The story of a naive young model surrounded by murder, Drop Dead Gorgeous is an ugly little melodrama in a number of ways. Allie Holton (The Doors‘ Jennifer Rubin) is a schoolteacher who is discovered by a budding fashion photographer (Peter Outerbridge). Hoping to make her a star model and establish his own career as well, he takes Allie to meet Evelyn Ash (M*A*S*H‘s Sally Kellerman), the head of a big modeling agency. Allie becomes a glamorous success indeed, but she has two problems: Everyone in sight starts hitting on her (including both the photographer and Evelyn), and some of those people end up murdered.
Drop Dead Gorgeous is cheap-looking and lacking in suspense and is primarily notable for its lurid portrayal of Kellerman’s character. The actress is required to swagger around in man-tailored suits and neckties, running her fingers through her very short hair and snapping orders in a tough voice. Get it, boys and girls? We should think she’s masculine.
When Kellerman’s Evelyn runs her hands up and down Allie’s back and murmurs, “What you need is a good massage,” we’re supposed to be as shocked and repulsed as Allie is. Director Paul Lynch sets up the story in a way that equates Evelyn’s sexuality with evil — she’s the movie’s most obvious murder suspect. Dumb and homophobic, Gorgeous should drop dead. D-