|Index||7 reviews in total|
The lawyer Thelma "T.K." Knudsen Katwuller (Barbara Hershey) is having
a love affair with her client Steven Seldes (J.T. Walsh) that is
accused of making under-age porn movies through the Blue Screen
Production. When T.K. meets her old college friend Ellie Seldes (Mary
Beth Hurt), she finds that she is Steven's wife and Ellie invites T.K.
to have dinner with her family at her home. T.K. decides to break-up
with Steven and he asks her to meet him in his office. While waiting
for Steven, T.K. finds that he owns the Blue Screen Production and had
lied to her. When Steven arrives in the office, T.K. fights with him
and stabs him in self- protection. On the next morning, Ellie is
arrested is accused of murdering her husband and Ellie hires T.K. to
defend her. T.K. believes that the killer is the violent father of a
teenager the made a porn movie produced by Steven, but Detective Beutel
(Sam Shepard) feels that something is missing in the case.
"Defenseless" is one of my favorite thrillers from the early 90's. I have just watched it today on DVD, maybe for the third or fourth time, and I still like this underrated film. The plot has many twists, and Barbara Hershey and Sam Shepard are in the top of their careers. The 27 year-old Kellie Overbey is convincing in the role of an abused teenager. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "Sem Defesa" ("Defenseless")
Not a bad little thriller. Sure, there are some plot holes. But the production values are decent, nothing to complain about with the direction or photography. The cast did a pretty decent job with mediocre material. I rented the DVD and found that some scenes had been cut. One of the previous commentators mentioned a scene that was not in my version. Plus, there were two brief topless scenes by Kelley Overbey that were not in this version. I like gratuitous nudity as much as the next guy, but these cuts hurt the film. One wasn't totally necessary, but definitely falls into the category of character development. The other scene was major plot exposition, and the film suffered badly for its loss. IMDb doesn't have an age for Miss Overbey, and I wonder if she may not have been eighteen at the time. That's the only reason I can think of for cutting this film into incoherence for the DVD release. Too bad.
Police try to solve the murder of a businessman. Unknown to them, the man's attorney is implicated and, of course, she wants to keep her involvement secret. This leads to the wrong person being charged, causing the lawyer to go looking for the real culprit. Good mystery with lots of action and tense drama.
This films opening scene takes place with a young girl cheerleader entering the mens locker room which turns out to be a porno film being produced. The story gets very complicated with murder and romance and the web of mystery keeps you spellbound through out the entire picture. Barbara Hershey(Thelma T.K. Knudsen),"Lantana",'01, is a lawyer who falls in love with a married man and gets deeply involved with his family and finds out that her best friend is married to him. There is a fight and the ice cubes seem to fly all over the place, besides blood in the mens bathroom which becomes a complete mess. There is even a fight in an elevator shaft and Sam Shepard (Detective Beutel),"Blind Horizon,",'04, comes to Thelma's assistance. Beutel is madly in love with Thelma but suspects her of not telling the truth about what is going on and feels she is becoming a number one suspect. This is a very enjoyable film worth viewing.
**SPOILERS** Extremely complicated and convoluted murder drama that
keeps getting more and more confusing as it moves along. Barbara
Hershey is an overly hysterical defense attorney Thelma T.K Knudsen
Katwuller,which shows you never to trust anyone with more then two
names,involved in the murder of her lover Steven Seldes, J.T. Walsh,
but first ends up defending the deceased wife Ellie, Mary Beth Hunt, a
long time and collage friend of T.K.
T.K is actually Steven's attorney in a case where a piece of property that he owns that's involved in producing kiddie porn flicks. The father of a 14 year old girl Cindy (Christine Elise) Sherman Bodeck, George P. Wilber, has been driven into a psychotic fit on finding out about his daughter being in porno flicks, that was filmed at a warehouse that Steven owns. Bodek is involved in a number of brutal beating of the film company's employees,who were involved with his daughter. One of Bodeck's victims is one of Cindy's adult co-star someone named Weinstein, Jay O. Sanders, who end's up hospitalized with his most precious and useful possession, that he needs to be a success with women in and out of the porno business, badly damaged.
T.K herself has been having an affair with the ruggedly handsome Steven not knowing that he's married to Ellie. Later going to see him about business at his office T.K finds a stack of porno magazines hidden in his, Stevens, drawer she goes bananas. T.K attacks the startled Steven and slashes him with a envelope knife breaking his nose and then taking off into the night, leaving him badly bleeding and in a somewhat state of shock. Later when she recovered, and realizing that she left her car keys in Steven's office, T.K goes back only to find Steven slumped in the mens bathroom stall dead with 18 stab wounds on his face and chest.
It turns out that all the evidence in Steven's murder points to his wife, not T.K, and she's soon arrested for his murder which makes you wonder what you've been seeing! It's not until very late in the movie that all the facts are somehow fit together. This after a number of major suspects in Stevens' death, besides T.K, are eliminated one way or another as suspects.
The movie then starts to focuses in on Steven's strange and kinky sex life mostly with young under-aged girls that he gleefully video taped that included his 15 year-old daughter Jenna, Kellie Overby. It becomes evident that Jenna's mother, and Steven's wife, Ellie had a good reason to do in the no good lousy pervert. All this lead to her then being found innocent in his murder by a court of law which made the the reason for her being AGAIN arrested, which Ellie later was, and tried for his murder a moot point; one can't be tried twice for the same crime!
There's also in the movie Det. Beutel, Sam Shepard, the cool as a cucumber cop who's so detached from the movie that he seems to be totally unaware of what's happening. Even after he's almost killed by a crazed and out of control Sherman Bodeck who end's up jumping to his death down an elevator shaft.
The evidence, in the movie, connecting the killer to his victim was very hard to swallow but that being the only reason for his death you had to accept it no matter how illogical it was! In fact it was that very same evidence of motive and difference in size between the killer and victim that found the person on trial for Steven's murder innocent! Which in the end was what proved him, or her, to be guilty! Go and figure that one out.
Technically well-made but ordinary, unremarkable little mystery thriller. The script tries for ambiguity and succeeds most of the way, but ultimately goes for the predictable resolution. Martin Campbell's direction shows care and knowledge of the genre, but lacks style and seems mostly by-the-numbers. Barbara Hershey, although somewhat aging, still shines, and Walsh, Hurt and the actor who plays the brutal, deranged father offer excellent supporting work. But Sam Shepard just looks bored and disinterested. (**)
This is not a bad little thriller complete with spooky garages and a scary fall down the elevator shaft scene although it's sometimes hard to figure out just who is who. The plot has many murky twists and turns (although I imagine the continuity suffered in being cut for television.) Nor do I understand why our lawyer/lover drives a beat up Karmann-Ghia. But this is obviously one of those films that took handouts from big tobacco. Everybody smokes everywhere. The good guys smoke. The bad guys smoke. The good guys who turn out to be bad guys smoke. The bad guys who turn out to be good guys smoke. The cops smoke. I'm surprised the judge and the jury didn't light up. The whole damn film is one big choking cloud of smelly blue smoke. Because of that I knocked my rating down two points.
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