Pros: Absolutely Nothing
Cons: Absolutely Everything
There have been two Playboy movie productions I've seen in my lifetime so far: one was Shakespeare's Macbeth, and Castle Erotica was the other.
An English composition teacher at the high school I attended was showing Macbeth to our class, and I remember having to return those parental permission slips signed to be able to see this movie. Directed by Roman Polanski and financed by Hugh Hefner, Macbeth was an entertaining adaptation of the famous Shakespeare play, complete with good acting, some violence, and even brief nudity (why else would Hef be financing it?).
That was then (1970s), with a legitimate director, good actors, and most of all, a solid piece of writing at the backbone of the film. Castle Erotica is now. Or, was now - back in 2002. What has changed since the 1970s? Well, Hugh is older. Much older. But most importantly, the women are different. And different not in the good sense of the word, either. If you've ever watched those features that E! frequently does on Playboy, you'll see what I mean. Or maybe you won't - obviously Playboy is still alive and well...
Anyhow, back several years ago, I was more naive, more hopeful, more obscure, and one way or another, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to buy Castle Erotica. Why Castle Erotica? Well, I went to Amazon and kind of did "Eenie, meenie, miney, mo..." out of several Playboy releases that were there.
Why do guys... No, scratch that. Why do single guys buy Playboy? Those of ya'll that are dating or married will have to speak for your own selves here. In my case, I just wanted to see something that would be beautiful, erotic, charged, sultry, soulful - perhaps something that would in some distant way echo my concept of a perfect lover - on screen.
With Castle Erotica, it was "none of the above." Indeed, the movie was a complete waste of money and, even worse, time. Let's get past the ludicrous plot for a second, which could well be what Drew Carey on "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" calls "scenes from a hat." Aside from nice-looking women and good scenery, the movie has absolutely nothing to offer. Yes, there's nudity, if you call it "something." But don't you know what female body looks like? Ever taken human anatomy? It isn't the nudity, it's what you do with it that matters. You know how someone can have a "perfect" body but their behavior is so devoid of spunk or personality or any kind of appeal that they quickly fade from your memory. That is exactly how I felt about this movie.
The word is Plastic. Also such words as Passionless, Synthetic, Unnatural, Soulless come to mind. I don't know what it is about this production that makes it so, but I wouldn't blame just the women. Surely it didn't help that they didn't even appear to be enjoying the love making, if you can call it that, but also it could be the way the movie was scripted that completely failed to set up any sort of mood. The movie focused on short-lived random encounters without any shadow of basis or reason rather than develop one or two lines of the more long-term relationships between people that would give them at least a little bit of on-screen personality. The result was "fast-food" style fakery all the way to the bank, and I had to make quite the effort to sit through the whole thing in hopes of catching a glimpse of at least something igniting.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this movie like the Bubonic Plague.