Caeter Stevens's 85 minute PLEASURE PALACE (1977, Metro; VCX-Cal Vista Classic, 2008) starts out as a rather comical look at the cat house business as the duo sample the new girls (Serena and R. Bolla in a solid scene---!!!) and corrupt a few local officials like the fire inspector (a girl/girl/guy threesome on a water bed---!!) and the sheriff and a judge (a girl/guy/guy threesome in a heart-shaped hot tub with Joey silvera and Jack Teaque---!! 1/2)
The tone of PLEASURE PALACE changes as a couple of armed thugs show up at the cat house and fuck a couple of the girls (Bobby Astyr screws a gal with small titties but large puffy nipples in a hot pink room---!! 1/2) but bungle in their attempt to rough up the cat house owners. The head mobster (Jamie Gillis) takes matters into his own hands as he interrogates an abducted girl then fucks her (Jamie Gillis and Serena in a solid scene that's a bit rough---!!!) Later, his henchmen rape one of the girls at the cat house, which is not shown, only its aftermath that leads to another encounter between the nebbish lawyer and his favorite girl. (Serena and R. Bolla again, this time fucking on his desk with books and other objects sometimes blocking the action---!! 1/2) Somehow a strange but short S & M scene (! 1/2---Why is this in here?) sneaks into the final third of PLEASURE PALACE as the cat house owners square off in a final confrontation with the mobster and his henchmen.
PLEASURE PALACE is one of these strange hybrids that turns from a comedy laced with a number of xxx scenes into a serious crime yarn with more emphasis on the resolution of the story than incorporating xxx action. The last 30 minutes contains that last enounter between R. Bolla and Serena but not much else, which leaves the shoot'em up finale, standard stuff that was seen nightly on television.
The picture quality for PLEASURE PALACE was fine in its standard frame presentation but the choice of loud music over natural sounds of the performers detracts through long stretches of the sex scenes. So, Carter Stevens' PLEASURE PALACE is a xxx crime yarn that hits and misses in its attempt to incorporate story and xxx scenes. Serena's three sex scenes are worth a look but buddy-movie dialog between R. Bolla and Eric Edwards unfortunately weighs down sections of PLEASURE PALACE. Better to watch AMANDA BY NIGHT (!!!! 1/2 outa !!!!!) from that same period.
Final rating for PLEASURE PALACE (1977, Metro; VCX-Cal Vista Classic, 2008) is !! 1/2 outa !!!!! for its failure to incorporate xxx action into what amounts to a standard crime yarn finale. Extras include some bonus scenes and trailers plus VCX's 4 minute tribute to xxx performers of the classic era.