Porno Holocaust (1980)

Genres - Adult, Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Creature Film, Sex Horror  |   Run Time - 113 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Fred Beldin

Though it seems natural for filmmakers to combine the two most exploitable elements on their palette, it's very difficult to strike a balance when mixing hardcore pornography and graphic violence. Spend too much time on the sex and the gorehounds get restless, splash too much blood around, and the majority of the adult film audience will run screaming for the exit. Italian smut maker Joe D'Amato based his career on pictures that usually focused on one extreme or the other, though in this desperate bid for high-velocity exploitation he definitely ended up with more "Porno" than "Holocaust." Because of its blunt title and relative rarity, Porno Holocaust has gained legendary status amongst horror and exploitation fans, though only with those who haven't seen it yet. The first two thirds of the film's running time are spent following the young, attractive scientists as they run on sandy beaches, luxuriating in the warmth and the water (depending on which version is obtained, the amount of explicitness varies, though a full hardcore print does exist). For this portion, Porno Holocaust is a fairly typical foreign sex film, with airheaded disco muzak on the soundtrack and awkwardly translated dialogue like, "Have you noticed I'm as nervous as an Olympic athlete?" The dreaded radioactive monster is a disappointment when he finally appears, being nothing more than a well-endowed actor with a few lumps of putty on his face and tattered clothes. The remainder of the film isn't nearly as brutal as some other entries in D'Amato's lengthy resumé (he's also tackled cannibals, zombies, and Caligula), and the gore effects will be unconvincing to hardened devotees. Though Porno Holocaust boasts one of the most outlandish titles of all time, don't expect anything more than a standard Euro skin flick with a climax that's slightly stranger than most.