Film #311: MARQUIS DE SADE'S PROSPERITIES OF VICE aka AKUTOKU NO SAKAE aka VICE AMPLY REWARDED
Marquis De Sade's Prosperities of Vice (aka Akutoku No Sakae aka Vice Amply Rewarded)
2.5 out of 5 stars
Director Akio Jissoji (ULTRAMAN, TOKYO: THE LAST MEGALOPOLIS, THE WATCHER IN THE ATTIC, RAMPO NOIR) goes all “artsy-fartsy” with this adaptation of a tale by The Marquis de Sade. The film is beautifully shot and has a few sequences that are absolutely breathtaking, however it suffers greatly by being so self-aware and pretentious that it’s drained of any sort of coherent story. Reminiscent of films like Shuji Terayama’s FRUITS OF PASSION and Stephen Sayadian’s CAFÉ FLESH (only not as good), PROSPERITIES OF VICE all too soon becomes chatty and winds up being “too much sizzle and not enough steak.” The story wanders and is hard to follow, the sex scenes are uninteresting and banal. It’s porn made by people who don’t make porn, a bondage film made by people who don’t understand the dynamic of bondage. When one comes to a film with a title such as this, we expect perversity, depravity, nudity, and some severely twisted shit. Instead, we get a film that is talky and uninteresting other than in the visual sense. Again, there are some beautiful sequences here, but much like the director’s RAMPO NOIR, it all never seems to pay off in a satisfying manner. A worthwhile rental for those interested in its imagery. However, I think it will simply confuse and annoy most viewers.