• Salon Kitty




    Released by: Blue Underground
    Released on: 11/23/2010
    Directors: Tinto Brass
    Cast: Helmet Berger, Ingrid Thulin, Theresa Ann Savoy, John Steiner, Tina Aumont
    Year: 1975
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    The Movie:

    Salon Kitty is set in Berlin, in 1939. The Second World War is just starting to get into full swing and a megalomaniac SS Officer named Wallenberg (played remarkably well by Helmut Berger of The Damned) receives orders from the top brass to gather up the most beautiful women in all of Germany and train them to work in the brothel of on Madam Kitty (Ingrid Thulin of Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers).

    Within the confines of the brothel, the women are forced to submit themselves to all manner of unusual sexual acts at the whim of the Third Reich's high officers. Wallenberg, while all this is going on, is, unbeknownst to the patrons of this fine establishment, secretly recording everything that they do so that he can blackmail them.

    When one of the prostitutes, played by Teresa Ann Savoy who had previously worked with Brass on Caligula, finds out about Wallenberg’s plans she sets into motion a horrific series of events that culminates in countless acts of perversion and pain.

    Based on a series of real life events that took place in Nazi Germany, Salon Kitty is an elegantly trashy look at a fascinatingly perverse part of history. Featuring an all-star cast of Euro-cult stars including John Steiner of Mannaja – A Man Called Blade, the stunning Tina Aumont of The Naked Princess and John Ireland, Salon Kitty is a psuedo-pornographic epic with amazing cinematography, gorgeous sets, and solid performances. The attention to detail that Brass showed on Caligula is here as well, ensuring that all of the decadence and bizarre behavior that made this time of history what it was comes shining through. The camera work here is as good as anything in Brass’ filmography, and while he’s made sexier and marginally kinkier bits here and there throughout his career, in Salon Kitty it all comes together quite cohesively.

    It’s also very sleazy. All manner of bizarre sex acts are carried out on screen. There’s even a bit of violence too. Brass makes sure that his camera pays just enough attention to the more risqué elements of the film to keep viewers entertained and interested despite the films slow pace and over two hour running length.

    Blue Underground presents Salon Kitty completely uncut on Blu-ray. The film was previously released as Madam Kitty and trimmed of many of the more blatant scenes of degradation. Having the film in its full strength version ensures that it has more impact and punch behind it, and it also ups the sex factor considerably, meaning that the mix of exploitation and art film making hits an even strong crescendo.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    The film is presented here in its original aspect ratio of 1.85.1 in a very strong AVC encoded 1080p high definition widescreen transfer. Seeing as it’s the totally uncut version, Blue Underground took this version from Brass’s personal print of the film, just as they did with the standard definition version, which this Blu-ray disc trumps in every way you’d want it to. Video quality is pretty solid, and although there is some grain and print damage evident throughout the film, it’s very minor and not distracting. Overall though, colors are nice and blacks are solid, compression artifacts and edge enhancement are not an issue, and things generally look very nice here. Detail is much stronger and the black levels are considerably better as well. Colors and flesh tones look a lot more natural and lifelike and it’s hard to imagine the film looking a whole lot better than it does here.

    DTS-HD Mono tracks are provided in English and Italian with optional subs provided in English, French and Spanish. Again, this Blu-ray provides a nice upgrade over the standard definition release providing a cleaner and more concise sound. The levels are well balanced and there are no problems with hiss or distortion to note. The dialogue is always easy to understand and all in all, things sound great.

    Blue Underground carries over most of the extras from the two disc standard definition release that came out a few years ago. Things start off with two trailers, the international one and the U.S. one under the title Madam Kitty, and a few radio spots

    More substantial is an interview with Brass entitled Inside Salon Kitty in which the purveyor of fine filth discusses his career and some of the controversy that has surround it. Anyone who’s seen Brass interviewed on other releases knows that he’s a relatively amicable gent and that is luckily the case here as well. After that we’re treated to Designing Salon Kitty, which, if you couldn’t tell by the title, explores some of the background behind the amazing sets that were used in the film in an interview with Ken Adam who served as the production designer on the film. With the sets playing such an important part in the film, it’s nice to see that Blue Underground chose to explore this route a little deeper than we usually see on supplements.

    Animated menus and chapter stops are included as well. Missing from the Blu-ray release but present on the DVD were a still gallery and a DVD-ROM PDF supplement.

    The Final Word:

    Blue Underground’s high definition Blu-ray release of Salon Kitty is an excellent presentation and a wonderful package for Tinto Brass fans or those who appreciate the finer aspects of European exploitation films.