|Index||3 reviews in total|
Unrated version reviewed - Shannon Whirry is the soft-core world's
answer to Christy Canyon. The similarities are eerie. They both have
long thick reddish hair, they're both left-handed, and they both have
those big natural assets, although Christy's are sadly sinking. I'd
follow Shannon anywhere she'd go, and this leads to this engrossing
film from 1995.
Whirry plays Emanuelle Griffith, a supermodel who is also a woman's rights leader. She just wants a 50/50 split for the two sexes in everything. A man named Richard (Michael Christian) is obsessed and repulsed by her, and this leads to him kidnapping her and holding her hostage in his house, where he tries to brainwash her with his views and to break her will by making her a prisoner, with no water, light, or food. And so, a psychological game of cat-and-mouse goes on between them, while the police tries to look for her in a ridiculously pathetic style with movie heavy Bo Swenson playing the hapless detective trying to find a lead on her; all the while Emanuelle is drinking toilet water to quench her thirst.
Whirry delivers a good performance and delivers her goods in terrific fashion, especially in a concocted escape attempt in which she seduces Richard with a striptease and lovemaking. Michael Christian is sinister, although it seems as if his voice is dubbed. Rip "Confetti Lover" Taylor makes a cameo as a travel agent who describes a trip to Tahiti like it was making love; I don't know why Richard would go on a trip when he's kidnapped someone. Not a bad film, you'll want to see this one to the end. Shannon Whirry rules.
I realize Shannon Whirry was the main draw for "Private Obsession," but
it was the director, the late Lee Frost, who was my reason for seeking
this title out. Frost directed some of the grittiest and meanest
grindhouse movies in the 1960s ("The Defilers," "Hot Spur," "The
Pick-Up") and some of the more entertaining drive-in movies of the
1970s ("Dixie Dynamite," "Black Gestapo"). Even his hardcore films
(most notably "Climax of Blue Power") were a notch above the usual
But the fast-paced narratives, brutal violence and gritty style of Frost's earlier work isn't found in "Private Obsession," his last movie. Instead, it's just another humdrum direct-to-video erotic thriller, only it's not even that good. The story--about a psychotic male chauvinist (Michael Christian) obsessed with a famous fashion model/feminist icon(!)--should have been right up Frost's alley. After all, it's just a '90s update of "The Defilers." But his heart just doesn't appear to be in it this time. Even though Whirry's character is kidnapped and held against her will, there's no real tension or suspense. The torments inflicted on her are the equivalent of a bratty little kid locking his babysitter out of the house. The script, written by Frost, often meanders, with story points that appear made up on the spot, like when Christian's character inexplicably books a trip with a gay travel agent (Rip Taylor) to the Caribbean. I don't begrudge Taylor getting work, but his scene could have -- no, make that *should* have-- been left on the cutting room floor.
If Michael Christian's name rings a bell, he was titular Eddie in the notorious "Poor Pretty Eddie." In that movie he managed to be goofy, creepy and menacing. In "Private Obsession" he's just goofy (and 25 pounds heavier) playing the role as if it were written for William Shatner at his most desperate. As for Whirry, she's OK if a bit shrill at times, but most viewers won't be concerned about her acting. Though she gets topless periodically throughout the movie, the softcore action doesn't happen until the movie's final third. It really isn't worth the wait.
It's a shame that Lee Frost's last movie was this forgettable thriller. Other than its misogynistic attitude and the director appearing in a small role as a bumbling investigator, there's really nothing that distinguishes this as having been directed by Frost at all.
This movie wants to be thrilling, but it falls so woefully short that you wonder why they even bothered making it. Shannon Whirry's character is kidnapped within the first 10 minutes, and the first two-thirds of the movie is spent with her locked in the basement, with her captor alternately taunting her and roaming through the town, and Whirry's clothes staying ON! (Unlike so many erotic thrillers with nudity before the opening credits have ended, this one makes you wait, and wait, and wait.....) The ending comes as no surprise, making the entire affair a waste of 90 minutes. If you want to see more of Shannon Whirry, watch Lady In Waiting instead.
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