Produced by Mario and Vittorio Cecchi Gori. Directed by Neri Parenti. Screenplay, Leo Benvenuti, Piero De Bernardi, Alessandro Bencivenni, Domenico Saverni, Paolo Villaggio, Parenti. Camera (Cinecitta color), Alessandro D’Eva; editor, Sergio Montanari; art direction, Maria Stilde Ambruzzi; costume design, Fiamma Bedendo; associate producers, Bruno Altissimi, Claudio Saraceni. Reviewed at Sorrento Festival, Italy, Dec. 11, 1993. Running time: 92 MIN.
Ugo Fantozzi … Paolo Villaggio
Pina Fantozzi … Milena Vukotic
Filini … Gigi Reder
Signorina Silvani … Anna Mazzamauro
Uga Fantozzi … Plinio Fernando
“Fantozzi in Heaven,” the eighth and, perhaps, final installment of the downtrodden Italo hero’s adventures, dishes up a customary dose of slapstick and puerile humor that shouldn’t disappoint the series’ legions of fans. With several local Christmas contenders delayed, the pic could end up the season’s biggest local money spinner.
The name Fantozzi has entered the nation’s vocabulary as a synonym for the luckless, ugly underdog. What sets the series apart from most other comic schlock is the able actors’ affection for characters they’ve been playing for nearly 20 years.
Major development this time round is that retired accountant Ugo Fantozzi (Paolo Villaggio) finally gets his shrewish, man-eating former co-worker (Anna Mazzamauro) into the sack during a skiing weekend that amusingly apes “Doctor Zhivago.”
A string of office colleagues drop dead, followed by Fantozzi’s final demise. But his arrival in a Buddhist heaven, with reincarnation decided by a wheel of fortune, means further sequels aren’t entirely ruled out.