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Jessica Moore, Sex Star(let) of the 1980's - A Biography

by Mike Haberfelner

September 2007

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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 everything.

 

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 ...

Given the right role though, Moore would simply shine ...

 

Jessica 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 his sexfilms.

 


In La Monaca del Peccato/The 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 plays Sarah 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 - click here].

 

Eleven 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 it nude.

 


In 1988, Sarah Asproon returned:

In Top 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).

If 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 though).

In Top 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.

 

Away 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 Asproon-movies.

 

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 Gabriele Tinti.

 


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 the cast.

 


Lucio Fulci also produced Non aver Paura della Zia Marta/The Murder Secret/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.

 

At 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.

 


Flix.com

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 Murder Secret.

 

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 ?

Surprisingly 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.

Thing 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 ...

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD