Years back, in orgiastic odysseys like “Caligula” and “Salon Kitty,” Tinto Brass spun a semblance of narrative to dress up his elaborate slap-and-tickle sessions. Now, Italy’s peerless purveyor of socially acceptable porn has almost stopped bothering. His latest gynecological peep show, “The Voyeur,” is as artless an exercise as any of its recent predecessors, but local auds have looked on in steady numbers and oglers in other undemanding markets will probably do likewise.
The title character is a university lit professor (Francesco Casale) dumped by his exhibitionist wife (Katarina Vasilissa), whose repertoire of peekaboo-skirt tricks makes Sharon Stone look like Mary Poppins. While angling to lure her back, he ponders his own behavior, finding sounding boards in his libidinous father (Franco Branciaroli), pa’s comely housekeeper (Cristina Garavaglia) and an eager-beaver student (Raffaella Offidani).
Though ostensibly based on Alberto Moravia’s novel of the same name, the late novelist goes uncredited apart from an acknowledgment by way of Garavaglia perusing a copy of the tome while airing her nether regions. Brass makes a halfhearted show of lending intellectual substance with featherweight literary references plus some vapid deliberation on father-son phallic envy and the rapport between voyeur and exhibitionist, but flesh-peddling is clearly his main mission. Intermittent dabs of humor are invariably leaden.
Tech work is adequate, but Riz Ortolani’s risibly kitsch (and omnipresent) music makes the tired sex fantasies and pedestrian lingerie fetishism look even more like inelegant undergraduate ribaldry. Other than for their physical attributes, performers are unremarkable. Brass himself pops up in an unimaginatively cast cameo as a corpulent faculty member drooling over nubile college girls.