HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Monday, April 1, 2019

CAM GIRL -- DVD Review by Porfle

The title and cover art make it look like the kind of softcore sex drama you might've seen on Cinemax After Dark in the 80s, but the Italian production CAM GIRL (Film Movement, 2014) is a sober and ultimately unsettling look at a homegrown internet sex business slowly going off the rails.

Alice (Antonia Liskova) is hoping for an entry-level position in an advertising firm, but when her bitchy boss steals a profitable idea from her before firing her, Alice needs a way to make money fast.

Her beautiful friend Ross (Alessia Piovan) seems to be doing pretty well working for an outfit called Sexy Cam, so Alice decides to start her own cam girl business that will be different from the rest in that it won't exploit the girls and will always treat them fairly and profitably. 

Joined by struggling waitress Gilda (Sveva Alviti) and aspiring basketball player Martina (Ilaria Capponi), they form a core group that goes into the business with just enough reckless idealism and naivete' to get in way over their heads and find their lives crashing down around them.

The pace is slow and deliberate as all the story threads weave together into a narrative tapestry that eventually becomes more and more involving.

Characters and performances are consistently believable, as is every step of the girls' progress in discovering all the legal and financial pitfalls of such an endeavor along with unforeseen emotional consequences regarding romantic and family relationships.

All is fun and games at first and an early montage looks like something out of a high-end sex romp as the team of four are joined by several girls defecting from other webcam outfits. 

Dramatic tension sets in when Alice gets a hard lesson in economics and personnel management, especially when the girls start demanding their money while proving unreliable and irresponsible.

As Alice's idealism turns sour, CAM GIRL ratchets up the tension in other ways. Not only does her semi-partner and advisor Giovanni (Marco Cocci) prove untrustworthy, but the very real threat posed by their more mentally and emotionally unbalanced customers grows more alarming every day.

Director and co-writer Mirca Viola (L'AMORE FA MALE) leads us on a realistic, no-frills journey into the dark side of the webcam sex biz that inevitably ends in misfortune for some and tragedy for others. 

Production values are solid, with direction and photography effectively conveying the oppressive atmosphere in which Alice and the girls have found themselves trapped. 

CAM GIRL doesn't indulge in exploitative sex or tricky plot twists, but resolves things in a satisfyingly realistic manner.  It's a sordid slice of life that's too curdled to appease the palate or go down easy. 

Buy DVD or Stream It From Film Movement

Format: NTSC, Italian w/English subtitles
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Omnibus Entertainment (Distributed by Film Movement)
DVD Release Date: April 9, 2019
Run Time: 87 minutes
Bonus: None


No comments: