SOFTCORE FILMS

GENTLEMAN’S BET

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Written by Eric Mandelbaum and directed by Carlos Gustaff, this 1995 film stars Michael Phenicie as Paul, a successful and wealthy businessman. He lives in very large house with his gorgeous and, seemingly, devoted wife Lauren (Neith Hunter). One day after work, he notices that he’s gotten a flat tire and meets a passer by named Chris (Jack Turturici) who helps him change. Afterward they go to a bar where Paul buys Chris a drink as a way to say thanks. After a few drinks they get a little tipsy and start ruminating about their wives and who would be more successful with women if they were both single, and then Chris goads Paul into making a bet where each man would try to meet and seduce the other man’s wife. They don’t bet any money, it’s just a “gentleman’s bet” to see if it can be done. Paul thinks Chris is joking and sort of agrees to the bet, and then goes home and passes out, and the next morning he’s forgotten the whole thing. That evening Chris shows up at Paul’s office and brags that he’s already met with Lauren, and they had lunch together that afternoon and are going to meet again a couple of days later when Paul is off to Paris on a business trip for a week. Paul doesn’t want to believe it and assumes that Chris is lying, although he doesn’t know how else Chris could have known that Paul is scheduled to go to Paris…

So Paul questions Lauren about Chris when he gets home, but she denies ever meeting him. Yet when Paul offers to take Lauren with him to Paris she says declines, but doesn’t want to say why, which just makes Paul suspicious. The script does a good job of leaving it open so that we’re not sure who to believe. Lauren convinces Paul that she’s not cheating and so he leave for Paris, but when he gets back a week later, Chris shows up at his office again handing him a pair of what he claims are Lauren’s panties. Turturici is suitably smarmy as Chris, gleefully gloating in Paul’s face, bragging about how good sex with Lauren was, and he leaves again.

Paul confronts Lauren, she admits to sleeping with Chris, but blames him for making the bet with Chris in the first place(?!?), then storms out. Dejected and angry Paul then decides to try to go seduce Chris’s wife Jodie (Betsy Monroe), and is surprised to find out that she knows about the bet and is more than eager to sleep with him to get revenge. Paul backs out at first, goes back home, but Lauren is still gone. That night, Paul goes back to Jodie’s house and they start to have sex. At Jodie’s suggestion, they do some “roleplaying”, acting as of Paul is forcing her to have sex at knife-point (bad idea). Chris comes home in the middle off it and attacks Paul, grabbing the knife from him and stabbing Paul to death. The police arrive and both Chris and Jodie, who it turns out are not married just boyfriend and girlfriend, tell them that Chris killed Paul in self-defense after Paul tried to rape Jodie. It turns out that the Jodie and Chris were all in this plot together with Lauren in an elaborate scheme to set up Paul, and they lies to the police that Paul had a history of violence against her. But we learn that this was all a plot for Lauren to inherit Paul’s money…

I know it sounds like I’ve given away some pretty big spoilers here but, trust me, there’s still a lot more to be revealed before this film is finished. Mark S. Porro plays a police detective who suspects that something isn’t write about this case, especially when he discovers that Chris has an extensive criminal record. As he continues to investigate, both Lauren and Chris get nervous and worry that the other one might team up with Lauren (whom we learn has been sleeping with both of them separately) to cut the other one out of the deal. Will the three of them get away with it? Or will there be another double (or triple) cross before it’s all over. And will anyone else end up dead? There are several twists and turns before you learn the answers to these questions…

This a good film. Like many of the softcore films of the time it made an effort to be taken seriously, so story is suspenseful, it’s well-directed and well-acted, with a cast chosen as much for their acting ability as for their physical attractiveness. But, make no mistake, this is an attractive cast. Hunter and Monroe are both very attractive women and neither is very shy about getting naked on camera. In addition to the sex scenes there are several scenes of the ladies showering or changing clothes (Monroe’s character is also a stripper and lingerie model), revealing their “assets” to the viewers. There are sex scenes between Hunter and Phenicie, Hunter and Turturici, and a lesbian sex scene with Hunter and Monroe, who also has a sex scene with Phenicie.

I’ll note that Bianca Rocilili, and Jacqueline Lovell have brief uncredited cameos in the film, posing as models with Monroe (although, sadly, neither gets naked). Judi Beecher also has a supporting role as a friend of Lauren’s.

Chacebook rating: 4 STARS

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