Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dial: Help/Minaccia d'amore (1988)

Dial: Help/Minaccia d'amore is a laughable remnant from the vaults of bad 1980s Italian cinema which has no redeeming aspect other than a highly-limited laugh factor and a nice scene with garters. Ruggero Deodato may have made some memorable films in his past – the two most famous being Cannibal Holocaust and La Casa sperduta nel parco / The House on the Edge of the Park (both 1980) – but this film is far from being even one of his second-best. The only thing the film really has going for it, aside from a few moments of unintentional hilarity, is the lead female Charlotte Lewis. She cannot act her way out of a paper bag but is a truly delicious piece of eye-candy. She not only has curves where a woman should, but they are real. Sadly, though we do get to see her deliciously decked out in straps and sexy undergarments, she never really shows any skin and thus greatly reduces the viewing value of the film (the nipple-flash is too short to write home about). 
As a whole, Dial: Help is a waste of time for although it is bad, it never even gets close to getting as unbelievably bad as is required for a film to gain the sort a camp value that truly horrendous films gain through the passage of time; in another ten years, like now, Dial: Help will still just be boringly blah and not surrealistically horrendous.
Sexy Lewis is Jenny Cooper, a model haunted by a murderous entity that can control subway cars, kill people (and fish) over the phone and has the hots for Jenny. When Jenny isn't having orgasms brought about by windy telephone sex, she runs around from one telephone-induced death to another desperately trying to find a solution to her orgasms. 
There is no aspect to this film which either makes sense or holds water, and the deaths – with the exception of an exploding pacemaker and a would-be rapist killed by a coin-ejaculating payphone – are relatively bloodless. Dial: Help is good for a few laughs, due mostly to the overall ridiculousness and badly-dated 80s style and the hilarious killer-telephone point-of-view shots, but a few laughs do not make for a worthwhile film experience. The resolution is as illogical as the film's beginning and, likewise, is in line with ineptness of the movie as a whole: any sympathy the viewer might have developed for Jenny Cooper as a character is suddenly and totally destroyed in the last scene when she spitefully and laughingly gives the cursed telephone number – and, one imagines, the curse itself – to her ex-boyfriend.
Crappy song to the movie by Claudio Simonetti (song : Baby Don't Answer):

No comments: