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Fatal Passion (1995)

4.2
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Ratings: 4.2/10 from 128 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

An artist with a rather unusual art-style literally uses all the men she likes for her artworks. Bodies begin to pile up in abandoned alleyways and the case is handed out to a homicide detective to bring in the artistic serial killer.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lisa Comshaw ...
Rebecca Barlow
...
Adam Baxter
...
Robert Pearlman
Steve Vaughn ...
Tommy
John Higginson ...
Sam
...
Detective Wilder
Cynthia Rothrock ...
Laurel
...
Puron
Brad Lockerman ...
Doctor
Glenn Kelly ...
Detective Cole
...
Nail Man
...
Turbo
Michael Kowal ...
Homerun
Kenn Copenhaver ...
William Miller
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sarah Bellomo
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Storyline

An artist with a rather unusual art-style literally uses all the men she likes for her artworks. Bodies begin to pile up in abandoned alleyways and the case is handed out to a homicide detective to bring in the artistic serial killer.

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Taglines:

She lived for her art. Her lovers died for it. See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, perverse bloody violence, and language
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

8 August 1998 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Dark Red  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director "Gib T. Oidi" a pseudonymn for writer-director T.L. Lankford, attempting to avoid credit. It's also an anagram for "big idiot." See more »

Connections

References Color Me Blood Red (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Art of Murder
6 November 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Despite selling itself as something rather cheap and exploitative, there is actually a lot of heart, and soul to this movie, if you look beyond the dark violence, and blood splatter. "Fatal Passion" is the tale of an damaged artist, Rebecca Barlow(Lisa Comshaw) who combines murder with her works in a most unique way, using the bodies of her victims. However, she soon finds herself developing something of an attraction for a young man, Adam Baxter, and she must come to terms with her past, as Adam tries to save her from her destructive nature, and rescue her humanity.

What I do applaud in this movie, is the understanding of the nature of "modern art," in a way beyond the satirical "Ha, ha, it's a car tyre, and they say that's art" style of most comedians. What art constitutes these days, is savagery, aggression and violence, which makes the point of the film - oh, yes, there is one - all the more poignant. Rebecca's final exhibition of bloodied statues is really a lot more palpable, and less unpleasant than anything Damian Hirst ever exhibited for sure. But, the fact that she can get away, quite literally here, with murder, and get paid for it, is all the more fascinating. The more bloody and perverse her works get, the more they sell. Fantastic? No, it's just modern art, the cult of being unpleasant.

It is a notably cheap work, shot for very little, and visually, rather sparse. Writer/Director T. L. Lankford obviously is ashamed to have his name attached to this, hence his rather savagely ironic pseudonym of "Gib T. Oidi" - an anagram of "Big Idiot." A little harsh, perhaps? What does stand out from its' rather impoverished style, though, is the strength of the story itself, which is simple, pacey, succinct and darkly visceral. The whole thing is a gruesome parade of bloody violence, and rather explicit sex scenes, and yet, it does all come to a refreshing point. There is a lot of charisma in this tiny budgeted thriller, that other "acclaimed" sex/violence movies like "The Girl with the dragon tattoo" totally lack, because, whilst it is rather trading on its' own graphic nature, things do happen for a reason.

Lisa Comshaw, an actress from a rather steamy background herself, as an adult movie star, and fetish model, gives an actually rather strong performance, which is free of all the rubbish you get with big name stars, and in the movie's latter scenes, she comes across as genuinely damaged, and deeply sympathetic, as well as incredibly menacing. There's a great little shot, when a pair of thugs break into her studio, and beat up her brother, and we see her standing in the shadows of the doorway, axe in hand, her dead eyes staring straight ahead. It's a nicely shot moment, which proves that even exploitation actresses can give as good as they've got, in the right situations.

As a weird counterpoint, martial arts phenomenon- not just a title, she really is a good fighter - Cynthia Rothrock appears in a relatively small part as Adam's girlfriend, looking stunning as always, and again, casting aside stereotyping by not having a single action scene in the entire movie. To be honest, I'd be lying if I didn't think that a movie starring a female martial artist, and a cat-fight model, would have a fight scene between the two of them at some point. But, it doesn't. And the story's all the stronger for it.

Lawrence Tierney, the eternal tough guy, plays Rebecca's manager, gruffly and opaquely, and really adds little but someone for Comsahw to bounce off in her scenes. The surprise star of the movie, though, is Steve Vaughn, who plays Rebecca's mentally-damaged brother Tommy, a deeply sympathetic part which he gives his absolute 100% in, and I really felt sorry for him as the movie went on. His damaged state is further useful, because it suggests that Rebecca is just as damaged, only on a far deeper level, and the relationship between the two of them is a nice emotional level to the film, which lends it a lot of heart.

The use of music - Beethoven in this case, although not the "glorious ninth" as heard in "Clockwork Orange" - is effective and rather chilling. The whole thing, is an example of a rare gem, which seems to justify my faith in tiny, zero-budget indie movies, where passion, commitment and ideas shine through, despite a lack of resources. Comshaw's performance was genuinely enthralling, and the confrontation scenes nearer the end were nicely written, and acted by Comshaw and Norcross. The ending is near perfect, intellectually rewarding, rather than opting for a simplistic emotional resolution. It may be difficult to watch, because of its' graphic, and rather sick content in places, but this is definitely a film which deserves a watch.


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