Thursday, April 7, 2011
Review: Prostitutes Protective Society
Synopsis: When Madame Sue and her girls become the targets of some small-time gangsters, by failing to give them a cut of their prostitution profits, the women band together and show that the boys aren't the only ones who can get bloody violent.
Review: The tales of the harsh life of the hooker, are almost as old and well-worn as the actual profession itself. The 1960's were a hotbed of such films. "Prostitutes Protective Society, " while just one of many such offerings, has an interesting flavor, even though it is far from the best this sub-genre has to offer.
The story here revolves around Madame Sue and her bevy of brothel beauties, as they run afoul of some low-rent gangsters who are trying to muscle in on their profits. When the girls fail to capitulate and hookers start turning up dead, Sue and her clan arm up and bring the fight straight to the guys!
These no-budget crime sexploitation films are a dime a dozen. But what helped this one to stand out from some others I've seen, is the sheer amount of brutality in it. While certainly tame, even laughable, by today's standards, back in the mid-60's this was no doubt very shocking. Watching the hookers as they are killed one by one was very sadistic. One of the worst examples was the first killing, where the girl and her john are machine gunned down right in the bed. Not to be outdone, though, the girls get their revenge in the end, as the gangster boss ends up getting "Bobbited." Such visceral assaults help to break up the dullness and monotony of the rest of the film.
Barry Mahon, who wears many hats in this outing (listed as director, producer and cinematographer) is no stranger to this brand of film. He really gives you a good feeling of the seedier side of this lifestyle and vocation. Some excellent scenic shots of 60's NYC really helps to give you a good visual display of the world in which people such as this dwell. Some of which, I'm sure is to accommodate the complete lack of a budget.
Of course, the violence and atmosphere aside, this is far from a good film. While the scenic shots are great, there is just way too many scenes of watching the girls and gangsters just walking around town. It drags the scenes between the violence to a slow crawl. This wouldn't be an issue, if the actual story had some truly interesting aspects to it. But there are the many segments where the budgetary constraints take you out of the moment. One scene that exemplifies this, is when Madame Sue and a couple of her girls "go to the country," as they plan how to take out this gangster boss, which consists (I kid you not) of them laying nude on their bellies in a pile of sand on the floor. The acting skills of the cast is pretty much non-existent, as well, which is only belabored by the fact that many of the girls walk around topless in many scenes, where nothing sexual is even inferred (much less shown), including multiple shower scenes. The girls have no problem peeling for the camera, even though the sexual content reasoning for them to do so is very minimal. So, flesh fiends will certainly get more than their share here. It's just an obvious shortcut to generate interest, in a plot and script that has little of such to offer. The dialouge is laughable and the delivery of it even moreso. Cue card reading at it's finest, I'm sure.
In the end, "Prostitutes Protective Society" isn't a film that will appeal to many. Genre fans will probably be able to derive some entertainment value out of this, thanks to it's seedy vibe and violent panache. Those who are not already cineophiles of this stuff, though, would do well to stay away from this outing. Only die-hard grindhouse sexploitation fans need apply here.
Rating: 1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)