Riccardo Schicchi, Italian porn pioneer, dies in Rome

Riccardo Schicchi and Cicciolina announce The Love Party

Riccardo Schicchi, director of “Telefono Rosso,” the classic Italian hardcore film that introduced the world to Ilona Staller (better known as Cicciolina, above) in 1985, died in Rome today. He was 60.

A pornographer who was an unlikely political activist, Schicchi’s 2-decade porn career sidelined into the creation of Italy’s “Love Party,” a reaction to that country’s scandal-plagued political system. Both Cicciolina and “Moana la Scandalosa” star Moana Pozzi helped Schicchi recall Rome’s ancient marriage of sex and politics.

Cicciolina

Prior to launching the porn company Diva Futura in 1983, Schicchi had been a photojournalist and radio host.

Telefono Rosso

While the Love Party failed to put anyone in office in the 1991 elections, Cicciolina had served in Parliament for the previous four years, delivering speeches with breasts exposed and famously offering to sleep with Saddam Hussein to help the Iraqi dictator cool off.

Schicchi’s Love Party was part of that political theatre, and it makes sense that media mogul and unrepentant whoremonger Silvio Berlusconi was elected Prime Minister in that desensitized environment just a few years later.

Schicchi directed dozens of porn movies after “Telefono Rosso,” considered Italy’s first hardcore film. He later directed Cicciolina and a visiting John Holmes in 1986’s “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empress.” Holmes knew he had the AIDS virus by then, and would be dead two years later, but Cicciolina did not contract the disease.

Imprisoned (along with his wife, porn actress Eva Henger) for pandering in 2006, Schicchi served six years, and would not make another movie. By his release he had fallen ill with Type-2 Diabetes, and died December 9.

Buy “The Rise And Fall of the Roman Empress” here

Previously on Porn Valley Observed: Anastasia Blue, 1980-2008; John Holmes and a brief history of HIV in the porn industry; Into the realm with David Aaron Clark

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