Pleasurecraft (1999)


USA. 1999.


Director – Franklin Vallette, Screenplay – Louise Dunkirk, Producer – Pat Siciliano, Photography – Kelley ‘Tiger’ Vallette, Music – Wayne Scott Joness, Visual Effects – John R. Ellis & David Lange, Production Design – Peggy Paola. Production Company – Twilight Entertainment/Surrender Cinema


Juan Carlos (Captain Jason Harris), Brandy Davis (Deena), Paul Johnson (Dex), Amber Newman (Junet), Tamie Hannum (Deena), Richard Burns (T.J.), Billy Riverside (Carter), Vincent Kessler (Len), M.C. ‘Bulldog’ McCurdy (Ambassador Galen)


The spaceship Prometheus under Captain Jason Harris picks up a cargo from the forbidden planet Credos 4. The cargo turns out to be three women intended as a gift for an alien ambassador. The crew soon discover that the women of Credos have a unique ability to emphatically bond with the men they have sex with. However, after the Prometheus crew are tempted to try the eagerly available Credos women, the women decide they do not want to go through with the planned assignment.

Pleasurecraft is a work of softcore made-for-cable erotica. An increasing number of these films began experimenting with sf and fantasy themes – see Damien’s Seed (1996), Femalien (1996), Embrace the Darkness (1998), Andromina: The Pleasure Planet (2000) and Erotic Possessions (2000). With Pleasurecraft there is no particular pretense that it is anything other than what it seems – the science-fiction is stretched out adequately and with a modest plausibility but it is only a backdrop to the various couplings. Certainly, it is not a film that is pretending to be profound science-fiction. There are some modestly effective special effects and the sets economically manage to use essentially the same strip of corridor to suggest an entire ship.

Unlike many other genre/erotica hybrids, Pleasurecraft takes itself seriously for the most part – you never get the sense that the cast don’t believe a single word of it. Certainly, some of the characters are not particularly convincing – the three girls are simply California beach bunnies and do not in any way seem like they are alien or naive about human customs. Playing the ship’s emotionless android, Paul Johnson is wooden – rather than uninflected and emotionless, he seems more perpetually cross and abrupt. On the plus side, Juan Carlos gives a strong and effective performance as the captain. He is an actor that could easily make it as a leading man in mainstream films.

Many of these erotic films have been inventive in discovering ways that various themes or recurrent plots within the genre can be turned towards erotic ends. In this case, the story is taken from an episode of Star Trek, Elaan of Troyius (1968), that featured France Nuyen as an intergalactic ambassador being transported to a political marriage by The Enterprise whose tears were capable of making men fall obsessively in love with her and who ended up falling for Captain Kirk and deciding she wanted to be with him instead of her intended husband. Pleasurecraft offers three women instead of one but the story is the same in all essential regards.

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