(“Poppea’s Hot Nights”)
Production: Italy, 1969
Director: Guido Malatesta
Category: Sex Peplum/Farce
Le Calde Notti Di Poppea, although relatively light-hearted, can now be seen as among the first in the “sex-peplum” genre, paving the way for the ultimate depravity of Tinto Brass’ Caligola and its copyists a decade later. Movies about Poppea, the ruthless, power-crazed seductress of ancient Rome also formed a small, increasingly more graphic sub-genre of Italian sleaze that would peak in 1982 with Bruno Mattei’s Nerone E Poppea. Poppea Sabina became an Empress of Rome as the second wife to Nero, the Emperor best known for his persecution and holocaustal extermination of the Christian scum. She was known as a bisexual schemer who would stop at nothing to get her way, even enticing Nero into killing his own mother so they could marry. She met an unpleasant end whilst pregnant with their second child, when the psychotic Emperor stamped on her belly until both she and the unborn child expired in a bloody abortion. After Malatesta’s film came Alfonso Brescia’s Poppea… Una Prostituta Al Servizio Dell’Impero (“Poppea, A Prostitute In The Service Of The Empire”, 1972); this exploitative entry into the Poppea sub-genre includes such scenes as a courtesan (played by real-life prostitute Domenica Niehoff) smothering lovers with her huge breasts, accompanied by a dwarf retainer, and features Femi Benussi as Poppea; but her character is secondary to the film’s comedic focus on two male schemers. The next Poppea romp would be Per Amore Di Poppea (Mariano Laurenti, 1977).

Posted by Venus Vex

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