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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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Massage Parlor Hookers (1973)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Massage Parlor Hookers (1973) Long lost "exploitation gem" recently re-released on disc by Vinegar Syndrome. Ahhhhh...kind of reminded me of one of those loooooong, padded shot-on-VHS slasher movies from the 80's that just goes on and on and on...only this movie was shot on film in 1973 or so. I was hoping for a lil' of THE TOOLBOX MURDERS (original) type of sex, sleaze, and murder syndrome, but...nope. The "big catch" for this movie is seeing Sandra Peabody from LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT '72 (she played Mari Collingwood in that classic, for those out of the loop!) naked again and having "consensual" relations on celluloid (as opposed to those relations forced by Krug and Company in LAST HOUSE). Sandra is FRESH and HOT looking in MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS, and yes, she goes plenty naked in a love scene with (sadly) a doofus cop. There's also "romantic" scenes where she wears bell bottom jeans and a tight, see-through shirt outside. Oh, the movie itself? The plot? Well, there's some dude going around murdering "prostitutes" in New York City massage parlors and two very bad actors pretending to be cops are "hot on the killer's trail." What's interesting about this movie is the New York City footage from 1973, the location shots from Times Square, 42ndStreet and the like...the Peep Shows, Sex shows, Sleazy Cinemas, all that classic talked-about carnival-like atmosphere is here for all to witness in a very bad cinematic time capsule. Other highlights this movie offers are performances by Chris Jordan (DEEP THROAT 2) and George Dzundza (from TV's GREY'S ANATOMY) in one of his first roles. Overall, MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS is nothing great though, very amateurish all around, and the gore is pretty sub-par, even for this era...pretty much throw some blood on the topless women. But there are quite a few nicely built '70's chicks strutting their shapely stuff in this flick, so it gets good points for that! MPM is definitely a '70's exploitation staple, full of horrendous acting, stupidly annoying cops, fake violence, and some decent nudity, but overall, this flick is sadly not something I'll be watching over and over again, like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT '72, where true talent was evident both in front of and behind the cameras. The MPM music score was ATROCIOUS and the lead cops were so bad their performances made me CRINGE. This 'cops on the beat' subplot got to be such a cliche that thankfully HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER later blew out of the water by ignoring so nicely, but this device was used so prevalent in the '70's and '80's slasher movies, aaaaaahhhhhhhh, the bumbling cops stick out like a zit on prom night. It's so overdone and boring by now, and MASSAGE has just...cop sub-plot OVERLOAD. But in movies like LAST HOUSE '72, I dig it, that was the first time I was exposed to the ideas, but these days...BORING and OVERDONE, even in a time capsule movie like this. And the ending (SPOILERS HERE), with one of the LAME-O cops making a connection to what the killer is doing in church and screaming out..."SO THE KILLER IS A RELIGIOUS NUT!" and rushing out of the chapel... was ridiculous! Asinine! The one cop sees his girlfriend (Ms. Peabody) killed, so the two cops---knowing the killer is now going after another prostitute in a nearby massage parlor---decide to stop at a bar, wallow in grief, and have a drink before rescuing the girl! And they're too late by the time they get there, the potential victim has already defended herself and lit the maniac on fire, so the half-blitzed cops bust the door down and shoot a burning guy! Highlight was that tempting '70's female flesh and a ridiculously bad car chase staged rather well for a limited budget movie, but again...even those items, Ms. Peabody aside...were...okay....no revelation and nothing mandatory...I just kept repeating...IT'S OBVIOUSLY JUST A BAD MOVIE, IT'S OBVIOUSLY JUST A BAD MOVIE... Extras include some raw footage from an orgy scene where full-on insertion shots are sadly missing, but true blue swingers were having a splendid time! There's a great bit with Ms. Peabody tarting it up in a Plato's Retreat type of atmosphere and casually shedding her inhibitions---THAT was worthwhile! MASSAGE PARLOR MURDERS is for the most forgiving hardcore '70's exploitation fans and Sandra Peabody fanatics only!

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