Object of Obsession
What do women really want? Judging from three new (and largely man-made) erotic thrillers, the answer appears to be sex, sin, salvation — and more sex. Take Paula Barbieri, O.J. Simpson’s girlfriend, who has a starring role in Weekend Pass: Red Shoes Diaries, a steamy new entry in the made-for-cable anthology series. (After all, Barbieri has a bit part in a real-life drama that puts an entire video genre to shame.) She turns in a surprisingly sensual performance as a tough-but-tender pool hustler determined to play the Game (billiards and life) her way. In fact, each of the tape’s three vignettes hinges on a fiercely independent woman’s need for intense sexual satisfaction. Introduced by the intriguing narrator-compiler Jake (The X-Files‘ David Duchovny), these erotically compelling stories, while cheesy, are nevertheless more Brie than Velveeta: A bounty hunter (Claire Stansfield) seduces and betrays a luscious gigolo; a female soldier (Ely Pouget) engages in her own private Tailhook.
By contrast, Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure represents the artless, tasteless side of the genre, the part that glorifies synthetic breasts and teeters on the brink of misogyny. Prolific erotic-thriller vet Shannon Tweed — still blond, beautiful, and bored — plays a high-profile ”sex psychologist” and manipulative murder suspect whose seduction of her lawyer (puffy Larry Poindexter) is as laughable as it is predictable. The defenseless attorney repeatedly submits to betrayal and deception at the well-manicured hands of this evil siren: She even forces him to enjoy her oral skills while stuck in a courthouse elevator. How unlucky can you get?
Object of Obsession at least makes a halfhearted attempt to probe deeper into a woman’s complicated psyche: When mousy divorcee Margaret (the almost three-dimensional Erika Anderson) gorges on chocolate ice cream late at night, it’s a sure sign of sexual frustration. It follows, then, that any woman reduced to such self-hating behavior would allow a stranger’s alluring telephone voice to lead her out of her clothes and into — you guessed it — a deadly affair. Which, obviously, is not what women really want at all. Object of Obsession: C-