Sunday, September 7, 2008

cinema's forgotten legends (part 14...probably).

She's the vacant eyed, button nosed 80's breasted blonde star of many a lo-fi Euro epic ranging from Jess (the sandwiches cost how much?) Franco's classic Cannibals to the Fulci masterpiece Conquest via the sauciness of Blue Island.

Ladies and gentlemen (but mainly gentlemen) I give you...

Sabrina Siani


Usually either naked or at the very least in a pair of tiny pants, the actress whom Jess Franco once referred to as "the stupidest person I've ever met" began life as plain old Sabrina Seggiani in the backstreets of Rome in 1963, child to a pair of performing circus midgets.

After spending her childhood living in the mountains and attacking travelers for food and clothes she was discovered at the age of 16 by ace director Alfonso Brescia when he caught her rifling thru' his bins one stormy night. Immediately he cast her as Maria in his Mafia vs. shopkeeper epic Napoli... la camorra sfida, la città risponde (no I have no idea what it means either).

And the rest, as 'they' say is history.



It wasn't long before she was setting the screen alight (oh, hang on that was the audience) as the arse baring teen cannibal cutie in the fantastic (well, I say fantastic but I really mean barely watchable)
Mondo Cannibale and finding new ways to look slightly bored whilst stripping naked in a load of instantly forgettable Italian sex comedies.
Whilst other, lesser thesps would be happy to continue showing their breasts to wee bald Italian men for cash, Sabrina knew that there was more to her talents, if only a director would give her the chance to prove it.
That chance came sooner than she thought when professional liar and all round thin man Umberto Lenzi cast her as a scantily clad female Tarzan in his 1982 movie Incontro Nell'Ultimo Paradiso.
From that point there was no stopping Siani in her plan for cinematic domination as she wowed audiences with her chameleon like ability to play everything from a scantily clad sword-swinging siren in Joe D'Amato's Ator the Fighting Eagle to an even more scantily clad wicked witch in Fulci's sword and small pants epic Conquest.

Will this nipple sneak past Mr. Photobucket?

Naked save for a market stall g-string and a drugged python and with her face hidden beneath a joke shop robot mask, Siani comes into her own as the evil leader of a gang of marauding dog men with a penchant for snorting their vanquished victims brains thru' bendy straws and unconvincingly snapping nude women in half.

A pair of tiny pants of the type worn by Siani.

It says a lot for Siani's convincing portrayal of evil that at the films climax when her mask opens to reveal a rotting, putrid corpse face that the majority of the audience still would.
Twice if the truth be told.
Siani: sucking a lemon.

Siani's finest hour however was when she appeared as the Golden Goddess in Michele Massimo Taranti's arse numbingly serious sub - Conan cash in Sword of the Barbarians.
Her entrance in the movie, emerging mysteriously from a fountain of party poppers and glitter whilst wearing only a plastic crown and bejeweled thong slowly making her way towards bearded beefcake Pietro Torrisi for a spot of hot barbarian bonking makes the proceeding carcrash of badly staged swordplay and stilted dialogue all worthwhile.

After a couple of soft core/hard gore sleaze epics, Siani reunited with D'Amato (and her Mondo Cannibale dad Al Cliver) for the futuristic actioner 2020: Texas Gladiators before hiting the high brow groove as Berthilde in Dino Risi's medieval romp Le bon roi Dagobert, a surprisingly funny (and realistic) portrayal of the life of Good King Dagobert, the first French king to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica (see? this blog is educational too).
Then after appearing (nude of course) with Fred 'The Hammer' Williamson in the no-brainer Black Cobra she vanished leaving behind only a tiny diamante thong and a blink and miss it cameo in Fulci's Aenigma.

Neither seen nor heard from since, we hope that wherever she is now she's happy (and not having to wear the shite facepaint she did in Mondo Cannibales).

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