Full Body Massage (1995) Unearthed Classics Blu-ray Review
An overly scripted, but strongly directed character piece with essentially two more or less fully fleshed out (in every sense of the term) adult characters, very well played by both leads, Full Body Massage is more than its obvious titillation and nudity, which it has plenty of both.
A cultured art dealer’s weekly massage therapy session is interrupted when a new masseuse shows up instead.
Well-off and seemingly cultured art dealer Nina (Mimi Rogers) enjoys the nice things in her life, and something she looks forward to every week is her massage therapy with her masseuse, a much younger man whom she fancies in a clearly sexual way. She’s perturbed when another masseuse shows up at her door, a handsome older guy named Fitch (Bryan Brown) who makes himself at home in her place with barely an invitation to come inside. Fitch is curious about her artwork and her shiny things, making unexpectedly interesting and engaging conversation with Nina, who isn’t used to all the talk, and when she agrees to let him massage her, Fitch completely upends her expectations of the therapy session with challenging philosophy, meditative discourse, and a whole new outlook on life. His method of massaging her is certainly sensual, but not necessarily as erotic as with her regular masseur, but what gets her proverbial juices flowing with Fitch is how he works her mind and spirit while also working her body. By the end of the session, they’ve both “met” each other, but on a much deeper or meaningful (and sexier) way than either of them could’ve imagined.
An overly scripted, but strongly directed character piece with essentially two more or less fully fleshed out (in every sense of the term) adult characters, very well played by both leads, Full Body Massage is more than its obvious titillation and nudity, which it has plenty of both. It’s engrossing as a literate, philosophical dive into the seeking psyche, and it’s a nice looking film with sensual, sometimes natural, lighting, and Brown’s Fitch emerges as a really interesting mystery of a guy. Famed director Nicholas Roeg gives the film an artesian quality that elevates it from its “Skinemax” pedigree (it premiered on Showtime), and while star Rogers is amazing to look at, she’s also very good in the role that requires her to be naked and exposed through pretty much the entire movie. A cult classic for sure, this one has some unique powers of healing of its own, and fans of talky, sexy dramas should definitely seek it out.
Unearthed Classics has just released a Blu-ray and DVD editions of Full Body Massage, and this is the first disc ever released of the film. It has a nice new 2K scan, plus a tamer TV version, a short stills gallery, and extra trailers.