About a month ago I reviewed The Wife Killer. This was my first foray into the world of Greek exploitation. That film was directed by Kostas Karagiannis and released in 1976. Two years before The Wife Killer Karagiannis directed Tango of Perversion, a film that shares a lot in common with The Wife Killer. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Both films have similar themes, were shot in some of the same locations and feature a lot of the same cast. As I result these two films are naturally linked together.
Tango of Perversion is a very sleazy movie and I think the synopsis on IMDB sums it up pretty greatly:
Joachim is an impotent man who who secretly films his friend Stathis having sex with girls from the Tango Club. When Stathis kills the lesbian that he catches with his girlfriend, the death is caught on film. Necrophilia soon follows.
“Necrophilia soon follows.” That part is particularly great. As weird as that may sound, that does describe the film pretty well. Of course there is more to it than that, but that’s the gist of it.
Joachim, played by Vagelis Voulgaridis who weirdly reminded me of Michael Caine, is such a strange dude. He hangs out at the Tango Club, which is your basic night club where people meet to hook up. He kind of knows everyone at the club and everyone knows him, but he’s generally considered to be sort of nerdy and kind of pathetic. People are mostly nice to him because he allows them to use the various rooms at his house to hook up. Why everyone wants to go to his place to have sex, I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps because he has nice rooms? We quickly find out he enjoys it because every room features a two-way mirror. Behind the mirror, in what is essentially the crawlspace between the walls, he has little hidden rooms with cameras set up. He spies on and records all the action.
One of the coolest guys at the club is Steve (Lakis Komninos), described in the IMDB synopsis as Stathis. Steven is basically the totally opposite of Joachim. He’s a ladies man who sleeps around and sort of has two full-time girlfriends. He and Joachim are “best friends.” They say they’re best friends but you can clearly tell they don’t really care for one another that much. Joachim is obviously jealous of Steve and Steve just doesn’t think highly of Joachim.
When one of Steve’s girlfriend’s decides to hook up with the club lesbian, Rosita (Doorthy Moore), back at Joachim’s place, Steve is none too happy about it. When Steve gets wind of this sexual exploit he immediately heads to Joachim’s. He catches the ladies in the act and his girlfriend runs off leaving her new lover left to suffer the brunt of Steve’s attack. During the fight Rosita is accidentally killed. Not realizing Joachim has recorded the entire event, Steve leaves Rosita’s dead body in the house.
This is when we learn that Joachim is quite the creep. After her confirms Rosita is dead, he proceeds to have sex with her. So maybe it’s not that he’s impotent so much as it is he needs dead chicks to get him going. After Joachim has his way with the body he disposes of it by making it appear that Rosita died in a car crash. Joachim doesn’t do this to help Steve but more to blackmail Steve. Meanwhile Steve attempts to set Joachim up. The results are quite grim, but also darkly amusing.
I really enjoyed Tango of Perversion but I wish I would have watched it before The Wife Killer. My reasoning is that the movies are similar but The Wife Killer is what I consider to be the superior film. Ultimately I’m giving both films a three skull rating, but I do find The Wife Killer to be the more polished entry that shows a nice progression from Tango of Perversion.
Tango of Perversion is without question the sleazier of the two films. There’s quite a bit more nudity and the sexual aspects play a larger role in the story. In some ways it reminded me of Play Motel but a lot more enjoyable.
Just like he did on The Wife Killer, Vasilis Vasileiadis served as the cinematographer. And just like that film he made great use of the zoom option. If it was up to me all movies would be required to have a specific number of zooms. Preferably ten ore more. Vasileiadis seems to operate by this rule.
Tango of Pervision features a dance number similar to that of The Wife Killer. The dance doesn’t involve any main characters, but is just a moment in the club where we watch a choreographed dance routine. I think this may just be a Greek culture thing, which I think is pretty cool. Or maybe it’s just a signature that Karagiannis likes to throw in his films. Either way I think it’s a nice touch that serves as a sort of fun, mini-intermission.
Tango of Perversion is out on DVD from Mondo Macabro. The beginning of the film does let you know that the best possible elements available were used to complete this release. Basically that’s to let you know the film may not look great, but it’s the best version possible. The message also lets you know that most of the film is the dubbed English version but there are a few scenes in which the English track wasn’t available and we instead get English subtitles. All things considered, I think this is another solid release from Mondo Macabro. This is a rare film that no other company is likely to release. I am more than pleased with the overall quality.
At this point I think my opinion is clear. If you’re a fan of exploitation flicks, particularly the European variety, you’re likely to dig this.
Tango of Perversion is available now on DVD from Mondo Macabro.