< Una Vergine per l'impero romano

Released: 1983
Director: Joe d'Amato as Jim Black (or Robert Hall, depending on version)
Alternate Titles
  • Ein Jungrau für Rome West Germany, VFL
  • Virgin for the Roman Empire

Males -

  • Paolo Gramignano plays Molok
  • Luigi Tripodi plays Elios
  • Mark Shanon (orgy scene - footage from Caligola, la storia mai raccontata)

There is also one unknown woman: Livia's servant girl, Vanya. She does not appear in any sex scenes. We only see some brief shots of her nude butt as she's bending over while cleaning.

After making the infamous Caligola, la storia mai raccontata, Joe D'Amato made two similarly themed but much cheaper films set in the same time period. One was Messalina, orgasmo imperiale, and the other was this little film - both were released in 1983.

Set in ancient Rome, the film's plot centers around Livia (Nadine Roussial), a successful gladiator/wrestler. If she succeeds in winning just one more battle, she will have won her freedom and not have to risk her life any more.

Livia's fighting trainer Molok (Paolo Gramignano) informs her that her opponent in her next fight is the powerful Fabiola (Pauline Teutscher), who is nicknamed "the tigress of Rome". The big fight will be in only ten days and Molok gives clear instructions that in the week before the fight, Livia must not have any sex as this will break her concentration and make her unprepared. This could be a problem, though, as Livia has a rather large appetite for sex and is carrying on a lesbian affair with fellow gladiator Daria (Mary Ramunno). However, she also lusts for the handsome Molok and wants to get it on with him. Molok is reluctant but Livia insists that since it's ten days till the fight and she only needs to stay away from sex the week before, they have three days to satisfy their desires. Molok agrees.

And so Livia and Molok start a passionate sexual affair - getting it on at all times of the day. They also let Daria in on a threesome. Soon the three days are up but Molok is now so infatuated by Livia that he cannot stop having sex with her. Their affair continues against all better judgement.

Worrying that all the love-making will make Livia distracted and unprepared for her final fight, Molok visits Fabiola. Hiding the fact that he's Livia's trainer, Molok presents himself as an admirer. Finding him attractive, Fabiola agrees to have sex with him. She likes what she gets and soon Molok is giving it to Fabiola all night and day - hoping that this will distract her so that she loses the fight against Livia.

But while Molok is keeping Fabiola busy, Livia has problems of her own. While training for the fight with Daria, she does poorly and Daria comments that Livia seems to have lost her motivation and edge now that she isn't sleeping with Molok. Frustrated, Livia picks up a man from the street and has him make love to her. She also seduces a black masseur but gets little time to practice for her fight.

Fabiola is payed a visit by her trainer, Elios (Luigi Tripodi?), who gives her the same speech that Molok gave Livia: do not have any sex before the fight. However, the two of them end up in bed together. Realizing that Fabiola will be just as bad at rejecting other men as she was him, Elios decides that he needs to compensate by seducing Livia in order to distract her before the fight. He meets her and they soon have many steamy nights together - including a threesome with the guy Livia picked up earlier.

Finally it's the day of the fight and both Livia and Fabiola are unprepared. In the end, Livia wins the fight and earns her freedom from the empire. Fortunately for Fabiola, who lost, the emperor does not order her killed. The onlookers of the fight appear to have been excited by seeing the two minimally-dressed girls wrestling each other and an orgy breaks out. All the footage of this orgy is actually recycled footage from D'Amato's earlier film, Caligola, la storia mai raccontata, and features Mark Shanon, Laura Levi and Sabrina Mastrolorenzi. It's been considerably shortened, though, and while in the Caligola film the action cut back and forth between the various couplings, here the camera stays focused on Mark and Laura's love-making for a long time. There even seems to be a bit of brief extra footage that wasn't used in Caligola, like Mark and Laura kissing a bit before she goes down on him.

The film ends with Molok back together with Livia, who is happy to have earned her freedom and now demands her "big reward" from Molok.

This film was obviously made very quickly and on a shoestring budget as there are rather few actors and sets. The so-called plot is really very silly but that's to be expected. As for the fighting scenes... well, they are rather poorly made to be honest. After all the talk about and the build-up to the big fight between Livia and Fabiola, the whole thing ends up being a really tame and short affair that doesn't convince for a moment. In spite of these reservations, though, the film itself is actually quite enjoyable. Nadine Roussial is well cast as Livia. With so few actresses in the cast, it means that the ones who are in the film are quite heavily featured, and Nadine performs enthusiastically in her numerous sex scenes. Indeed, she looks like she had a good time making the film and convinces as the sex-hungry Livia. Pauline Teutscher too delivers a dedicated performance, and her inability to resist Molok, even though she knows she should focus on her training instead, comes across as sincere. Indeed, kudos must also go to the well-endowed Paolo Gramignano, who displays convincing sexual chemistry with both Roussial and Teutscher. The scenes between these actors stand out - especially when compared to the rather dull scene between Roussial and the man she picks up from the street (a scene in which none of the participants look like they are having much fun). The recycled orgy footage from Caligola, la storia mai raccontata is interesting to see here but it actually feels rather out of place as most people will easily be able to tell that this footage is culled from a different film with a bigger budget.

All in all, this was no classic but a fun and silly little sex romp that benefits from a decent musical score by experienced composer Carlo Maria Cordio and lead players that appear to have enjoyed their mutual hardcore scenes.

Johan Melle


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