Una cavalla tutta nuda [A Naked Mare] (1972) June 14, 2019 00:10
Long before mainstream internet access the Italian film industry had cornered the market on what we now refer to as "click-bait" and effectively "trolled" audiences back in the 1970's with numerous films "starring" Barbara Bouchet whose spicy five minute appearances made up the entire marketing campaign of the film. Yet upon actual viewing you quickly realize you've once again been setup.
Set in the middle ages Una cavalla tutta nuda (aka A Naked Mare) stars Don Backy as Folcacchio de Folcacchieri, a sorta conman who returns home and ropes his friend Gulfardo de Bardi (Renzo Montagnani) into accompanying him on a journey to deliver a message to the Bishop of Volterra.
What turns into a simple mission quickly gets out of hand as the first person they run into is a poor farmer with a stubborn mule. The two give the farmer a ride home and meet his beautiful wife Gemmata (Barbara Bouchet). Folcacchio is instantly infatuated with her and cooks up a scheme to get her naked. Over dinner he spins a tale about his ability to turn people into animals, and convinces the naive farmer that he can turn his wife into a horse which will help to plow their land much more effective than their stubborn mule.
Both the farmer and Gemmata are excited at this prospect, but Folcacchio says Gemmata must be naked for the transformation to be able to take place. Proceeding to the barn Gemmata strips down and Folcacchio proceeds to grope her as her dimwitted husband faces away from them and repeats a bogus incantation. As Folcacchio is about to proceed in "mounting" Gemmata, her husband turns around and puts a stop to his scheme.
The next day Folcacchio and Gulfardo resume their journey, and spend the rest of the film either trying to procure clothing, bedding any woman they can or escaping death whether it be at the hands of the Bishop or a gang of priests whom they stole a bunch of gold coins from. None of these exploits manage to be that amusing and in the entire one hour and forty minute run-time I managed to chuckle only a couple of times, the funniest scene being near the end where the two return home with the gold they stole and a caravan of priests show up and beat the crap out of them and take the money back.
Barbara Bouchet makes one more brief appearance at film's conclusion bringing the story full circle when Folcacchio returns home and the farmer desperate for a horse once again pleads that he transforms his wife. Folcacchio takes his horse and Gemmata in the barn, dresses his horse up like her and runs off into the sunset with Gemmata both laughing at her husband's stupidity.
Overall Una cavalla tutta nuda is another Italian comedy that exploits Barbara Bouchet's presence, going as far to give her top billing in the opening credits when she's not even a minor supporting character. Tack on the film's overly bloated run-time and it quickly becomes almost a chore to watch. The beginning, a couple parts in the middle, and the end are decent, but as a whole this film should have been edited down to about an hour and some change to be mildly entertaining, or they should have inserted Bouchet into the plot as a tag along character as she was in Il debito coniugale to make the rest of the film watchable.