The rock star Brian Walker's Wife is surprised by her husband shagging another woman in the bathroom in a party. Brian asks for divorce, and Brian hires a security company to spy on her to prove that she is unfaithful and has love affairs. The security guard Will Griffith hides a camera in her bedroom and peeps on Nicky having sex with her lover but he hides the truth from Brian. Will protects Nicky from the violent Brian and they have a love affair. Nicky gets a restraint order against Brian and one night he breaks in the house and Will, who has fallen in love with Nicky, kills him with three shots. Will is prosecuted for the death of Brian, and he finds that Brian apparently was not the responsible for the aggressions to Nicky. Will investigates and discovers the truth about the whole case. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Night Eyes, in atmosphere, the quintessence of the erotic thriller genre
The following is a review of the unrated 95-minute version of Night Eyes (1990). This movie has been rated on the basis of how well an erotic thriller it is and not in comparison to other genres.
Soft saxophone on the soundtrack. Dim lighting. Lingerie. Cozy fires. Brandy glasses. Candle-lit dinners. Bubble-baths. Moonlit verandas. Nocturnally made silhouetted ripples cast on the wall by the wind-caressed water from the outdoor pool. This is Night Eyes. It's all about ambiance.
I will briefly offer a synopsis, but the viewer would be missing the entire point of watching the film if he or she is only out looking to be told a story. If you want a plot-driven movie, go look elsewhere.
The good-looking Andrew Stevens (who has one of those handsome mugs you often see on the covers of romance novels) plays Will, a video-surveillance security guard. Tanya Roberts is Nikki, who is in the process of seeking a divorce from her laughingly ugly-haired rock-star husband (is that a wig he's wearing?), a scoundrel named Brian (Warwick Sims). Brian and his lawyer hire Will and his brother to keep a close eye on Nikki, purposely seeing to it that Nikki remains in the luxurious domicile, as apart of a scheme orchestrated by Brian, in the hopes of digging up some dirt on her; namely, of catching her in the act of adultery, via a pervertedly-hidden high-tech camera planted in the vent of the boudoir, aimed at the bed.
There you have it. That's basically it. Not much else happens in the way of story. And yet, if you appreciate mood-music, mood-lighting, of simply drinking in a movie's aura, you won't care about that.
Still, I can only give this movie an average evaluative rating. In the end, the screenplay is just too underwritten; as well, in my opinion the performance of Sims is so egregious, and his character such a nuisance, that his presence here is equatable to a rotten egg in a basket of sweet-smelling flowers.
A quick word on the eye-catching appearance of Tanya Roberts. With Night Eyes the actress is in her prime and has never looked so stunningly beautiful. The hair (perfect length), the creamy complexion, those magnetic blue orbs Roberts in Night Eyes embodies ideal womanliness. Then there is her sexily husky voice. And has any other actress looked as sexy in lingerie than Miss Roberts does here?
The winnowed moments calculated: There are 2 sex scenes, both between Roberts and Stevens. No. 2 is mediocre and takes place on a wicker chair in a sparsely furnished room. No. 1, however, is stellar, a sizzler, and represents a paragon in the art of filming the erotic number. It is outstandingly directed. There is very little camera-work involved. The camera remains pretty much stationary and observes at a perfect distance away from the passionate lovemakers. It is a transcendent sex scene within the genre, that has Roberts atop Stevens on the floor, riding him ever so romantically, surrounded by candle-light.
Night Eyes came out two years before the theatrical releases of Basic Instinct (1992) and Body Of Evidence (1992). In my reading of Nina K. Martin's academic study on the erotic thriller genre, the author brings up a good point. Martin notes how in the latter picture Madonna employs the use of perfused candle-wax upon her lover. Elsewhere in the book she speaks of how sometimes the undervalued DTV erotic thriller is criticized for supposedly borrowing ideas from a mainstream movie; when, in actuality, it is usually the opposite that is true. With that thought in mind, as I watched Night Eyes, and Tanya Roberts' sprinkling of candle-wax atop her lover's chest, it got me to thinking of how very true this observation might be.
Which brings me to all those mouthed sphincters out there who unintelligently charge that most DTV erotic thrillers are "rip-offs" of Body Heat, simply due to the fact that this film was released in 1981 and because '90s erotic thrillers usually have to do with an affair between a man and a woman and contain hot sex scenes. Who knew butt-holes had vocal cords? Using such rear-end logic, I suppose according to these accusers' nominal minds that all Westerns are "rip-offs" of the movie that first introduced a cowboy and a horse? And actioners, why, they're "rip-offs" of the first movie that ever showed a car-chase and exchanged gunfire, right?
Wrong. What asinine bilingualism.
The fact of the matter is, erotic thrillers are only dissed, overlooked and unappreciated as they are, primarily because the professional film critic either trendily marginalizes these pictures or had never reviewed these exceptional films in the first place; not so much out of negligence, but oftentimes and solely because these movies were never theatrically released (the DTVs), partly due to budget constraints.
Had these film critics had the opportunity to review these variously conceived narratives from the '90s, then the erotic thriller right up there in superior artistic entertainment with the indie would undoubtedly, today, be widely known, accepted, and popular with a lot more movie enthusiasts (not that popularity equals quality); as well as properly praised for being one of the better cinematic genres in existence and definitely, alongside softcore, by far the sexiest, too.
There is nothing erotic about hardcore, whatsoever.
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