This adult classic is late filmmaker Alex De Renzy's own personal favorite among a body of work that includes the likes of BABYFACE, FEMMES DE SADE and WILD THINGS. Many fans agree. Personally, I think that while some of his other movies might be more impressive on a purely sexual scale (the now extremely hard to locate FEMMES DE SADE in particular) this one surely stands as his best combination of hardcore sex with a honest to goodness light 'n' breezy bit o'plot.
Said plot actually derives from Voltaire's literary classic "Candide" about a naive young thing being manipulated by all and sundry. This story is better known to most people from the saucy reworking it received by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg for their '60s bestseller "Candy", itself subjected to a heavily compromised film version with Ewa Aulin essaying the title role with an all star cast including Richard Burton and, er, Ringo Starr ?
The adult industry has adapted this timeless tale on (at least) three major occasions, De Renzy's attempt here being both the best as well as best known. Former Playmate Gail Palmer allegedly helmed (in actuality, she was always ably supported by the likes of Bob Chinn and Jeffrey Fairbanks) THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF CANDY the same year PEACHES came out with former GONG SHOW bimbette Carol Connors (mother of mainstream actress Thora Birch !) who would also star in the slightly lesser sequel CANDY GOES TO Hollywood. Gerard (DEEP THROAT) Damiano revived the character (sort of) for his late '80s CANDY'S LITTLE SISTER SUGAR with the adorable Ariel Knight. Late prince of carnal comedy Chuck Vincent finally brought the tale to the screen in his own inimitable manner with DIRTY LILLY, putting saucy squaw Beth Anna (the Hyaptia Lee of the '70s) through her paces, emphasizing as per usual fun over, er, frolicking.
It's interesting to compare the CANDY series to PEACHES and its sequels. Where Palmer and Damiano were quite content to leave their much abused heroine a blissful bimbo unaware of the injustice heaped upon her, making her come across as if she'd been kicked in the head as a kid, De Renzy took a decidedly different route. Desirée Cousteau may be very much the ultimate ditz with a head full of air and a body built for bump 'n' grind but the character was rethought fairly radically for subsequent decades. The mid-'80s PRETTY PEACHES II had underrated Siobhan Hunter (a treat and a half in Ron Sullivan's very funny THE ODDEST COUPLE) elevating the part from brain-dead to naive. Still a decade later Latina love goddess Keisha (THE SEDUCTION OF JENNIFER) would portray Peaches as merely inexperienced and therefore vulnerable to those predators around her in the wonderful PRETTY PEACHES III : THE QUEST. The difference in approach may strike some as superficial window dressing but makes for a fascinating growth in the character as De Renzy rather than continue the story chose to retell the tale for new times and sensibilities.
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