n a word: huh?
Back in the Sixties, it was not uncommon for foreign films to be recut for release on the sexploitation circuit by having additional skin scenes edited in. But this grimy little turd has enough skin, violence, and decadence on display that no U.S.-shot inserts were needed or added. Nevertheless, something is terribly amiss here. Though we’ve never seen the French original, we can only assume that Massacre of Pleasure didn’t quite measure up to the gloriously low standards set by BOB CRESSE’s Olympic International Films which, presumably, recut the film to eliminate scenes that didn’t involve skin, violence, or decadence. The result is an often surreal crime epic -- which occasionally feels like a French Findlay film -- that delivers the goods except for any semblance of coherence, continuity, or common sense. Scenes begin and end abruptly, characters pop up only to be chased and killed, and the vague storyline seems to wander and change every couple of minutes. Add to that minimal dubbing (with fake French accents), unhelpful narration, and long stretches of creepy silence, and you’ve got something that plays like the fever dream of a two-bit punk who’s seen too many gangster flicks.
Aided by a sadistic thug named Pretty Boy and a lesbian bodyguard (with the hots for a little Japanese gal), Captain Jules (who looks like a flea-ridden fisherman) decides to take over a motley criminal organization run by “The Fat Man.” This he does by ordering hits on... well, a variety of men and women we know nothing about except how they die. (Instead of being killed, one sexy gal is kept shackled in a garage like a pretty ornament and, for all we know, is still there today.)
Pretty Boy (who, by the way, isn’t) visits Florence, a junkie in need of a fix, and, thinking she’s a police informer, cuts her throat. He then stops by a black gal’s apartment and shoots up in the bathroom while she dances and releases her breasts. But -- surprise! -- it’s the black gal who’s the informer, and she tells the cops about a shipment of narcotics due to arrive at a docked showboat full of kinky rich sophisticates: “A harboring place for every conceivable type of human driftwood -- perverts and pimps, prostitutes, addicts, and murderers!” The police raid the boat which so rattles The Fat Man that he whips a woman until her tits are bloody.
The organization in shambles, Jules switches gears and sets up an even bigger deal which involves trading women for drugs. Currently short of females, Jules gets the girls he needs by inviting them to a “costume party” aboard his boat. In the blink of an eye, there’s a swinging soiree with guys in togas and gals dressed as Indian maidens all running around like the party guests in House on Bare Mountain. Drugged refreshments are served, and Jules and his boys eventually row a boatload of half naked gals with feathers in their hair to a deserted beach in Marseilles....
Roselyn Sanchez (Rush Hour 2, TV's "Without a Trace") and D.B. Sweeney (The Cutting Edge) star in this romantic drama about a young dancer who travels from her native Puerto Rico to the Big Apple in search of a new life after the death of her crippled father, once a great ballet star in New York City. Upon her arrival in New York, with no job and nowhere to live, Amaryllis (Sanchez) turns to working in a strip club to make ends meet. Amaryllis quickly creates a new family in New York by befriending an older man in her building, a washed-out poetry professor named Miles Emory as well as her co-workers at the strip club. Increasingly desperate, Amaryllis seriously injures herself during a performance one night at the club, only to be saved by Christian (Sweeney), a doctor in the audience. Miles' poem "Yellow" inspires Amaryllis to seek a Broadway dancing job and her emotional connection to Miles helps to give him a reason for living that eluded her father.