Movie Can't Live Up to its Great Title, Seductive Trailer
If nothing else, "The Pink Pussy: Where Sin Lives," is a masterpiece of marketing. Even today, that title demands attention (likewise, today most mainstream distributors would still opt for the less salacious subtitle). The trailer is equally titillating, opening with scenes of the star, Libertad Leblanc, being raped, followed by a shapely stripper strutting her stuff as a female voice invites us to "Come to the Pink Pussywhere SIN lives!" Based on the trailer alone, I was sold on this Venezuelan import with its promise of sex, crime, murder, and fights in a sky cable car, made extra spicy with some 1966 shot-in-New York footage of stand-ins enacting what director Alberto Dubois could only hint at in 1964.
And "The Pink Pussy" delivers all that, but most of it is delivered in the third act. The trailer leaves out all the driving around Caracas, the singing, and the obnoxious children that fill out its first two acts, and with good reason. Not only is it not what the target audience would want to see, these elements act as big, chassis-bending speed bumps to what should be a rollicking thrill-ride of a story, about an "American" singer, Mara (Leblanc), who signs a contract to perform at the Pink Pussy nightclub in Venezuela only to encounter one misfortune after another: her contract is fake; her jewelry and passport stolen; no one will give her a job; and just when it seems like things couldn't get worse for our heroine, she's kidnapped and raped. Luckily, Alex, a suave older gentleman (and, unbeknownst to Mara, a local crime lord), comes to her rescue, not only wrapping his coat around her and giving her a ride back to her hotel but securing for her a valid contract at the Pink Pussy. Elvira, Alex's cokehead ex-girlfriend, is none too pleased about being kicked to the curb and is determined to disrupt Alex's and Mara's very slow-burning relationship, which appears to be pretty much transportation-oriented as Alex does little more than drive Mara to and from her hotel. Further complicating matters is Mara's growing attraction to Ernesto, who is also smitten by the hapless "American."
Leblanc is shapely and pleasant looking, and though New York stand-ins provide most of the skin she does get naked on the beach with a fully-clothed Ernesto. Unfortunately, her hairstyle is a bit distracting, being reminiscent of the awful wig Chesty Morgan wore in "Deadly Weapons." At times her acting is also reminiscent of Chesty Morgan, though Leblanc is usually adequate in her role. The actress playing Elvira (Eva Moreno), on the other hand, is a far livelier presence with her seething, shouting and screaming. She's not on screen nearly enough. Not only would beefing up her role treat us to more of Moreno's hysterical performance, it would have really beefed up this movie as well, something the filmmakers seemed to have realized too late as Leblanc is quickly pushed aside in favor of giving the grand finale to Moreno.
Sin does indeed live at "The Pink Pussy," but expect to wait in the bar awhile before it finally gets home. If you don't have the time, just seek out the trailer instead, which, as is so often the case, succeeds in being far more entertaining than the actual movie.
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