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Pamela Sue Martin, then part of the acting ensemble on TV's "Dynasty", co-wrote, co-produced and stars in this tatty tale of drug addiction. Martin and Steve Railsback are the loving California couple who are ripped apart by cocaine, but Railsback--a somewhat over-eager actor with wildly active eyes and tics--was fundamentally wrong for the role of an "ordinary" man who gets hooked on coke and loses control (the viewer can easily see Railsback was over-wound to begin with). Martin is a strong, dependable actress who should be commended for this attempt to broaden her capabilities, but the film's budget is low and the script, while well-meant, is full of tired clichés (updated clichés for the 1980s). Whatever good will Martin manages to build is mitigated by the pretentious finale, which has to be seen to believed. *1/2 from ****
This movie is so bad it's almost great, on the order of a SHOWGIRLS
type fiasco. I recommend finding a copy in some bargain bin or video
store and inviting a few sarcastic friends over for lots of laughs.
Viewers are supposed to care about the couple (Pamela Sue Martin and
Steve Railsback) but the creep-factor is so high whenever Railsback is
on screen, it's hard not to shiver with repulsion and fear at him. He
looks like he's going to turn into a zombie and eat Pamela Sue's head
off at any moment. There is no way anyone like Pamela Sue's sweet and
innocent character would get involved with the weirdo Railsback plays!
Whoever cast this movie has some 'splainin' to do!
That said, watching the downward spiral of Railsback's character into the drug world is highly entertaining, if only because it brings him into contact with a sweating, primped, slick-haired, and fascinatingly evil Ian McShane. As usual, when McShane is on screen, you cannot take your eyes off him. He plays Railsback's drug contact - and as someone else said - would fit right in as a character in SCARFACE or THE SOPRANOS. He acts everybody out of the water in this one. Mcshane once said he'd 'rather be sh*t in a hit than a hit in sh*t." Unfortunately, he was definitely the latter in TORCHLIGHT!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I only regret that they don't allow negative ratings on here. Here's my
plot spoiler: successful couple, man gets on coke, loses job, does more
coke, loses marriage, house, does more coke, loses everything else,
does more coke, loses everything else else that wasn't in the first
everything else, does more coke... the end. I kept thinking SOMETHING
would happen, but no, I was wrong.
I saw this movie when it first came out, over 20 years ago, and have continuously referred to it as the worst movie ever made. I guess I should really see it again to confirm that I still feel that way all these years later, but I'm not willing to go through that ordeal.
Anyone that had anything to do with this movie should be banned from movies or TV or anything else for life. That is all.
Fairly entertaining, mostly tedious little drama about a man (Steve Railsback) who becomes addicted to cocaine. His wife (Pamela Sue Martin) attempts to help him. Martin is admittedly very good, but the movie itself is only so-so.
I'll agree that the movie is indeed awful, but it nevertheless brought a nostalgic smile when I came across the title as I was looking up some information on Ian McShane now that I have caught up on all the Deadwood episodes but still find myself wanting to see more of him. For the odd reason that a high school coach/health teacher back in the 80's (I'll even confess my real age and tell you I was a grad of '89) somehow thought that Torchlight was an effective cautionary tale to warn us away from the evils of drug use. While I am too mature for such pursuits now that I'm a wise adult and, of course, believe that all youngsters should just say no,I'll observe that the movie has an opposite effect to that the coach intended. Sit through more than fifteen minutes of it, and at the very least you'll require a drinking game tied to Pamela Sue's oh-so-impressive emoting for the cameras to make it through the rest.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is basically a warning to people as to how easy it is to get addicted to freebase cocaine which is the same as crack cocaine. The main star left her hit show to do this movie to help warn people of how devastating this freebase could be to anyone. It can be a little graphic in its portrayal of usage. Looks real to me. Not advisable for cocaine addicts. If you have a loved one who is addicted to cocaine or freebase then this movie will show you just how bad things can get for anyone. You don't have to be a lowlife to get addicted. But you sure will get to be one if you do get addicted. This movie illustrates that in a very compelling way. Just because someone said it was slow doesn't mean that it doesn't make a very valid point.
It was kind of neat having the opportunity to see this movie being filmed on location. At the time I was living in Venice, Ca and just happened to see the live shoots on the way to the beach. It was interesting to see how Pamela Sue Martin was completely done over wig, etc and Charles Railsback also appeared completely different from his most memorable appearance in Helter-Skelter. I still have photos from the filming. I always wonder what ever became of these 2 great actors? The film itself actually creeps the viewer out to see how far drugs can take a person in to a living hell. I wish it would be shown again, its been years since i saw it.
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