• Ubalda, All Naked And Warm



    Released by: No Shame Films
    Released on: 11/14/2006
    Director: Mariano Laurenti
    Cast: Edwige Fenech, Pippo Franco, Karin Schubert, Umberto D’Orsi, Pino Ferrara
    Year: 2006

    The Movie:

    While most fans in North America know the lovely Edwige Fenech from the Giallos that she made with Sergio Martino (Your Vice Is A Locked Door And Only I Have The Key, The Strange Vice Of Mrs. Wardh, and All The Colors Of The Dark) her filmography also contains a lot of sex comedies, the kind that were popular in Italy from the late sixties through to the early eighties. While the infamous School Teacher Trilogy are probably the three best known, Ubalda All Naked And Warm deserves its place in the upper echelon as well and thanks to No Shame Films, the time has come for that to happen.

    When the movie begins, Olimpio de' Pannocchieschi (Pippo Franco of Sergio Martino’s Giovannona Long-Thigh), a knight, has just returned home from his civil duties to find that his lovely wife Fiamma (future German hardcore starlet Karen Schubert who had the honor of working with John Holmes during his infamous decline) has not been the most faithful of spouses in his absence. In fact, she’s had affairs with most of the eligible men in town and as such, she doesn’t really care that he’s come back to her. To make matters worse, Olimpio’s long standing feud with the obnoxious man who lives next door, Mastro Oderisi (Umberto D’Orsi of The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe), is just as viral as it ever was and Mastro doesn’t seem to want to give up stealing Olimpio’s water any time soon.

    To settle things with the neighbor, he enlists a local mediator and heads on over to confront him on their problems. When he arrives, however, he finds that he has trouble paying attention to Mastro but absolutely no trouble at all paying attention to Mastro’s wife, Ubalda (Edwige Fenech). With his own wife running around with every man in sight, Olimpio figures he might actually have a shot with Ubadla as she sure does seem to be friendly with him. The only problem is that Mastro probably wouldn’t be too keen on the idea, but of course, Olimpio knows that there are ways around that.

    If you’ve got a taste for the Italian style of sex comedies (it’s closer to Benny Hill than to Porky’s or American Pie) then you’ll probably find a lot to like about this film. It’s well paced and exceptionally well shot and the period costumes and sets add an element of class to the movie that makes for an interesting contrast with its rather base content. Of course, Edwige is the real reason that anyone is going to want to watch the movie in the first place and director Mariano Laurenti (who had worked with her on a few other films by this point) was smart enough to know that she was what the audience wanted. As such, she gets a lot of screen time and she spends a fair amount of that screen time in various states of undress, as does the lovely Karen Schubert as well. Alongside the ladies, however, credit is due to the two male leads, both of whom are quite adept at the physical comedy required for the parts. The facial expressions that these two manage during some specific scenes are funny even without the subtitles and while this is about as far removed from sophisticated humor as you can get, it’s hard not to laugh at much of the film. The whole thing is set to a nice score courtesy of long-time Morricone colaborator Bruno Nicolai that does a fine job of accentuating the slapstick humor as well as the softer, sexier scenes that make up a good portion of the picture.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The 2.35.1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that No Shame has provided for this release looks to be in the film's original aspect ratio as there's no obvious cropping or compromising of the framing, everything looks quite good in that regard. Color reproduction is strong and bold and black levels stay pretty consistent throughout the film. There's some mild print damage in the form of the odd speck here and there as well as a little bit of grain (you’ll notice this more in the darker scenes) but that's to be expected to an extent from an older movie. For the most part, the picture is clean and quite detailed and there's really little to complain about here in terms of edge enhancement or mpeg compression artifacts.

    The Italian language Dolby Digital Mono track isn’t quite crystal clear but it’s close enough that you probably won’t care too much. There aren’t any serious problems with hiss or distortion and the levels are well balanced. No Shame has a disclaimer that plays before the movie stating that the optional English subtitles have been adjusted to better reflect the nuances of the comedy that might not translate so well – not speaking Italian this reviewer can’t say if it worked or not but the movie flows well as presented here and No Shame has done their usual nice job in this department.

    The main extra feature on this release is a lengthy interview with Edwige Fenech that runs for roughly ten minutes in length entitled I Remember Yesterday. The still striking actress covers her career in a fair bit of detail from the early days to the later parts of her career including her recent meeting with Quentin Tarantino (who has apparantly gotten her a part in the yet to be released Hostel 2) and how she almost worked with Fellini at one point. She’s quite gracious and comes across as genuinely nice – swoon!

    Less impressive but still fun is a collection of trailers for films in which Edwige starred – look for promotional spots for The Sexy School Teacher, The Sexy School Teacher Comes Home and The Sexy School Teacher at College and for the feature itself. A segment called Edwige’s Groovy Sexadelic Reel is basically a collection of nude clips from a few of her films set to some sixties style music. Animated menus and chapter stops for the feature itself round out the extras on the disc.

    The Final Word:

    Ubalda All Naked And Warm is a completely goofy slapstick sex comedy that is made all the more fun from Edwige Fenech’s searing screen presence. No Shame’s presentation looks and sounds quite nice and the supplements add some considerable worth to the disc particularly for fans of Ms. Fenech in particular.