8 user 7 critic

Model by Day (1994)

Lady X is a woman who works during the day as a model but turns into a fighter for justice at night with the help of her karate master Chang.


Christian Duguay


Kevin J. Taylor (characters in book "Model by Day"), Jeph Loeb (as Joseph Loeb III) | 1 more credit »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Famke Janssen ... Lex / Lady X
Stephen Shellen ... Lt. Eddie Walker
Clark Johnson ... Master Chang
Traci Lind ... Jae
Kim Coates ... Tommy Nolan
Nigel Bennett ... Nicholai
Von Flores ... Johnny Lee
David Hemblen ... Captain
Shannon Tweed ... Shannon
Sean Young ... Mercedes
Louis Di Bianco ... Yuri
Henriette Ivanans ... Assistant
Jefferson Mappin ... Adam
Santino Buda Santino Buda ... Franco
Tony De Santis ... Erickson


Lady X is a woman who works during the day as a model but turns into a fighter for justice at night with the help of her karate master Chang.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for nudity and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Joan Severance was originally cast in the lead role. See more »


References Basic Instinct (1992) See more »


Falling in Love with You
performed by Prince Michael Oliviere, Diana Eljabri and Chris Rouse
written by Prince Michael Oliviere, Diana Eljabri, Mischke Butler and Chris Rouse
©1992 First Class D.E.M.O. Publishing/ EMI April Music (Canada) Ltd.
Published 1992 D.E.M.O. Productions
See more »

User Reviews

This silly superhero fantasy is predictable on the surface, but the fun is in the details.
25 June 2013 | by skrasnaSee all my reviews

Perhaps it's because I started watching this right after finishing Donald G. Jackson's "Yin Yang Insane" (possibly the most unwatchable film I've encountered thus far), but I actually found this schlocky Famke Janssen superhero flick rather enjoyable. Janssen stars as Lex, a mega-famous supermodel/tae kwon do blackbelt who starts dishing out vigilante justice after a model friend gets carjacked in the park by a couple of Canadian thugs. Lex, donning an outfit that looks like if The Phantom was kinda kinky, becomes Lady X by night, delivering flurries of high-kicks to mustachioed minions of evil. Basically every superhero cliché ensues: Lex falls for the lieutenant assigned to tracking down Lady X; Lady X is framed by a copycat; mobsters want her dead; etc, but that doesn't really hinder the fun. For one thing, the art direction by Linda del Rosario and Richard Paris is really fantastic, featuring all sorts of early-90s (late-)postmodern / post-Memphis design quirks, so if you love postmodern design in films this is a pretty good one to check out. I especially loved Lex's apartment with the freestanding glass shelves, curly red accent chairs and wacky sculptures. Somewhat later in the film is an action piece that takes place in a dim sum restaurant that seems to be doubling as a warehouse for over-sized carnival decorations. It's the type of place the Joker would lure Batman to for a particularly creepy showdown. There's also a really great club scene featuring lots of chain-link fences (you always see this in movie clubs, but never in real life!), chandeliers, strobe-lights, and flaming cars.... yep! They are using flaming cars as ambient lighting. Definitely one of the most insane clubs I've ever seen in a movie. Additionally, there is one quick scene where Lex visits a friend in the hospital, and the room is conspicuously all-white, employing that creepy variety of post-modern design usually relegated to dream sequences and the like. I unfortunately can't think of another good cinematic example (maybe Closet Land?), but I like this somewhat rare aesthetic and wish the scene went on longer.

Being a film set in the world of fashion, there are some good wacky outfits too. Maybe a little underwhelming considering how wild they could have gotten, but Sean Young in particular rocks two crazy get-ups during the film. I actually can't remember the point of her character (plot-wise) but her wardrobe is memorable.

Besides being visually exciting, the music is charming too, especially if you have a soft-spot for really cornball early-90s music like I do. The club scene features a Flamenco-infused Euro-house jam, for example. There's a slightly Balearic track during a ridiculous scene in Beirut (which is derailed by a belligerent German tourist). Other songs feature pan-flutes. You get the idea.

Another reason this film is fun is because although it is set in New York, it was filmed in Toronto. As someone who loves goofy action and sci-fi movies from the 80s and 90s, I've developed a bizarre taste for Canadian-shot films. (For a good primer on these, check out Roddy Piper's films, or anything featuring the Twin Dragons.) I'm not sure if it's just the movies I'm watching, but Toronto seems to have a wealth of fun postmodern architecture (check out the background of Lex's date scene). The best parts of Canadian films are the villains and the extras. Unlike the intense, musclebound American heavies that hang around villains' lairs in, say, NYC, Canadian heavies are typically short, stocky middle-aged men with bad haircuts and facial hair. Not really strong-looking, just sorta thick. Hockey fans, I guess. Canadian street thugs also crack me up. They always have perfect grammar and no accents. Whenever they deliver profanity it always sounds forced, so you can tell they were probably raised in nice polite Canadian families.

I suppose I'll also mention the T&A which many other reviewers seem to latch onto immediately. There is no shortage of attractive women in the film, but much of the actual nudity seemed a bit out of place, and thus the film does teeter queasily between vaguely feminist (in a moderate-yet-butt-kicking kinda way) and all-out lecherous. It's the kind of film that could have been PG were it not for scenes randomly taking place in changing rooms. Still, it's not the kind of "let's discuss this in the hot tub" variety of titillation found in lesser films. So, in summary, if you are expecting The Dark Knight or something, you'll be sorely disappointed, but this silly, colorful romp should appease random VHS collectors, "bad movie" enthusiasts and design dorks.

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Canada | USA


English | Russian

Release Date:

21 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Modelo See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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