Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated (Erotic) Thrillers - Bryan Connolly ""

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Underrated (Erotic) Thrillers - Bryan Connolly

Bryan Connolly is one of the co-authors of one of the greatest film books in recent memory (Destroy All Movies). He works at the great Vulcan Video in Austin Texas and has a vast knowledge of cinema and a love for Jerry Lewis. He is also an avid VHS collector/advocate and can be seen prominently in the documentary ADJUST YOUR TRACKING:

Dir: Gregory Dark 
I first watched this movie when I was fifteen. A friend had it taped off of a free run of Cinemax. This was the first erotic thriller I had ever seen and it is still my favorite. An ignored housewife ( Rochelle Swanson) spices up her weekdays by sleeping with rich men at an exclusive brothel. The film's glamorous portrayal of prostitution features a lot of scented candles and champagne drinking. Of course there is no straight humping, only the exploration of people's darkest desires. The soundtrack is some second rate version of Enigma which works because Enigma is also the second rate version of Enigma. Love those synthesized pan flutes! The sex scenes go on way too long which is good or bad, depending on your opinion. Fifteen year old me would say it was a good thing.  The erotic thrillers of Gregory Dark are all pretty great. Check out ANIMAL INSTINCTS and MIRROR IMAGES 2.

Dir: Sidney Lumet 
Things go wild when a  lawyer (Rebecca De Mornay) chooses to defend an accused wife killer (Don Johnson). Lumet courtroom movies tend to be powerful, but a little dry. With a script written by Larry Cohen this one is all fun and breezy. Johnson is super charismatic and wonderfully sleazy. De Mornay is tough and sexy as always. What's great about this movie is that though there is wonderful tension between the two main characters, they never get into a sexual relationship. So many thrillers have the main female get involved with the main male, then she finds out he is a psycho, but she still can't resist him. Not this movie. It's strictly a working relationship that then escalates into a game of cat and mouse. Everyone seems to be having great time here all the way up to the ridiculous ending.

TAKE TWO (1988)
Dir: Peter Rowe 
Silly plot about long lost twins (Grant Goodeve) and inappropriate love for another man's wife. I like movies where an actor has to play twins. Especially when one of them has to be a jerk. The performer sneers and is rude and that's all it takes for me to tell the difference between asshole brother and good brother. Since this a pre-CGI movie the twins never are in the same shot. They don't even try to do bad split-screen. The real reason to watch this film is for Frank Stallone. Frank Stallone is a true man. In this movie he proves it with out a doubt during the workout montage where he jams on a saxophone over a lady exercising. Is this the sexiest image ever caught on film? I feel that both men and women will agree that the answer is YES!

Dir: Andrew Stevens 
Moira (Shannon Tweed) and Nick (Andrew Stevens) start a torrid love affair, but how can she keep it a secret from her scuzzball husband (a wonderfully scuzzy Joe Cortese). Easy. They are only sleeping with each other in their dreams. This is maybe the weirdest of all 90s erotic thrillers. It goes into David Lynch territory once the main characters acknowledge that they are having a psychic dream affair and start bringing physical items, such as house keys, into the real world. Stevens directed two other great thrillers starring both him and Tweed: NIGHT EYES 3 AND SCORNED. 

Dir: Abel Ferrara 
Dir: Bobby Roth 
Both movies are based on 80s crime novels (Chaser is from Elmore Leonard, Drive is from Roderick Thorp). Both movies feature wonderful underrated Peter Weller performances. We get the nice cold, cool Weller here that we all love. He is tough, but there is an intense vulnerabilty within these characters. Great supporting actors (Chaser: Charles Durning, Frederic Forrest. Drive: Jon Gries, Chris Mulkey), and good use of the environment (Chaser: Miami beaches. Drive: slimy, rich Hollywood) make these worth visiting. Weller makes love, drinks, gets confused, gets punched. Good stuff here.

1 comment:

thirtyhertzrumble said...

It might be worth mentioning that the only way you can watch the uncut version of CAT CHASER is on the VHS tape. The US DVD has been hacked to pieces and the UK DVD isn't much better.