When Women Lost Their Tails (1972)

aka Quando le donne persero la coda
Article 3150 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-27-2010
Posting Date: 3-30-2010
Directed by Pasquale Festa Campanile
Featuring Senta Berger, Frank Wolff, Lando Buzzanca
Country: Italy/West Germany
What it is: Caveman comedy/satire

Five cavemen live in the skeleton of a dinosaur with a woman whom they share. When a stranger shows up and introduces them to the concept of money, they begin to lose everything they have.

One thing I was sure of going into this sequel to WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS; there was no way this sequel was going to demean or lessen the quality of the original movie in my eyes, as that would have been impossible. What did surprise me was that, unlike its predecessor, this one actually seemed to have a focused theme; once the stranger introduces the concept of money to the cavemen, the movie turns into a satire on capitalism, which is here portrayed as the game of a con man. Granted, once you latch on to the theme, the movie becomes more than a little obvious; in fact, it gets pretty repetitive after a while. Senta Berger fans may also be disappointed; because of the thrust of the plot, her character becomes secondary and almost vestigial at times, which is my way of saying that she doesn’t get very much screen time. Still, she does provide a focus for some interesting points; one of the themes that pops up at one point is the changes in standards of beauty, and one of the final scenes involves her encounter with a new con man who equates women’s liberation with prostitution. There’s another sequel out there to this series, but it doesn’t appear that it has the same set of characters, and Senta Berger is noticeably absent from the cast. The basic upshot of this one is that it turned out to be a lot more interesting and sophisticated than I thought it would be. Don’t read too much into that statement, though; I thought this one was going to be totally worthless.

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