Written by Russell Lavalle & directed by Gregory Dark (as Gregory Hippolyte), this 1993 movie from Axis Films International stars Nick Cassavetes. Yes, THAT Nick Cassavetes. In a softcore film.
Cassavetes plays Jack Neitsche, an ex-con currently working as a private investigator for an insurance firm. His boss, Ted Quincy (Matt Roe) is an asshole who treats Jack like shit, and keeps threatening to get his parole revoked. As the film begins, Nick is investigating a woman (played by Michele Brin) who is committing insurance fraud by pretending to be handicapped. Jack stakes out her house, and gets pictures of her through an open window not only getting up out of her wheelchair, but also have sex with some dude (whose name I couldn’t find in the credits). Instead of turning the pictures over to Quincy, Jack takes them to the woman and blackmails her for money and sex. So he’s not exactly a nice guy, but he’s the primary character of this film.
Quincy gives Jack a new assignment, to track down a woman named Roxanne (Deborah Shelton). After a search, Jack manages to find her, and discovers that she’s an ex-stripper and prostitute, who is currently married to a mob boss named Tony Falcone (played by Miles O’Keeffe), who abuses her. She also used to have a relationship with Quincy, who is still obsessed with her. Roxanne and Jack begin a sexual relationship, and they begin to plot together. This is where the film gets a bit complicated, but I mean that in a good way. This is a much deeper story than you’d typically expect from a softcore thriller. Jack comes up with a plan with Roxanne for them to get rid of Falcone so they can be together with all of Falcone’s money. But it turns out that Quincy is also plotting with Roxanne to kill Falcone and frame Jack for the murder so that Roxanne and Quincy can be together. While Roxanne is also plotting with Danielle (Courtney Taylor), the woman who runs the brothel that Roxanne used to work at (which is owned by Falcone) to get rid of Falcone, Quincy, and Jack, so that the two women can be together. So we’ve got a double, triple, and quadruple-cross going on here. Who comes out on top? You’ll have to watch it yourself to find out.
The load of the film falls on Cassavetes and Shelton, who carry it very well. Both are very fine actors and are pretty convincing when it comes to the graphic sex scene. They have two full scenes together. And while Shelton’s sex scenes with O’Keeffe and Roe are just implied, she is not shy about baring it all on camera. In addition to his scenes with Shelton and Brin, Cassavetes has a sex scene with Michelle Moffett, who plays a waitress named Kay that Jack knows. Lee Anne Beaman from The Other Woman also has a small role as a secretary at the firm who has a crush on Jack, and tries to seduce him one night, but he declines. It’s a shame we didn’t get a sex scene from her, but she does get topless, so there’s that.
Oh yeah, and Shaft himself, Richard Roundtree, appears as a bartender whom Jack confides in throughout the film. All in all, this is a solid piece of work, with some clever and suspenseful writing, coupled with a great cast and excellent directing. 5 STARS
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Categories: SOFTCORE FILMS