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Bruce A. Evans
Ric Roman Waugh
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I stumbled onto this while channel surfing and after sampling a few minutes I didn't want to turn it off. The all-too-familiar love triangle theme is played out with two best friends in high school, torn apart by sultry sexpot and fellow classmate Lily, who'll do anything (and any one) to get her out of this hick town. She bounces back and forth between confident jock Alex and his shy pal Cliff, who's always there to pick up the pieces when Alex lets her down. In spite of the strain Lily puts on their friendship the 2 boys manage to hang through it all - until Alex disappears after a hunting trip with Cliff. When Alex's body is found the police pick up Cliff immediately, as the love triangle was no secret to anyone. Before Cliff's arrest Lily had tried desperately to get him to confess, but to no avail. While almost everything points to Cliff as the culprit, Lily's father should also have been under suspicion, for he had threatened Alex to keep him away from Lily and he's also no slouch with a rifle.
As the shooting was never shown, everyone's in the dark when the murder trial begins, including the audience. Lily's betrayal of gullible Cliff on the witness stand seams to be sealing his fate when he throws his hat in the ring for her yet again and decides to plead guilty to manslaughter to save Lily from further grueling cross-examination on the witness stand. His gallantry earns him 8 years in prison and left me wondering what about the ballistics evidence? The bullet(s) in Alex' body should have pointed to the culprit as the one who's rifle matched the bullets, but such trifles are never mentioned. Thus we never find out for sure who killed Alex, but at least the producers were kind enough to show the terms of Cliff's sentence in the screen credits at the end. And now that the movie's over, who killed Alex? I'm still wondering.
The actors are quite competent and here's a chance to see a very young Christian Slater before he became famous. Tammy Lauren is fetching and believable as the poor "white trash" girl who knows what she's got and how to use it to bring the hormones of teen-aged boys to a boil. As Cliff's attorney for the defense puts it, she thinks she's been spending all her time looking for "L-O-V-E," when the operative word should be "S-E-X." The movies's final scene shows Lily, looking depressed and leaning against the mill where she lured the boys for those "love" trysts. Now she must face her own fate as a pariah, still stuck in this future-less town, knowing she's ruined lives and families. Clearly she's serving out her own sentence, but one feels it isn't long or harsh enough.
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