The Movie Waffler BluRay Review - <i>Cheeky</i> (2000) | The Movie Waffler

BluRay Review - Cheeky (2000)

Arrow Films' reissue of yet another Tinto Brass softcore epic.

Directed by: Tinto Brass
Starring: Yuliya Mayarchuk, Jarno Berardi, Francesca Nunzi, Max Parodi, Mauro Lorenz

The Movie:

The Grand Muff Tarkin of this erotic Death Star is up to his old tricks again, this time relocated to a London barely recognisable to anyone who has spent significant time in the capital city. A hitherto unknown London of bra-less lovelies flashing there hirsute privates to all and sundry or a swimming bath filled to the brim with sapphic nymphs. You can tell it is England because of the shiny helmeted Policemen and cliched bowler-hatted pinstripe-suited businessmen getting an eyeful before going about their business.
To its credit, it is actually shot at least partly in London, the ever present shots of the then Millennium Dome (this is another Tinto film that looks like it has time travelled from the seventies) letting you know that they did actually come here. Why he bothered is another matter, for all the authenticity they may have well filmed it in Narnia (the mind boggles what Tinto Brass would have done with talking Beavers).
Story wise it is the usual guff that Brass must come up with after a night on the cheese (shockingly five screenwriters are credited with this). Carla (Mayarchuk), a Venetian (we know this because apparently she is as wet as her city!) lady working in London, is looking for an apartment. She wants a place so she can settle down with her boyfriend Matteo (Beradi) but instead settles for moving in with a lesbian estate agent, Moira (Nunzi), whose sales pitch seems to be fingering her clientele, an act that looks less like frenzied masturbation and more like a particularly diligent scout trying to start a fire by rubbing two sticks. Young lovers being kept apart, a third party coming between them, it is almost Shakespearean in intent, although the Bard never thought to put comedy flashers exposing erect cocks into Twelfth Night.
Tinto Brass is a curious beast; he is not without talent and is a true auteur (if the definition means he essentially makes the same film over and over again) but at the service of some of the most banal and tedious erotica put on film. He is once again assisted by Pino Donaggio, usually a maestro of lush overwrought melodramatic soundtracks, here resorting to music that sounds like the intro to a TV game show or counterpointing slo-mo flaccid cocks flapping around to a cod reggae tune that must exceed EU fishing quotas.
It is one thing to celebrate sexuality and female power, but Brass depicts ladies as such vacuous childlike airheads that any sex seems tantamount to abuse of a minor. Caressing old men's faces while they feed ducks and being groped by sleazy photo developers (a cameo by Brass, who in the English dub sounds like an aroused Richard Nixon) are not the actions of a sexual free spirit but someone with a psychological problem.
All the usual Tinto tropes are on parade; gynaecological close ups, cheesy scores, watercolour visuals and untamed pubic wildernesses. There is also a slight coarsening of his approach. Erect penises are more, ahem, prominent (although clearly fake and plastic, possibly to avoid censor trouble) and strangely shot so they look like the chest burster from Alien.
It is better than Frivolous Lola only in that it is 15 minutes shorter. If you are a Tinto Brass completist then you must have this; it has dubious appeal to anyone else. It does have the best final line of a film since Some Like it Hot though, when Carla says “I swear I will always lie to you darling” and is met with the witty rejoinder from Matteo “oh you're such a cunt”. Billy Wilder must be green with envy.

You get a fine quality Blu-ray transfer with options to watch with Italian Language or English dubbed version. You also get a short making of, in which Tinto tells us that he loves the bottom because apparently the arse does not lie. He also describes a scene of twenty naked ladies as "breathing the acrid taste of lesbianism”. Like watching an episode of Eurotrash then, but without the irony.

Jason Abbey