EC Entertainment keep one step ahead of the rest of the DVD producers with yet another rare outing for one of Lucio Fulci's lesser known (and hence strangely much maligned) shockers, this time in the form of the bizarrely titled 'Sodoma's Ghost'.
The film opens with perverse gusto during the closing stages of World War 2 where we meet a group of drunken Nazis indulging in some carnal pleasures with some stocking clad whores. Some of you will be familiar with these opening shots as they were later utilised by Fulci in his vastly underrated comedic bio-flick 'Nightmare Concert', as this is the scene with the infamous Nazi pocketing a snooker ball in a unconscious tarts crotch - all lovingly filmed by a young Aryan in a bizarre take on 'Peeping Tom'. Just as you start to rub your hands with glee at the wanton perversion the film cuts to nowadays (well okay, the fashionable dreary 1980's) where we join a group of Euro-teens (teens? well twenty something's if we're being nice) en route to Paris after a travelling holiday. One of the wisecracking young lads persists he knows a short cut but unsurprisingly manages to get the entourage lost in the middle of a vast forest. All is not lost though as they soon happen across an abandoned house (yes the same one that the aforementioned Nazis had been whoring it up in) and decide to stay the night there. Early on you know things aren't going to go well for these dim-witted kids, well this old abandoned house is stuffed to the guddles with fresh food and booze and they don't suspect anything?! But when later that evening one of the girls is subjected to an uncomfortable violent sexual encounter with a ghostly nazi they decide that perhaps they should move on. But this house and its ghostly occupants have other ideas and in a shaky twist on the 'Demons' scenario they find they are trapped sealed inside to await their fate.
'Sodoma's Ghost' is a real mixed bag of Fulci fun, on one hand we have some great moments of truly depraved perversions (pretty much what Fulci seemed to relish in his later career) and on the other hand there is a very lazy and lacking storyline. The whole teens go to the ghostly house thing reminded me here very much of Lamberto Bava's yawn inducing 'Graveyard Disturbance' (but thankfully this one is actually far more potent visually) and the ending is a real groaner in the extreme (and hence vastly disappointing). But looking at the plus points then you have to say that they do far outweigh the trashy but fun elements to the movie. Just about every scene with the ghostly Nazis carries this film with some endearing moments of inspired sadistic perversion. Even to date I know the BBFC would not be happy with this sick puppy...the girl who enjoys being roughed up and sexually assaulted by one nazi would never wash with them, though perhaps they may be ok with underlying lesbo moments or amusingly gory crumbling tits! At the end of the day I have to admit that the whole scenario of Nazis, gore and perversion tickles my horror taste buds big time!
But like the core plot, Fulci's direction is somewhat lukewarm also and the ensemble cast doesn't really do much apart from go through the motions of the parts they've been contracted to play. But if we're going to be honest here then you're going to be watching this one coincidentally as amassing to fill the gaps in your Fulci collection and for what this is 'a sleazy no brainer exploitation film' then you should be happily sated by what it has got to offer. Well I enjoyed it a lot anyway!
Like previous EC releases of these obscure Fulci titles there's really nothing on offer in the way of extras (ignore the blurb on the cover about subtitles and a stills gallery, they're not there) but what you do get is a sturdy presentation of the film itself. I can already hear some DVD fetishists out there complaining that the image isn't pristine anarmorphic widescreen but what do you expect to get for a relatively obscure title with limitations on the master available? Albeit not being pin sharp, the image is clear and colourful and strong throughout (pretty much en par with a good vault video master from whence this probably originated). Similarly the mono audio is fine and problem free throughout with audio options in both English and Italian.
By no means a Fulci classic but an enjoyable slice of trash grade Z perversion and it goes without saying an essential addition to full Fulci fans collection!
Review by Alan Simpson
|Released by EC Entertainment|
|Region - All (PAL)|
|Rated - 16 (uncut)|
|Optional English or Italian audio|