Filmed back to back in Spain with the excellent "Flamenco Ecstasy", "Carmen" wastes the considerable talent and beauty of Maria Sanchez in the title role. The two feature films were reissued in 2004 by Adam & Eve on a two-fer DVD (now a collector's item), and watching the two makes clear "Carmen"'s faults.
While director Joe D'Amato was fully committed to the other film, directing stylishly and creatively in the erotic department, "Carmen" is distant and aloof, with many scenes shot and shown merely in an extended master shot from a distant placement. One can infer that this was made quickly and haphazardly to amortize the cost of the project by yielding two features for the price (almost) of one.
A nominal story is recited in terrible exposition scenes featuring Olivier Sanchez, later to become a stalwart of Brit Porn for Harmony Films, playing a police captain who calls in Interpol agent Lt. Steve Gaumont (D'Amato regular Hakan Serbes) to handle the case of a currency smuggling/money laundering mob in Spain. Maria De Sanchez plays Carmen, working in the gang.
Imported from Chatsworth porn land in America, Steven St. Croix is slightly embarrassing as a mob guy involved in the exchange of dirty money for diamonds. This plot line is entirely peripheral to the action of the film, strictly extraneous XXX scenes.
Other than some brief scenery and a thrown-in bullfighting scene, both of which are much better used in "Flamenco Ecstasy", "Carmen" has little to offer beyond its listless, generic sex scenes. Mike Foster is billed near the end of the list, but has much of the sex action, hiding behind the pseudonym Mike De Vinci. The film and story have little to do with the famous "Carmen" other than the name of Maria's character.
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