Movie illustrations: Daniela Poggi

2016-07-29

The so called rape-revenge sub-genre of horror and exploitation films was single-handedly carved out as a more violent and expressive genre from more thoughtful and visually serene drama films by the director Wes Craven in his 1972 film debut The Last House on the Left. The genre reached a peak in the middle-to-late seventies when many directors introduced such films to nauseate, test and provocate unsuspecting audiences all around the world. In Italy, many now quite seminal and very nasty rape-revenge films were produced in the following two decades. Some gained added notoriety as the Video Nasty craze of the 1980’s saw a number of such titles be altogether banned and film copies burned in public and confiscated by authorities.

Al calar della sera (Submission of a Woman, 1992) was a rather late entry to the rape-revenge films from Italy directed by Alessandro Lucidi who ceased directing after this film (although he is still today very much active in the film industry as an accomplished editor). The film is rather obscure and was omitted even from the seminal and thorough study of the genre: Rape-Revenge Films – A Critical Study (2011) by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas. The movie does have an odd tone to it and even though the antagonist of the film is presented (and acted too, I might add) as quite the nasty psychopath, the film is still oddly muted. The violence and nudity are equally quite restrained and quite possibly that is why this film has not a had a wide audience and known by genre enthusiasts only.

The film is in essence an example of an early home invasion movie quite popular nowadays. Main roles of the movie were played by Paolo Lorimer and Daniela Poggi. Daniela Poggi is still active today but she is most well known in the polar opposite of genres from this film as she has dozens of roles in romantic comedies and dramas.

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