Director: Andreas Marfori
Writer: Andreas Marfori
Starring: Erika Kamese
The unfortunate life of Georgina Spelvin chained to a radiator see’s a young foreign girl with immigration problems encounter a man she thinks can help. Only to be betrayed in a tale of entrapment, humiliation and perverted sexual obsession
Coming from Italian writer/director Andreas Marfori, best known for his trashy 1988 film EVIL CLUTCH aka IL BOSCO, and featuring the theatrical actress and pop singer Erika Kamese (who looked for a while to become a staple of the modern Italian horror scene), THE UNFORTUNATE LIFE OF GEORGINA SPELVIN CHAINED TO A RADIATOR looks to tell the story of a true event…with artistic licence of course.
Opening with the eponymous Georgina Spelvin (Erika Kamese) nervously taking the subway train, an unseen narrator, sounding suspiciously like a computer programme, provides exposition regarding her situation, in which we learn that she is travelling to meet, the ominously named ‘Weird guy’.
As the overly descriptive title suggests the basic just of what will happen, Andreas Marfori wastes no time in getting to the point in an almost sped up first act. It is however to the directors credit that not only does it flow extremely well but as viewer you are instantly drawn in as Georgina meets the ‘Weird guy’ who is promising her salvation.
It is here that Marfori makes a key decision as he switches from third to first person perspective. However this is not necessarily servicing the usual POV narrative but rather the interactive pornographic movies that seek to place you into the action. To make you complicit with the act with the effect being to enhance the intensity of the piece, to a limit, as it is almost that you, the viewer are going along with the degrading acts even against your better judgement or morals.
Back to the film and Georgina is pleading for assistance, but rather than help, our faceless ‘Weird guy’ chloroforms poor Georgina and in under two and half minutes Marfori has completed his set up ready to humiliate and punish.
The film also introduces chapters displaying the stages of Georgina’s new, entrapment life cycle. This is a novel and unique idea, similar to the stages of grief, adding a nice little narrative to a film that admittedly is lacking in plot or substance. However these chapters are visualised with a child’s drawing, the same one Georgina also possesses, although quite what this means I could not work out as it is certainly not a map. All this is immediately forgotten however as the shot changes to a now topless Georgina handcuffed to a radiator. All the while our computerised narrator reads some brief poetry over the images of Kamese who beautifully conveys the beleaguered Georgina as she wakes and comes to the realisation of her predicament.
The next chapter is that of questions, of begging and thanks to Kamese’s delivery it is hard not to feel a little guilty. But we are powerless to help as her humiliation and subjugation begins. It has to be said that a lot of this humiliation happens off camera or is carefully hidden through strategic camera placement, lighting or audio and those expecting perversity on the level of El Gores SNUFF TAPE ANTHOLOGY or Zanuso’s BEYOND MADNESS are barking up the wrong the tree. However the emotional effect is more powerful than these examples perhaps for this lack of gratuitous action. Although that is not to say this is handled in good taste either but rather with a stark, bleak and brutal edge for which the cinematography contributes to.
For the most part this works and thanks to the decision to shoot with the viewer in the place of the perpetrator the final element of sexual humiliation and degradation is a success despite culminating in one of the worst results of ejaculation I have ever seen. Thankfully however Kamese is a trooper and once again she sells it as the emotionally broken Georgina pleads one last time to be set free.
A fittingly brutal and uncompromising conclusion sees out this eighteen minute short that will appease its target audience while providing a talking point for those who merely dabble in independent and genre cinema.
There is much to recommend about this short film from its strong pacing and narrative (especially considering it’s limited scope), the physical performance of Kamese as she portrays the abused Georgina and the subtle and sparse but no less well thought audio. However, the computerised narrator is a strange decision as surely they could have found a native English speaker to record the lines while the editing could do with some improvement as it appears a bit jerky and amateur at times. Finally while the concept will appeal to a certain audience it may not have enough over the top action for those used to the releases of labels such as Black Lava Productions or Toetag Pictures…but those people still should endeavour to hunt down this film as it is most definitely worth their attention.
It is at times an uncomfortable watch. Gritty and unashamedly realistic in it’s context forcing one to contemplate on the life of many female illegal immigrants or transients who may disappear without anybody noticing whether for human trafficking, slavery or worse. Whether provoking this area of thought is intentional or not, it cannot be escaped and only Marfori will truly know if that was his aim or if this is merely titillation for a niche audience.
On a final note while I try not to refer to other articles or reviews, when researching this film only a couple of English language web pages existed with one referring to this film as a snuff style porno but if this was their idea of a porno then they need to get out more…or rather stay in more.
Edited to add – I had the pleasure of speaking to the director of the film for my previous site, Cosi Perversa, about his cinematic decisions and aims and can genuinely say that I support this movie in both it’s provocative intent and execution. While I may not have understood everything as evidenced in my review there is a lot more bubbling under the surface.
<Edited to add: Please check the comments on how to get hold of and watch this short film. It has been released by the fantastic Darkside Releasing on the same blu-ray disc as SOVIET ZOMBIE INVASION, also from Andreas Marfori. You can order it here!