Crazy Nights: Uncut Edition [Blu-ray]
(Marina Hedman, Amanda Lear, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1978) 2021 / Full Moon Pictures)
Overview: Italian exploitation icon Joe D’Amato’s outrageous and rarely seen 1978 mondo movie meltdown CRAZY NIGHTS (aka Follie di notte) is one the strangest snapshots of the disco era you will ever see!
The legendary and controversial performer Amanda Lear appears here as herself, singing her signature dance floor hit Follow Me while D’Amato’s camera uses her as an entry point into the glamorous, eccentric, often depraved annals of Rome’s after hours nightclub scene.
But that is only scratching the surface. CRAZY NIGHTS then meanders - in true mondo fashion - all over the world, filling the screen with strippers, sex and ritualistic absurdity, all set to the beat of Lear’s sultry cabaret pop sound.
Blu-ray Verdict: Lear - who famously dated David Bowie, was the cover girl for many Roxy Music records and long served as Salvador Dali’s lover and muse - was at the peak of her popularity when she signed on to film CRAZY NIGHTS.
Originally pitched as a musical centered around her fame called FOLLOW ME, Lear believed the movie to be incomplete until - to her shock - it turned up in Italian theaters under the name Follie di notte.
Horrified to discover that she had been tricked into starring in a full-blown exploitation film, Lear sued the producers, one of many reasons CRAZY NIGHTS has lapsed into virtual obscurity!
As noted as a kind of an Italian burleque-sploitation mondo movie directed by Joe D’Amato and hosted by Amanda Lear, performances of her disco hits Follow Me and Enigma (Give a bit of mmh to me) bookend this weird compilation of strange, symbolically sexual night club acts from supposedly all over the world!
A lot of it is focused on role play and dance. There’s plenty of nudity, but all sex acts performed are merely symbolic simulation, and considering many of the themes explored, that’s probably a good thing as it gets pretty out there!
The music in this is just fantastic! Not only was I introduced to Amanda Lear, but this thing is full of lots of music and I’d drop money for a soundtrack immediately! We’ve got the old Italian film music with female vocalization to disco to Swan Lake, the Amanda Lear stuff and more!
As for the film, well, one strange segment was interviewing a married couple who make porno films together. Here’s an excerpt from that interview:
Q: Tell me, have you ever made love with a woman?
A: Why yes. I actually have. And I must say, it was very interesting.
Then they watch a real porno film starring that couple. Or so it seems, because it cuts away. Oh, and the porno star husband looked like a real life version of Hanover Fiste from the movie Heavy Metal!
The real highlight was Amanda’s performance of Enigma (Give a little mmh to me) in the discotheque. By that point, I’d kind of slipped into accepting everything and just watching to see what’s next!
This doesn’t make for a good sexploitation movie and really isn’t all that interesting, but does have it’s moments and a varied sense of humor and there is kind of a psychotronic quality to it.
Therefore, if you are into this kind of thing, I’d say especially at 3am in a bout of insomnia, then check it out! [OE] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.