Massage Parlor Murders (1973)

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RATING– ✭✭

DIRECTOR– Chester Fox & Alex Stevens

PLOT– Manhattan massage parlors are being menaced by a serial killer. Two detectives, with problems of their own, investigate using tried-and-true investigation techniques such as looking at maps, having dinner, going on picnics, and sightseeing in Times Square.

5 REASONS TO WATCH

  1. Car chases that approach 3-4 mph
  2. Knitting prostitutes
  3. Middle-aged chubby redhead men without shirts
  4. Wood-paneled sex-dens
  5. The longest scream in motion picture history

REVIEW– Here’s a list of things I know about the 1970s:

  • drugs were everywhere
  • the Vietnam war ended
  • Star Wars premiered
  • disco-dancing was king
  • being The Fonz was a thing
  • and taking a shower was, evidently, optionable

After watching Massage Parlor Murders, I can now add this piece of knowledge I learned about the 1970s:

  • Massage parlors were the most un-sexy places on Earth

Call me romantic, but having sex on a vinyl bench surrounded by dark wood paneling with a woman who looks as though washing is a foreign concept… well, it just doesn’t sound very enjoyable.

Most of this movie isn’t very enjoyable, though.

It’s a misogynistic mess.

The hero Detective Rizotti (played by the actor George Spencer… best known as Gomer Pyle’s buddy Joey) is introduced to us as a womanizing asshole of a human being who uses women for sex and to get him beer… great hero, huh?

Consequently, for the duration of the film’s thankfully brief 80-minute runtime, we’re left to root for a terrible policeman, knowing he may well be treating women with the same contempt the killer possesses.

The rest of the movie is filled with similar helpless women and the men who abuse them.

Ugh.

I gave the film 2 stars for one reason only… If you’ve never experienced the 1970s, watch this movie and in about 80 minutes you’ll feel like you lived through that misguided decade… the music, the cars, the smoking, the hair-styles, the bell-bottoms, the nudist orgies at the YMCA pool…

…wait, what?!?

Just think of Massage Parlor Murders as an education on a (thankfully) long-dead era in America.


Upon comparing whose breasts were hairier, Frank won.