Films 1974 - 1982
|Donna E Bello (1974)
Dir. Sergio Bazzini
A sexy farce with Joe baptized into a career beyond Warhol/Morrissey when a woman squats and pees on his face while he lies covered in barnyard hay. Bawdy, vulgar and just enough fun to wish an uncut version was available here in the States, the film has Joe getting it on with a lonely woman who lives in a country manor with her retarded adult son. A Nazi subplot surfaces, as do a couple of strange motorcyclists carrying “space pills.” Joe’s idea of a good time is blowing up a bunny rabbit by attaching it to a tractor battery. Available for purchase on video as One Woman's Lover from specialty video vendors. For more on this title, see the Joe Italia entry of the Joe-Pourri archive pages.
|Il Tempo Degli Assassini (1975)
Dir. Marcello Andrei
Joe as a thoroughly unlikable punk who runs around with his band of violent buddies raping and pillaging, much to the chagrin of an ornery police commissioner played by Martin Balsam. Available on video as Season for Assassins.
Dir. Pasquale Squitieri
One of Joe’s favorite films to make while in Europe, this is precisely the kind of project he wanted to do post-Warhol/Morrissey: a violent action film incorporating guns, motorcycles, drugs and a ravishing leading lady. Joe stars as a young criminal climbing the ladder to gangsterhood and getting revenge on those who kicked his ass before he had power. Co-stars the lovely Stefania Cassini (Joe’s girlfriend at the time). Available for purchase on video as The Climber and Ambition from specialty video vendors.
||Black Moon (1975)
Dir. Louis Malle
The first of Joe’s encounters with important directors while in Europe, this coarse fable purports to be an Alice-in-Wonderland-battle-of-the-sexes-coming-of-age fairy tale literally dreamt up by its director. Joe plays Brother, a mute who can sing (dubbed). He apparently has a gaggle of children by his beautiful Sister (Alexandra Stewart). A giant hog, a milk-thirsty pig, a piano-tinkling kitty, a talking rat, an obnoxious old woman sputtering in her own language, a bargain-basement prophesying unicorn, and a chicken pecking away at a dead soldier’s tit are all part of the fun. This rarely shown film, which exists in both French and English versions, has a lot of admirers. The French-language version without subtitles is available from a specialty vendor.
|Fango Bollente (1975)
Dir. Vittorio Salerno
Joe and his three wild friends go on a violent spree throughout Rome. Available on video as Savage Three from a specialty vendor. For more on this title, see the Joe Italia entry of the Joe-Pourri archive pages.
|Je T'Aime Moi Non Plus (1976)
Dir. Serge Gainsbourg
Joe's favorite film of his own work, this is a cult classic waiting to be discovered. A rich, tightly directed, sexy and very wild little film, it tells the story of a gay garbageman (Joe) in the American Southwest who falls in love with a girl (the incredible Jane Birkin) because she looks like a boy from behind. They spend the film trying to consummate their relationship. Filled with poetic touches using color, space, framing, dialogue and action, it's easy to see why Joe loves the film so much, though it will initially be disconcerting for fans to hear him dubbed into French (with English subtitles). Available for purchase on video through specialty video vendors and in France on DVD from Wild Side Video.
|La Marge (1976)
Dir. Walerian Borowczyk
From the great film animator comes this parable about a young family man living an idyllic life in the country who goes to Paris on business and dallies with a sexy prostitute (the one and only Sylvia Kristel). It’s an unlikely morality play, considering the filmmaker, with lots of nudity (even some from Joe), unfulfilling sex, heavy doses of regret, and a famous party trick requiring a hard-boiled egg and a nude woman’s torso. Available to purchase on video through specialty video vendors as The Streetwalker, as well as The Margin, but it exists with two different finales. The “tragic” one is the original cut.
|L'Ultima Volta (1976)
Dir. Aldo Lado
A silly, but occasionally enjoyable and quirky buddy film with Joe playing an ex-championship motorcycle racer who has turned to a life of petty crime. He meets up with a teenage bakery boy and they form an improbable alliance. Available for purchase on video from specialty video vendors as Born Winner.
|Un Cuore Semplice (1977)
Dir. Giorgio Ferrara
Without a shred of good information at the time of Little Joe, Superstar’s book deadline, this film has since been identified. Based on a story by Flaubert, the film has the distinction of placing Joe in a period piece as a costumed and dancing beau replaced by a parrot in a lady’s affections. Not currently available on video. For more on this title, see the Joe Italia entry of the Joe-Pourri archive pages.
|6000 KM Di Paura (1978)
Dir. Bitto Albertini
Back to playing action guy, Joe is also asked to play the blandest leading man of his career in this somewhat dorky melodrama about a car racing competition in Africa. Shot on location. Available for purchase on video through specialty video vendors as Safari Rally.
|Suor Omicidi (1978)
Dir. Giulio Berruti
An infamous Joe title marking his appearance in an Italian exploitation splatter film about a demented, brain-tumored nun (the towering Anita Ekberg) exploring the joys of sex, drugs, and mutilation. Joe plays the kindly new doctor at the facility and isn’t given much to do. The Blue Underground DVD includes a 14-minute interview with co-writer and director Berruti, who talks about casting and working with Joe, finding him "a character, a tough guy...we had an amicable relationship...I think he deserved a better career because he was very talented..." The DVD also comes with the trailer, posters, lobby cards, stills, and pressbook images.
Dir. Jacques Rivette
A 2 hour and 33 minute marathon with a slightly scruffy Joe and a very lovely Maria Schneider conspiring to get to the bottom of his girlfriend’s (and her sister’s) kidnapping. Available on Region 2/PAL DVD from Arthaus in Germany.
|Vacanze Per Un Massacro (1979)
Dir. Fernando Di Leo
Horrific low-budget exploitation flick with escaped killer Joe skulking around a country home and terrorizing its occupants because a stash of his stolen cash is buried beneath the fireplace. Has some ludicrous confrontations and funny sexual encounters. Available on DVD as Madness.
|Tapage Nocturne (1979)
Dir. Catherine Breillat
The story of a woman film director’s psychosocial and psychosexual explorations, with Joe in a very small role as the star of the current film she’s editing.
Dir. Bernard Dubois
Joe has five minutes screen time as the psychiatrist whom a murderess, played by Agathe Vannier (wife of the film's writer-producer-director Dubois), is brought to see in this low-budget psychological thriller starring Jean-Pierre Leaud, with supporting work by Lou Castel and Stefania Cassini. Up to this point Joe had speculated that his appearance constituted footage lifted from a short film he shot in Italy in which Cassini appeared as a village witch. "You're only a piece in the puzzle," he said. "You do your bit and then who knows what happens to it or where they decide to use it." A prior lead from Europe suggested that the footage of Joe from the Cassini film short was inserted into this feature with all shots of Stefania cut out so that it would seem Joe was talking to the actress in the new film. This is not the case. Dressed in suit and tie, Joe clearly shares the screen with lead actress Vannier in his one scene here.
|Queen Lear (1982)
Dir. Mokhtar Chorfi
One of the most sought-after and rare of Joe’s European titles. Struck and killed by a van after a homosexual relationship becomes known to his fiancee and her father, Joe manages to parent an offspring when his bottled semen is drunk by his betrothed and the result is a son who wants to know all about his father. This inspires weird and silly dreamlike visions of Joe in various guises, including on horseback, in white-face, in cowboy duds, and in a bright red full-body leotard! Not currently available on video.
©2005; 2013, Michael Ferguson | email@example.com