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It's hard to love a film where everyone is either vile or really, really stupid.
"Sensation Hunters" (also called "Club Paradise") is a tough movie to love. It's not just that it's a cheap B-movie but the characters are difficult to like or care about in any way. So, while you might understand Julie (Doris Merrick) and her actions, you don't like her or care about the mess she makes of her life. And, as for her family and associates, they're most reprehensible jerks! Not exactly the makings for an entertaining movie.
When the film begins, you see that Julie lives in a family made up of scum. Her mother isn't 100% awful but she's weak and ineffectual. As for her father and brother-in-law...pure scum. So it's not surprising that Julie would want to get out of this home and get a man of her own. But Ray (Eddie Quillan) is a bit of a wimp and although she's been going out with him for some time, she doesn't love or even seem to respect him. Oddly, when an obvious jerk blows into town, Julie is taken with Danny (Robert Lowry). He makes no bones about it...he's been with LOTS of women and has no desire to become tied down with anyone....and yet Julie is stuck on him immediately. He's given her no reason to hope that he's the right man for her or anyone...but she is just crazy about the guy and is a real enabler. Sadly, while NOT entertaining, this sort of situation is rather realistic as often girls from abusive homes often seem to glomp onto losers like Danny. I saw this time and time again when I worked as a social worker and therapist. And, if the film is going to be realistic, her life will be miserable as a result of her poor choice in boyfriends. So what does become of Julie?! Does she somehow make something of herself or make some smart choices?
While the film has MANY strikes against it other than the characters (such as the women who sing in the film...none of them are particularly good), it fortunately does not tack on some nice, sappy ending. The film begins miserable and ends miserable. This makes for lousy entertainment BUT at least is a nice nod to realism. In some ways the film has a real noir sense to it. Too bad that the bad really outweighs the good.
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