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In the small town of Carlton, the Businessmen's Progressive Association is endeavouring to make the area more attractive to city people. Colourful events are held, such as an axeman's carnival and a runathon, to improve Carlton's media image.

Conservative elements in the community are somewhat disturbed by this modernisation. But the real conflict begins when the local sauna is transformed into a massage parlour and a masseuse, Sandra Ray, is brought from the city.

Sandra sees the small town as her salvation, a place where she can be regarded as merely a professional worker. Her presence sparks a different response in the men of Carlton. Chairman of the Progressive Association, Bob Warner, is typically, more attracted to Sandra than he is to his wife.

The war between conservative reformists and the publicity conscious businessmen centres on what will be done with the massage parlour. A timid accountant, Phil Barrett, whose wife is campaigning to get rid of Sandra, finds the rising tensions too much to cope with, and precipitates the inevitable confrontation . . .

Geoff Stevens

Born: 1946. Made documentaries on social and political issues, organised the Alternative Cinema Movement in New Zealand. Skin Deep (1978) is his first feature.