Saturday, December 31, 2011

Os Violentadores de Meninas Virgens (1983)

Brazilian fathers, lock your daughters away now!

This is a sleazy, ultra-rare exploitation crime-thriller from Brazil. By large the plot is senseless and seems only there to show sex and violence to titillate the audience. A pimp has rich clients who want to pay him exclusively for virgins. And what better way to get ahold of unspoiled girls? Why kidnap them when they're doing everyday activities because no sane and unblemished female would have anything to do with this criminal syndicate when she sees their hideous mugs and tell-all grins. They throw in subplots involving the media and the Sheriff, and then as an after thought the film turns over to a dry cleaner named Pedro, his fiancee Suely and her brother/his friend Shorty who wanted to help but got caught up in the mayhem. The film is as simple as the heat closing in on the clients who want more virgins after an initial taste no matter the cost, along with they want Shorty, Pedro and Suely dead for getting too close.

If you're looking for any social commentary or anything important to say, you sought after the wrong film despite involving the news and being filmed in a section of Brazil during a time of political turmoil. Even when a woman is being violated it's questionable if the direction was intended to disgust rather than erotically excite the senses compared to other rape/revenge pictures that were more about shock, getting under one's skin or even gaining a new perspective like "I Spit on Your Grave." This was a cheaply made film, so the acting meets the grade, the dialogue is utterly direct, the direction often overemphasizes the point, and the pacing has both its ups and downs due to stretching the lack of in between. Not to mention the actors frequently have incredibly exaggerated mannerisms that make this unintentionally comical both when it's trying and not trying to be.

There are a few areas that are inappropriately tongue-in-cheek despite the sensitive subject matter. At one point, a young virgin girl goes to visit her boyfriend. He attempts to do the deed regularly when she says she wants to be married a virgin. The next scene has her flipped around to enter at a "different angle" as if the problem was easily solved. Unlike some other rape/revenge features, this is heavily miscued for the bad guy's favor. There's some shreds of forced sympathy for the good guys, so this doesn't look completely cold and cruel, but that's as far as that goes. There's no real worthwhile hero to give this a level of coolness or cheering power, as the main character Pedro (director Francisco Cavalcanti) is always one step behind and doesn't have any extra intuition in how to get back at them. Eventually he gets lucky when there's an opening, but by that point a share of the damage is already done, which makes it fall flat on climax.

Only recommended for die-hard completionists and those with thick skin looking for easy entertainment at the expense of others, as this feels like a failed experiment gone wrong in one too many areas to be worthwhile otherwise.

Rating: 3/10

Director: Francisco Cavalcanti
Link: IMDB

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