Pretty Peaches (Alex de Renzy / U.S., 1978):

Betty Boop is the unmistakable basis for Alex de Renzy’s Candide, Desireé Cousteau embodies her as a dimpled, bodacious klutz perpetually lost in her own hurricane, an irresistible comic-carnal performance. Her plush entrance (red one-piece bathing suit in a racing jeep) sets a tenor at once breathy and raucous, she makes it to the chapel just as Daddy (John Leslie in white Stetson and Ginsbergian beard) and his new wife (Flower) finish their vows. An accident knocks her unconscious and amnesiac, she comes back to with a couple of louts (Joey Silvera, Ken Scudder) standing over her: "Hey, why are my panties inside out?" While her folks are busy bringing the Scandinavian housekeeper (Juliet Anderson) into their honeymoon activities, the clueless lass bounces from pervert to pervert in search of her identity -- a visit to a daffy doctor uncorks messy watersports (the ensuing enema stream leaves the quack passed out on the bathroom floor, beaming), an audition at a bawdy club finds her shackled and splayed in the middle of a rough strap-on gangbang, the enlightenment promised by a playboy psychiatrist (Paul Thomas) turns out to be yet another "physical examination of a mental problem." Variously poked, prodded and licked, the heroine cheerily jiggles onward and is rewarded with an awkward family reunion in the midst of a sweaty, swinging orgy. The decade’s interrupted group-grope, "il faut cultiver notre jardin." A ribald vibe picked up by Almodóvar (Kika), sweet and sunny in the face of raunchiness, just the thing needed for de Renzy’s portrait of mellow libertinism on its way toward the jaded 1980s. With Holly McCall, Mimi Morgan, Nancy Hoffman, Sharon Kane, Eileen Wells, Phaedra Grant, and Blair Harris.

--- Fernando F. Croce

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