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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taxi Love - Servizio Per Signora

Since writing this blog my private collection of rare Marisa Mell movies has grown substantially thanks to some very dedicated Marisa Mell fans in the world and making her filmography more complete with each addition. Last week I got a movie from a fan that I was looking for to have and see since ages not only for the rarety of the movie but also for the controversy surrounding this movie in regard to Marisa Mell. The film is called "Taxi Love-Servizio Per Signora" from 1976. The movie is an Italian-Spanish co-production and known in Spanish speaking countries as "Taxista de Sinoras".
Some of the Marisa Mell movies are broadcasted regularly on television like "Danger: Diabolik!" or "Una Sull'Altra" but other lesser known movies like "Taxi Love" or "La Tempesta" have almost been graduately lost in film history untill one night during the red eye hours a commercial television station in a Spanish speaking country decides to broadcast a rare Marisa Mell movie just to fill its air time! And fortunately some fans are vigilantely enough to tape or record this movie before it disappeares again in the trenches of the film abyss of lost movies. Other times during the height of the VHS tapes in the 80's some rare Marisa Mell movies have been issued on a very limited production run in some local markets. Sadly at the moment those movies have not been re-issued on DVD. What ever the source it is nice to see that this movie has surfaced again for the dedicated fan to see and appreciate !The copy that I got is the Spanish version of the movie. The quality of the movie is not very good as you can see by the screen grabs but is a little bit better when played as a movie. In the filmography of Marisa Mell movies this movie "Taxi Love" can be classified under the label "Italian Erotic Movies" which were extremely populare during mid and end 70's in Italy and the rest of the world. In the past I wrote an entry about this kind of movies under the title "Vizietto All'Italiana or the sexy Italian comedy". One of the most famous Euro-cult stars Edwige Fenech made dozens of those movies. Even Marisa Mell could not escape this trend and was forced to act in them if she wanted to stay in the movie business at all. So she made several movies like "La Liceale all Mare con l'Amica di Pappa" or "Amore, Letti et Tradimenti". This movie "Taxi Love" has all the ingredients of a sexy Italian comedy like a duo of two stupid and clumsy men, one tall and the other small, several confusing story lines with a lot of endless babble, some car chases or turmoil , one or two sexy heroines who show a lot of legs or cleavage and try to seduce the hero of the story... Personally I do not like these kind of movies because they never live up to what the lobby cards or posters promise and mostly the stories are just plain stupid and especially not funny but rather far fetched with often old or sexist jokes!
So this movie fits the mold perfectly. The central piece is of course a taxi with several stories told around this taxi and its driver. Marisa Mell plays in one storyline in the middle of the movie and disappeares after her story has been told. Nothing special and nothing earth shattering. Just a money job with only a few days of production time.So what makes this movie special then in the Marisa Mell filmography?

As far as I know there are two version of this movie in circulation. One normal version and one hard core version. The version that I got was the plain normal version without any additions of hard core (Thank God!). At the end of the success of the sexy Italian comedies when the movie market was flooded with this kind of movies the producers of these movies were looking to find new ways to sell them to the audiences. One of the means to do that was to take a movie from their movie library and insert several hard core scenes that were not originally in the production to spice up the otherwise dull story. This became a very common practice during those days and is one of the reasons why some people regard Marisa Mell at the end of her movie career as a hard core actress although she never did perform any of those scenes as mentioned. Those scenes were later shot with body doubles. Other famous examples are the movies "Emanuelle in America" with Laura Gemser by husband Joe D'Amato or "Porno Holocaust" with George Eastman. (Sigh!!!)
Another reason why this movie is quite special is the fact that thanks to its rareness not many people have seen it and some have questioned and doubted the appearence of Marisa Mell in it. Often the name of Marisa Mell was mixed up with the name of another actress in this movie going by the name Malisa Longo, although not the same as Marisa Mell, it was enough to cause some kind of confusion. But as can be seen by the screen grabs, Marisa Mell was indeed part of this movie, although not in a leading role but in a gloryfied cameo or as the title credits call her "by special appearence".

After viewing this movie I was surprised to see an old acquintance of Marisa Mell which I thought I would never see again!

In this movie from 1976 I noticed that she was wearing her white and yellow gold heart shaped pendant with diamonds that she wore for the first time in the spaghetti western from 1972 called "Amico stammi lontano almeno un palmo" as Sarah and that in the mid 80's also appeared on her neck during a sexy photo shoot for a skin magazine. A photo from that shoot was later used as an autograph card to promote her only single "Slave of Love". I wonder where that pendant is now???

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