Supermodel Vicki Lynn, whose face is seen everywhere, is murdered, and ace homicide cop Ed Cornell cuts his vacation short to take the case personally. In flashback we see how Vicki rose from ambitious waitress to big black headlines, courtesy of clever publicity man Steve Christopher. Now Cornell seems determined to get Christopher convicted in what begins to seem like a bizarre personal vendetta. Is Steve caught like a rat in a trap? Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"I Wake Up Screaming" is a weird, gaudy, creepy movie. One might call it one of a kind. But it is, in fact, not: "Vicki" is a remake. There are some differences in the storyline but it's different primarily because of casting: It's creative and bizarre in the original and pretty generic in the remake.
Carole Landis and Betty Grable have an authentically pulp look in "Wake." Jeanne Crain and Jean Peters look like sisters. They're both pretty but bland looking. Richard Boone is in the Laird Creger role. He's odd looking, to be sure. He refers to the man who brought the murdered girl from waitress to glamorous star as "pretty boy." He's prettier than Boone (who was a fine actor) but he's nothing special. His lack of color is at the heart of "Vicki's" failure.
Alexander D'Arcy looks great as the actor who also had a thing for Vicki. It's amazing that well over ten years earlier he'd played Irene vocal coach in the sublime "The Awful Truth."
Aaron Spelling (yes, THE Aaron Spelling) is effective and noirish as the whacked-out desk clerk at Vicki's apartment building. But when it comes to whacked-out, no one can top Elisha Cook, Jr., who played this role in the original.
The main problem is that anyone who's seen "I Wake Up Screaming" will know exactly what is going to happen in "Vicki." If anyone reading this happens to want to watch "Vicki" but hasn't yet seen "wake" -- please, watch the first one first.
Both have marvelously tawdry opening credits. "I Wake Up Screaming" has the better ones but "Vicki" is right in there. It's beautifully photographed by Milton Krasner.
I can't even say it's disappointing. What it does it does well enough. Surpassing the original would have taken a miracle.
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