£12.00Current stock: 0
Director: Omiros Efstradiad
Label: Something Weird Video
It’s time for Seventies exploitation film noir, Greek-style! And no, that doesn’t mean this movie’s a pain in the ass to sit through. (Rimshot.) Thank you, thank you. I just flew in on Icarus Air and, boy, are my arms tired. (Double rimshot.)
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and this is the story of one girl who goes to bloody extremes to gain a whole new pile of best friends. A German diamond thief named Garbis, visiting the port city of Piraeus to fence some recently stolen merchandise, checks into a hotel run by the earthy and beautiful Bella (ELENI ANOUSAKI, who later held a seat in the Greek Parliament for 12 years!), and tips her off to what’s going on. Bella immediately convinces her dockworker boyfriend Simos to kill Garbis in a faked hit-and-run and grab the stolen ice. “All these years I’ve been waiting and hoping that an opportunity would come that would get us out of this misery of dirty bedspreads and slavery at the harbor,” she says to him that night in bed. Cue lovemaking scene complete with zippy cocktail music and Diamonds on Her Naked Flesh.
But trouble arrives in the form of Sorokos, another German, who checks into the hotel looking for his partner in crime. Just in case you’re about to confuse this movie with the beloved Fawlty Towers episode “The Germans,” Sorokos correctly pegs Bella as a liar and a cheat and viciously beats her until she cuts him in for Simos’ half of the take. “Maybe I love you,” she tells her new stud, before they jump into bed together. At this point, I’m searching for an English-Greek dictionary for a new word to describe Bella.
Two more of Garbis’ partners show up looking for the loot, and when they come on too strong with Bella, she tricks Sorokos into luring them one at a time to a deep six in a graveyard for boats. Meanwhile, Simos realizes that Bella is playing him -- and everyone else -- for a fool, and leaves her for the beautiful blonde Persa (RITA BENSUSAN). But the lure of quick riches is too much for the dopey dockworker, and he makes one more play for the diamonds and Bella, which causes the pissed-off Persa to call the cops....
At least I think that’s what happens. When Diamonds on Her Naked Flesh was screened at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 1972, the running time was supposedly 100 minutes. However, the version that played U.S. sleazepits three years later (courtesy of the Hollywood Film Corporation) was shorn of over 20 minutes. The end result is not so much a movie as a badly-dubbed game of connect-the-dots. Luckily, I like connect the-dots. I like having to rewind a film halfway to figure out how that character with the sideburns and sunglasses got involved. I like hitting the pause button every few minutes to try and match the names being mentioned to the faces I’ve already seen.
More importantly, I like it when a movie gives me legitimate reasons to shrug and say, “It’s all Greek to me!”
From a 35mm “I’ll-dry-clean-your-ass!” print.
-- Chris Poggiali