Ha ha, this is Burl speaking to you from “under the volcano!” Some readers may recollect my recent review of Summer Night Fever and recall how thoroughly I enjoyed it! Inspired, excited and emboldened by that viewing experience, I reached for a similar-looking European sex romp of the 1970s, Melody in Love!
Well ha ha, although I can’t claim it made me feel as HAPPY as Summer Night Fever did, I will say that Melody in Love is one of the more bizarre movies I’ve ever reviewed here on my blog, and if you scan your way down the list of titles I’ve discussed, you’ll see that’s really saying something! It’s a German picture, but since it takes place in Mauritius among a spectacular array of races and nationalities, it has a polyglot flavour that can hardly be beat!
But it also has a plot that can hardly be deciphered! Melody, a young lady, has come to Mauritius to holiday with her older lady cousin, a married woman with a baby that gets forgotten about somewhere in the middle of the movie! Her husband Octavio is a skindiving treasure hunter, and we see him hard at work fighting sharks and knifing them like a big jerk! Separate from all this, there is a pair of friends vacationing on this island paradise, one of whom is a girls’ school teacher being pursued by three of his comelier students! The other one ends up meeting with the older cousin lady and by extension Melody! Meanwhile the volcano under which all of these characters romp is apparently ready to blow its top any minute! We know this because every now and again the characters stop to mention how much they fear an eruption, and because the opening credits run over beautiful slow-motion shots of flying globs of lava! Just as if Chekhov had set a play in a gun shop during a gunfighters’ convention on Gunfire Amnesty Day, there’s a certain inevitability to the conclusion!
Like Summer Night Fever, this movie features some ridiculous songs from the pen of Gerhard Heintz! There’s one about how honeymoon’s for loving, loving all the day, that has to be heard to be believed! The picture also features random kung-fu fighting; a street knifing; an array of Peeping Tom-isms; a battle with an octopus; some beach dancing; a scene where Octavio and his skindiving pals bring up a treasure chest (it looks like something that might have been bought at Pier 1 the day before) which, upon proving empty, prompts great roars of Walter Huston-like laughter from the group; and a great number of unclad ladies! And then, finally, the volcano goes off and causes smoky flashpot explosions along the hillside!
Well, it has enough of the European 70s decadence seen in Summer Night Fever to make a viewing worthwhile, and it’s got exotic locations too, and of course Melody herself is spectacularly pretty; but it’s really the excessive weirdness that seals the deal! It’s a kooky picture, and no mistake! I give Melody in Love two mysteriously disappearing schoolteachers!