When we interviewed Carter Stevens back in 2013, he told us that one of his favorite movie-making experiences had been Pleasure Palace (1979). He used performers who could actually act (Eric Edwards, R. Bolla, Jamie Gillis, Bobby Astyr, and Jake Teague), enjoyed an entertaining shoot on location in Connecticut, and the film made a tidy profit.
Intriguingly he also told us that he shot several sex scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film.
The Rialto Report recently acquired a collection of on-set stills from a number of adult films in the 1970s and we were pleased to find that ‘Pleasure Palace’ was among them – and that pictures of some of the ‘lost’ scenes were included.
Here is a selection of pictures from the set of ‘Pleasure Palace.’
Carter Stevens on ‘Pleasure Palace’:
In 1978, I was contacted by a businessman from Meriden, CT. He said he was coming into the city and asked me out to lunch as he had a proposition for me. It turned out he owned the largest and most successful brothel in Connecticut – and he asked me if I’d like to shoot a film there. I think he thought it would boost business – but I pointed out that the film’s audience would likely have no way of knowing where to find his establishment. He was undeterred and invited me out to Meriden to see it.
It was an amazing place – and I agreed it would be a great backdrop to a film so I went away and wrote a script with Richard Jaccoma, who was editor of Screw magazine at the time.
The film is about two friends, one an attorney and the other an ex-cop, played by Eric Edwards and R. Bolla, who leave New York City to start a brothel in Connecticut. Their business is complicated by a mobster, played by Jamie Gillis, who muscles in on the business.
We shot it in this brothel over a weekend – which meant the owner had to shut his whole operation down for a few days, which must have cost him a few dollars – and then we built the remaining sets in my studio / loft apartment back in Manhattan. The owner of this whorehouse even had a small part in the film.
It was a nice, little film with a fun plot and good pace. We didn’t overdo the sex scenes – not to say that the sex wasn’t hot, it was – but we focused more on the story and the sex scenes didn’t weigh it down. In fact we even shot four or five sex scenes that we dropped from the final version – which was rare back in the day! I remember one particularly hot S&M scene that stayed on the cutting room floor.