Heart of Stone (2001)
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Oh well give it a try but only if it's on cable. Don't waste a single dollar on this.
Right out the gate, the audio quality of this motion picture is garbage. Given the technology available in 2001, forget about today, that's a totally inexcusable flaw. The soundtrack is clear but all the dialog is muddy and muddled, like the actors are talking through a thick cloth. How did someone not notice that after the first day on set? Was the sound guy connected to the mob or something? It's so bad that having a bunch of Welsh street urchins redub everyone's lines would have been an improvement.
Mary Sanders (Angie Everhart) is married to a rich, impotent doctor (Peter J. Lucas ) and has a daughter (Tracy Ovist) just heading off to college. Mary becomes the obsession of a clearly disturbed man (James Wilder) who seduces her once and then refuses to leave her alone. Meanwhile, a serial killer is slaying young co-eds in an inexplicably involved manner. He kidnaps them, lets them think they've escaped and then slays them. The killer is being pursued by an even more inexplicable quartet of cops. I mean, I understand the two lead cops (Gregor Toerzs and Joel Bissonnette). I don't understand why you'd ever cast someone with Gregor Toerzs' German accent in this kind of role, but if you've got a murder it only makes sense to have the police show up in the story. But why are there two more cops (Scott Mckinlay and Vince Marinelli)? They're in several scenes. They've even got actual names that are spoken aloud. But they are completely superfluous. Heart of Stone was never going to be, you know, good or anything, but the first thing anyone with half a brain would have done after reading the script once is eliminate those two extra, awkward and unnecessary roles.
The authorities come to suspect Mary's stalker of being the killer, so he coerces her into providing him with an alibi. Mary tries to get him to back off by sending her husband's most inexplicable brother (John Duerler) to rough him up. I say "most inexplicable" because Peter J. Lucas has an unmistakable European accent. It's not quite as bad as Toerzs', but there's no way he can pass for your average American. John Duerler has no accent at all and there's no effort made to explain the difference. I first I thought the relationship was that Mary was sister to the wife of Duerler's character, but that wasn't it. Forget about the fact that Lucas and Duerler look about as much alike as Dick Cheney and Kanye West. Forget about the fact their characters have as much in common as Mr. Rogers and Jack the Ripper. How in the name of Mel Blanc did these filmmakers not at least tell Duerler to cop some sort of accent like Lucas'?
Anyway, the attempt to scare him off fails and Mary's stalker winds up kidnapping her daughter. The cops uncover evidence that the killer is the stalker and rush in to save the day. But wait! Can you believe the killer is someone else? Clearly, the folks who made Heart of Stone believed they were really throwing the audience a curve with that one but they were sadly, pathetically wrong. Your average house fly could figure out who the killer is before this film is 15 minutes old.
There are a couple of naked boobs here and Wilder does an okay job with a horribly written part. That's all Heart of Stone has going for it. From atrocious sound to hideous plotting to camera work so amateurish it looks like they could only afford to do one take and had to use it no matter how bad it was, "thoroughgoing disaster" is too kind for this film. Don't even think about watching it.
Despite this it could still be at least a semi-decent film.
But it isn't.
This film is a real insult to an intelligent viewer. The whole plot is idiotic, the so-planned twists are not only foreseeable but totally unlikely as well. Most of the acting is pretty darn wooden, the only exception being those of Everheart's and Wilder's. The audio is terrible, luckily on the DVD there was a very clear foreign language dubbing available so choosing that I understood more. Interestingly the score was quite decent, maybe the best of all departments. Lame, lame cops; lame storytelling, lame victim behavior (doing _nothing_ of what you should do), lame everything.
So many idiotic moments that if you have seen at least 30 thrillers/suspense movies in your life and if you have an IQ above 100 and at least some expectations for a movie to deliver, than you will be scratching and shaking your head so many times that it won't even make a good enough, forgettable popcorn movie.
It's not the worst film of the world, maybe it was the worst of 2001. What makes it more unbearable for me that even with a 2 million dollar budget and the score it has, and also the two main character's acting it could have been a decent, a real 6 or 7 film given a better screenplay.
All in all I give it 3 for the score and for Angie's and Wilder's role. Oh, and for the boobies. If you have nothing better to watch this might fill the void but if you do have expectations it will upset you more than entertain.
Similar in vein to David DeCoteau's sexy/horror films with the acting on the same level. Most of the acting is mediocre, EXCEPT James Wilder who delivers a really convincing stalker performance. It seems he was the only one that cared about their performance in this film. You know who the victims are going to be so there is no guesswork there. Do not rent this for an intellectual thriller, you will be disappointed. Even so, this is a good popcorn movie for an afternoon's entertainment.