow is that it is never clear to the
viewer whether the action on screen is supposed to represent reality,
a dream, a hallucination, or a dramatization of one of the sisters'
To tell you the truth, I never did figure out exactly what the
sisters were up to. It had something to do with a suitcase full of
money and jewels, and a master scheme concocted by the pimp to obtain
that suitcase from some drug dealers, but I don't really know exactly
how all the details were supposed to fit together. I lost interest in
the details because the usual wooden dubbing and the semi-incoherent
narrative stepped all over any potential for suspense or mystery, and
I never really took any significant interest in the characters. It's
probably just as well that I didn't pay close attention to the plot,
because it seems like one of those films that makes less sense the
more you study it.
I suppose The Washing Machine must have been a great financial
failure because Deodato was never able to direct another theatrical
feature, and nobody has even made an effort to sell the film on DVD in
North America or Europe. The only edition I could find is an
all-region disc from Thailand.
So why, you may wonder, did I like this confusing giallo? Fair
Two elements made the film worthwhile for me:
The first pertains only to me. The Washing Machine was filmed in
Budapest in 1993. I lived and worked in Budapest in 1993, so this film
brought back a flood of memories of a specific time and place in my
life. The buildings, the streetcars, the bridges, the landmarks ... it
was like looking through the photo album which I never actually made.
You don't care about that, but you will relate to the second
element. This film has some creative sex scenes involving sexy women
with superlative bodies.
(Click on the names to download the film clips.)
Ilaria Borrelli is almost a dead ringer for Elaine on Seinfeld.
She was only 24 when the film was lensed, and she looks great in and
out of tight outfits. She does two inventive sex scenes. In one, she
is trying to have ultra-quiet sex with the detective while her blind
friend is only a few feet away, trying to find them. In the other,
she seduces the detective by dancing naked on a pole, stripper
style, while they are backstage during a musical performance. Hot
stuff. I'm not sure why Ilaria never became a star, but according to
IMDb she stopped performing before her 30th birthday and is now a
- Barbara Ricci
plays the crazy sister. Her sex scenes are not so spectacular and
she mostly just removes her top at random times for no apparent
reason. But, damn, that woman has a gorgeous body! She's also quite
beautiful in a spooky way appropriate for the role.
- The third sister, the hooker, is played by the the spectacularly
busty Polish actress
and her scenes are played out with a touch of surreal comedy.
- There is also additional nudity from background strippers and
the blind friend.
(Although the blind woman has a big part, I couldn't identify her
from the credits. She is probably Agnes David, because Agnes is the
only female name listed in the cast who I can't match to a role, and the blind
woman is the only major female cast member that I can't match to a
name. But maybe not.)
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
Notes and collages
Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II
This 1987 horror flick, not exactly a sequel to 1980's Prom Night, is
also not exactly very good, but it does have a nice full-frontal scene.
The main connection to the original is a bad event happening on prom
night, but the stories are quite different.
The movie starts in 1959 when Mary Lou Maloney is about to be crowned
queen. Her boyfriend, mad because she's planning to go home with someone
else, accidentally sets her on fire, killing her.
Thirty years later, the boyfriend is now principal of the school, and
it's prom time again. This time Vicki Carpenter (Wendy Lyon) is a shoo-in
for queen, but when she opens an old trunk in the basement of the school,
she is suddenly possessed by Mary Lou's spirit, and Mary Lou is eager to
see her old flame, the principal.
It's B-movie horror all the way, pretty bad, but it's still kind of
fun. Unfortunately, the shower scene was dimly lit and loaded with steam,
so the shower panels in the collage are pretty bad, but it's still
interesting, I suppose.