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A quick note before I start this article: This is the biography of Jessica
Moore, the Italian sex star(let) of the 1980's, not of the Hungarian pornstar
of the same name nor of the Australian tennisplayer. Hope that clears up
Among sexfilm actresses, there are many pretty faces and even
prettier bodies, but only few women really got what it takes - and Jessica
Moore definitely had what it takes, she was a regular headturner, and not
even bad a 1980's haircut and makeup can destroy the effect she has on
screen even today. Her figure is just right, curvey and definitely not
skinny/anorexic but far from being large, her face spells out Italian sensuality, her long legs are the stuff of wet dreams, her breasts seem
to have hypnotic powers all of their own - yet none of all this makes her
the perfect sexfilm star, it's her self confident attitude and her natural
grace that make her unique, and her ease when doing nude scenes of
course doesn't hurt one bit either ...
That all said, Jessica Moore was
not a great actress, in fact anything but, and once she plays a role other
than the vamp (the role that comes to her as a natural) she seems a tad
lost - which wasn't all that tragic though since at the time, the Italian
sex and genre cinema seemed to employ mostly bad actors anyways ...
the right role though, Moore would simply shine ...
Moore, born Luciana Ottaviani in 1967 in Urbino, Italy, started glamour
modelling in her young adult life, a profession that eventually led to an
appearance in the TV variety show Gin Fizz before she was
spotted by legendary Italian sex- and horror-director Joe D'Amato aka
Aristide Massaccesi [Joe D'Amato-bio
- click here].
D'Amato quickly realized Jessica Moore's potential
and in 1986, when she was merely 19 years of age, he cast her in two of
In La Monaca del
Convent of Sinners (1986, Joe D'Amato), a nunsploitation film
based on a classic nvel by Denis Diderot, Jessica Moore's role is merely
of minor importance while center stage is given to Eva Grimaldi as a
reluctant nun who is betrayed by pretty much everyone (except for Jessica
Moore's character, incidently) from friends to family to the church itself. Given the
nunsploitation genre as such, director Joe D'Amato's predilection for
sleaze and the time the film was made in, the movie is actually rather
tame, sure it features nudity by pretty much all of the involved females
(including Jessica, who is here billed as Gilda Germano), but hardly ever
goes beyond the boundaries of good taste, and most of the torture
scenes in the film are almost harmless.
Jessica Moore's other
film from 1986 on the other hand could almost be described as her
signature film: Undici
Giorni, Undici Notti/Eleven
Days, Eleven Nights (1986, Joe D'Amato).
In the film, that was
quite obviously inspired by the then immensely successful piece
of mainstream erotic gloss 9 1/2 Weeks (1986, Adrian Lyne), Moore
Asproon, a woman who writes an allegedly scandalous book about
her 100 lovers - but to that end, she has to seduce one more man (Joshua
McDonald), who just happens to be 11 days away from his wedding to Mary
Sellers. But seductive Sarah makes sure he promises her to spend the 11
nights until his wedding with her - and who wouldn't accept an offer like
this ? During these 11 nights, Sarah submits her lover to all kinds of
sexual games that loosely resemble those in 9 1/2 Weeks, and he
soon becomes obsessed with her and wants to blow off the wedding. But what
Sarah didn't take into account was that she could actually fall in love
with the man ... and in the end, she lets him go to not ruin his life,
even if it breaks her heart.
Jessica Moore, it has to be noted, is
simply ravishing in this one, as self-confident and as uninhibited as her
role demands, and even if her acting isn't always spot-on, she still
manages to carry the movie with ease and makes the (male) audience totally
understand how a man can fall for her with his own wedding (to another
woman) less than 2 weeks away ...
An interesting note on the side: Laura
Gemser, Joe D'Amato's most frequent sex-star and muse in the 1970's, plays
the role of Jessica Moore's publisher in this one, as if to hand over the
torch [Laura Gemser-bio -
Days, Eleven Nights became a phenomenal success, at least by
director Joe D'Amato's standards, and a sequel was pretty much inevitable
... but not before Jessica Moore made an appearance in an international
co-production - which may sound much bigger than it actually is:
In the Italian-West German-British-American made-for-TV bio-pic Casanova
(1987, Simon Langton), Jessica Moore - billed once again Gilda Germano -
was just one among many in a stellar cast led by Richard Chamberlain as
the legendary womanizer, plus Faye Dunaway, Sylvia Kristel, Ornella Muti
and Hanna Schygulla. It has to be noted that the film, considering it's a TV-movie, contains quite a bit of nudity, and Moore was probably chosen
above all else because of her beautiful body and her willingness to show
In 1988, Sarah
Model/11 Days, 11 Nights Part 2 (Joe
D'Amato), good old Sarah (as played by Jessica Moore of course) has
decided to write a book about prostitution - and to get the proper
hands-on experience, she has become a high class hooker herself, with her
publisher (Laura Gemser once more) doubling as her madame. But since this
isn't all that much of a story, a gay computer expert (James Sutterfield)
whom Sarah falls in love with is thrown into the mix as well as a wannabe
mobster (Ale Douglas), who tries to blackmail her into sexual submission.
However, the whole thing utlimately amounts to a happy ending, with Sarah
setting the love of her life straight (in the literal sense, actually).
anything, Jessica Moore comes across even more breath-taking in Top
Model than in Eleven
Days, Eleven Nights, in part of course because her sex scenes are
more frequent and hotter than in the earlier movie and she seems to have
lost even more inhibitions (even if the film remains strictly softcore
Model, Laura Gemser would do her last ever nude scenes, which
would further suggest her handing over the torch to Jessica Moore. However, Top
Model would also be the last film Jessica Moore ever did with Joe
D'Amato - the reason of which I will elaborate on below.
from Joe D'Amato, Jessica Moore made only a few more films, and she would
never again come into her own quite like in the Sarah
Riflessi di Luce (1988,
Mario Bianchi) is a little sleaze film that never received much attention
outside of Italy, and the most interesting thing about it might be that
Jessica Moore once again co-stars with Laura Gemser, plus Gemser's husband
Lucio Fulci's Il
Fantasma di Sodoma/The
Ghosts of Sodom (1988) is a pointless ghoststory that above all
else demonstrates how much Lucio Fulci's horror output has deteriorated
since his heyday in the early 1980's [Lucio
Fulci bio - click here]. In the film, Moore is wasted as a
lesbian teen who together with 5 of her friends spends a night in a house that
is apparently haunted by Nazi-ghosts. She does a bit of topless nudity in
this one, but apart from this, she is pretty much as bland as the rest of
Lucio Fulci also produced Non
aver Paura della Zia Marta/The
Broken Mirror (1989, Mario Bianchi), which is essentially another
ghoststory but plays more like a slasher movie. This time around, Jessica
Moore plays the teenage daughter of Gabriele Tinti, and even though she
was 22 at the time, she was successfully made up to look much younger - at
least as long as she keeps her cloths on that is ...
Jessica Moore is killed in
the shower in this one, in a scene highly reminiscent of Alfred
Hitchcock's Psycho (1960).
Fuga dalla Morte/Luna
di Sangue/Escape from Death (1989, Enzo Milioni) was once again
produced by Lucio Fulci and is a pretty routine giallo in which a woman (Barbara Blasko) who is the sole heir to a vast fortune is to be driven
insane so others can get their hands on her wealth. Jessica Moore merely plays a supporting role in this one.
around the same time, Jessica Moore also had a small role in the
television miniseries Classe di Ferro (1989) by Bruno Corbucci,
then she left the filmworld without much of a bang or fanfare, allegedly
because her boyfriend and later husband did not want to share her perfect
naked body with the moviegoing audience - which is a shame from the
audience's point of view but of course perfectly understandable from his
point of view.
Jessica Moore would pop up in all her nakedness
though in one more film, Lucio Fulci's Un
Gatto nel Cervello/A
Cat in the Brain from 1990, but in this one, which is mostly made
up of recycled scenes from earlier films produced and/or directed by Fulci
himself over the last couple of years, she is only seen in the Psycho-like
murder in the shower scene lifted directly from The
When in 1990 Joe D'Amato asked Jessica
Moore back for his third Sarah
Asproon-film Undici Giorni, Undici Notti 2/Web of
Desire he had to find out she had already retired, and eventually he
made the film with little-known Kristine Rose, who however failed to
create a lasting impression similar to that of Jessica Moore, and since
the film was not nearly as successful as its predecessors, the
series was disbanded afterwards ...
It is of course sad
that Jessica Moore left the movie business after merely a handful of
films, but the question remains if she would have made it as an European
sexfilm star in the late 1980's/1990's like Laura Gemser [Laura Gemser-bio -
click here], Sylvia Kristel or Christina Lindberg [Christina
Lindberg-bio - click here] made it in the 1970's ?
the answer is probably not.
This has little to do with Jessica Moore
herself or her a tad limited acting talents (hey, Sylvia Kristel wasn't
much of an actress either) but with changes in both the erotic film
business and European (and especially Italian) cinema in general.
is, by the end of the 1980's, Italian cinema as well as European cinema as
such was pretty much perishing, with moviehouses being more and more dominated by Hollywood productions, and for some reason, European cinema
failed to gain a significant foothold in the direct-to-video market.
Parallel to that, softcore erotica was rapidly becoming a thing of the
past and hardcore pornography was becoming more and more the standard
thing - and it's at best questionable if Jessica Moore would have approved
of doing hardcore.
So maybe, by some weird coincidence, Jessica Moore
has chosen quite the right time to retire from erotic cinema and cinema as
such and will so be remembered for the few movies she made, none of them a
great movie, but some of them gave her the opportunity to really shine ...