19 June 2009 | augustian
Erotic thriller with a lot to be desired
Erotic thrillers tend to be about shady dealings centred around the wealthy elite based in exotic or well-to-do locations so Island of 1000 Delights certainly has a lot going for it, being shot in Mauritius and populated by beautiful people. However, the script is far from watertight and certain actions by some characters do not ring true.
From the opening scene we see that there is human trafficking going on and this is being investigated by PI Peggy (Olivia Pascal) who is in the employ of Lady Henriette, matriarch of the richest family on the island. Lady Henriette's niece, Julia is married to Michael, (Philippe Garnier) a heavily indebted gambling addict who has a mistress Sylvia (Elisa Servier, here credited as Marine Mervil). Sylvia hatches a plan that will net them a fortune but there is betrayal and double-cross to contend with and the relationships between the characters is not all they seem. In the meantime, Peggy is captured by the slavers.
Erotic thrillers by their nature have to feature sex and nudity situations and the women in this film show us what they've got. It is a pity that some of these scenes are rather brief and one scene is in almost total darkness. Some things do not make sense; Lady Henriette's house seems to be open to all and sundry to come and go as they please and when Peggy escapes from her captors it seems that she was being held on Lady Henriette's property and despite there being people in the house she tells no-one of her ordeal and runs off to hide in town. Olivia Pascal does not convince as a hard-nosed PI and she displays an unbelievably nonchalant attitude to explosives. With the right resources this could have been a decent thriller.
This review used a VCD from Hong Kong with a run time of just over 86 minutes. The audio track was English with embedded Chinese subtitles. The picture quality was no better than VHS and because VCDs hold less data than a DVD, the film was spread over two discs. The film gets 4 stars simply because the women and Mauritius are so attractive.
EDIT. On the German DVD the picture quality is a bit better and there is a shower scene that is missing on the Hong Kong VCD. Although the DVD cover states a picture ratio of 4:3 and a run time of 90 minutes, the picture is about 1.66:1 and the run time is actually a little over 85 minutes, probably because of the PAL conversion.