Up Against Amanda (2000) Poster

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Gets better and better...
ScreenDreams19 August 2003
As one other IMDB reviewer has remarked, this movie starts a bit slow, but gets considerably better as it goes along. Yes, it is released by Roger Corman, and yes, it goes over some of the same thematic ground as much higher budget predecessors such as FATAL ATTRACTION and POISON IVY. However, the juxtapositioning of the wife's career as a rising blues singer against the husband's gathering loneliness and his almost Freudian need for filling the emotional and physical "void" or "hole" while she's away along with the clever use of minimal effects and settings is nicely done. Utilizing a very small number of locations and characters, and also using water in almost every scene both as a cleansing and drowning metaphorical symbol throughout, this movie, though clearly suffering from a minuscule budget, reminds me in many ways of the more fully realized and more recent scenario, namely the French film "SWIMMING POOL" which it seems to me at least may have borrowed liberally some useful ideas from "UP AGAINST AMANDA." With a smaller tool set, UP AGAINST AMANDA maintains its suspense with a rudimentary, fatalistic view of surrendering to ones occasional lustful temptations, but accomplishes this as well or better as other films in this genre. The twist of the stepfather abuse of Amanda in the past (again, very Freudian) is also very unique in this genre and interesting. I agree with other viewers about the unexpected and sympathetic reaction for Amanda's plight this aspect of the story elicits. The cast is excellent I think.
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Suspenseful and fun
MovieLooker7 October 2000
I saw this movie when it first came out. It was an official selection for the Temecula Valley International Film Festival and I voted for it for best picture.

Justine Priestley is hot as the psychotic, but complex Amanda. This is not your ordinary psycho movie. Lots of interesting and original slants on the genre. Sort of a "Fatal Attraction" for the younger set with some great blues music mixed in as the object of Amanda's affection is married to an up and coming blues singer who has less time for her husband as her career takes off.
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One little mistake can lead to hell...
scoobson4 November 2002
So another crazed stalker movie arrives. Well, this one gives some background explanation at least for the demented behavior of its titled villain, AMANDA, played convincingly by Justine Priestley. If fact, despite the low budget and Roger Corman as distributor (apparently he picked this up after it was chosen by some lesser known festivals) the credits on this are actually pretty good. Acting is pretty good and behind the scenes directing, music, etc., much more nuanced than your average slap it together Corman pic. Not for everyone. Budget limitations obvious, but makes the most of its limited scope in fairness.

Hope to see more of Priestley, rest of cast and curious to see what filmmakers do next.
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Interesting Slant on Obsessed Lover Genre
Love2U24 March 2002
This movie was released by Roger Corman, so you know that the filmmakers didn't have much money to work with.

Although, some viewers may miss the subtleties in this movie because of the very typical "obsessed killer" type marketing approach, there are unique differences about this movie.

AMANDA, as played by the obviously talented Justine Priestley, is a complex character. Some people like these movies precisely because the violence can seem random, but here the ramifications of past abuse (dealt with in a realistic but tasteful manner) are what shape the psychosis of AMANDA. Surprisingly, Amanda redeems herself at the end with an act of love, where most of these movies turn into the typical, all out fight to the death and the evil character dies just as evil in the end as to begin with.

Some rough edges in this picture, but I have to give it 7 out of 10 stars based on its thoughtfulness and yes, originality as compared to the usual -- especially on a budget.
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Your Typical "Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned" Thriller.
BigHardcoreRed7 March 2005
Up Against Amanda is your typical "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" movie. Amanda (Justine Priestley) was an abused child by her sexually deviant step-father. Eventually, she ended up institutionalized, where she ended up being abused by a sexually deviant doctor. The doctor, named Dr. Arnold (John Alan Richards), arranged to have Amanda released in exchange for a few "favors", which would continue forever. Amanda is forced to get the evil doctor out of the way in order to have an ordinary life. She falls for her neighbor, Richard (David DeWitt), who is having problems due to his wife touring on the road with no end in site.

Amanda continues to work on seducing Richard, knowing he is having problems and preys on his weaknesses. After getting him drunk, she turns it up a notch in the hot tub and finally gets Richard to give in, which was not a good move on his part. He finds that this was not a normal one-night-stand, as Amanda was willing to exploit it and him to get what she wanted, which was to take him away from his wife, Laurie (Karen Grosso).

Justine Priestley reminds me of Jaime Pressley in a way. She was beautiful, stunning at times, but her acting was a little off when she had to do the crazy bit. She had a hint of humor during her first few murders but lacked something overall. She was not all that bad, just not great. I would not hesitate to watch something she stars in again.

David DeWitt played Richard Pierce all right, but he seemed like a bit of a wimp. I did not buy the fact that he was this semi-macho guy and he runs like a girl from Amanda, especially without really knowing what she was truly capable of.

This movie was pretty much in the middle of the road. Definitely something for a rainy day or when you are bored out of your mind. Don't expect anything new and hopefully, you will not figure out where the movie is going to end up after the first 5 minutes or so. 5/10
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So bad it's good!
Xapora15 May 2004
This really is quite a tacky movie but it can be forgiven its foibles thanks to a few redeeming features. Justine Priestley is beautiful so all the boys will love seeing her strut around in next to nothing. And hey girls, need hairstyle ideas for your prom? Look no further. The hairstylist on this movie had a field day; Amanda sports an elaborate new hair-do in practically every scene. Amanda is also quite an ingenious little thing. She gives MacGyver a run for his money with a bit of break & enter followed by the installation of fibre optics in a roof. She has gadgets galore (scanner, model dressed like her attached to a light timer, TV hooked up to David's house watching his every move) and a great line she shoots at Buzz when he complains about second-hand smoke: "It's not the smoke that kills you, it's the smoker". Ah Buzz, second-hand smoke is the LEAST of your worries! This was never gonna be an Oscar winner. It's a cheap little "thriller" with a few (unintentional) laughs and Justine is fantastic as the evil bitch posing as the All-American girl-next-door. What guy could say "No" to this babe? David certainly couldn't and ... well, you can guess the rest. 2/5 stars (for effort).
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Gripping Thriller!
JohnHowardReid11 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'm amazed this movie received so many bad reviews. I thought the film was extremely gripping and so well made that the fact it was put together on a small budget, didn't even occur to me! The script was tight, the situations both really believable and highly suspenseful, and the acting simply superb. I will admit that all the players were unknown to me. So, for me, they were all fresh faces. I found all but one of the actors thoroughly convincing. And the actor I thought was just a little too grotesque, had such a small (if essential) part that it didn't really matter. Super sexy Justine Priestley delivered a gripping, totally charismatic performance in the title role, while David De Witt was also most believable as Amanda's "victim". I thought writer/director Michael Rissi did a marvelous job, not only with the players but with the script. The way he built up suspense was simply brilliant! Available on an excellent New Concorde DVD. (Although this fact is not mentioned on the cover, the movie's DVD has excellent Spanish sub-titles).
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So, so bad...
arson837 November 2003
I got this movie because I worked at a movie store so I got free rentals. It came in, and the cover made it look alright. Hot chick, carrying a weapon, alright, I'll check it out.

Oh man, bad move. This was so horrible, I spent half the movie watching in fast-forward to get to the nudity, which was minimal. I think MAYBE three scenes of partial nudity.

Cheesy dialogue, crappy violence, poor excuses of characters. I feel bad putting this movie down, because I know it was made on a cheap budget, but so was "Clerks" and it became a cult classic and a franchise.

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Good movie..poorly made
roxannebabyy16 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
It was extremely low budget(it some scenes it looks like they recorded with a home video recorder). However it does have a good plot line, and its easy to follow. 8 years after shooting her sexually abusive step father Amanda is released from the psychiatric ward, with the help of her doctor who she is secretly having an affair with. The doctor ends up renting her a house and buying her a car. But within the first 20 minutes of the movie Amanda kills him and buries him in her backyard. Then she see's her neighbor Richard sets eyes on him and stops at nothing until she has him. She acts innocent but after another neighbor Buzz finds out that Amanda killed that doctor and attempted to kill Richards wife Laurie (this is after Amanda and him get it on in the hot tub). Then she stops acting so Innocent and kills Buzz and later on attempts to kill Richard whom she supposedly loves and cares for. And you'll have to rent the movie to find out if Amanda dies or not. Overall good movie, reminds me a lot of my life you know the whole falling for the neighbor and stopping at nothing until you have him part.
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Landlady ripoff
KHayes66622 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
For the record, this film is intriguing but its hardly original. Back in 1998 a movie starring Talia Shire called The Landlady had almost the exact same plot but with younger characters.

The story is Amanda Lear has had a bad life, abusive father, horny doctor, mental homes, etc. She's finally released from the happy home under the guidance of her perverted doctor...who she anally abuses and kills the poor guy. (now THAT was original) The doctor had financed a mansion for her before she killed him and buried the sucker in the backyard. After moving in she falls in love with a stud named Richard, who just happens to be married to a blues singer. If you've seen The Landlady you know the rest, she kills or tries to kill anyone that gets in between her and Richard (including a roadie).

Much of the idea's came from the previous movie, same idiot sidekick that sticks his nose in, same spying on the guy with a bowl of popcorn, same flying a bodypress. It did have some original material, the beer bottle thing was brutal. The highlight of the movie was Amanda's beautiful breasts in the hot-top scene. Somewhat of a ripoff but not a total waste of time.

4 out of 10
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Slow starter
keesboog20 July 2003
I didn't like this movie I must admit. Actually I really don't understand how I managed to keep awake during the flick.

I know it's low budget, but the cinematics are so annoying, even 'the bold and the beautiful' has better cameraviews. That's what the entire movie reminded me of: one big soapopera.

The acting was not really that bad though. I liked the Buzz character. But the main guy... please don't offer him a job again, unless he improves of course.

The two things that did keep me watching: - the music. Very nice blues style. - the sickness of Amanda. The ending is nicely done. I actually felt sorry for her at that point.

I won't watch it again. Unless the very gorgeous Justine Priestly threatens me to :) i'd be happy to oblige.

4 / 10

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