I enjoyed watching HEDONISTIC PLEASURES strictly to see a bevy of big-breasted models. Fake documentary doesn't hold together as a feature film.
In fact several segments are familiar as stand-alone short film excerpts, notably a silly sequence where hippies frolic by a stream, while silicone queen Pat Barrington does an incongruous belly dance in their midst.
Premise is to use hidden cameras to present an exposé of lurid goings on in Los Angeles, which a femme narrator tries to make sound dirty. That gimmick was used for many years in adult movies, notably the direct forerunner by Bob Cresse and Lee Frost: HOLLYWOOD'S WORLD OF FLESH. But it is a creaky format by the time this film was made, and more explicit white coaters were starting to conquer the marketplace.
First segment is the most striking, reducing the rest of the film to anti-climax. We watch humongous breasted girl (Sharon Wells, memorable as a lesbian in THE ANIMAL) in her shower and bathroom posing, distorted via a first-person fish-eye lens. Her left breast at times looks as big as the MetLife blimp, and full frontal nudity is provided for the fans' delectation. I think Wells, uncredited here, might be the same torpedo-tits girl who was memorably body-painted in the colorful short film NUDES & NUTS, provided as filler on dozens of DVD-Rs issued by Something Weird. The particular distortion effect was much more effective in a memorable LSD scene included in the film THE TALE OF THE DEAN'S WIFE.
A Hollywood LSD party/orgy is terminally boring, a carbon copy of the filler in Bill Rotsler's much better opus LIKE IT IS. A guy going to a photo parlor (take your own shots of a nude model) and then making it with the lady manager (fan favorite Maria Lease) and another girl is such a dull, overextended (read: padded) sequence that it could have been cut to 1/10th of its length. The Italians pioneered in this "mondo" genre, but their films would globe-hop and present a large number of mercifully brief vignettes, emphasizing variety and novelty over the tedium experienced here.
Finale is a black & white, gritty segment about two hookers that I had also seen separately as a short film. It doesn't fit at all and seems tacked on to get this baby in at hour-plus feature length.
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