SOFTCORE FILMS

NIGHT FIRE

6733616

Directed by Mike Sedan, who co-wrote the script with Helen Haxton and Catherine Tavel, Shannon Tweed and John Laughlin star as Lydia and Barry a married couple. Lydia is a rich businesswoman and it’s not clear what Barry does. What is clear is that Barry wants more sexual excitement from Lydia, but she’s always too wrapped up in her work. They have a large and remote house in the countryside and plan to spend a weekend there alone (sending the maid, played by Alma Beltran, home) so they can reconnect. But when Lydia is still on the phone doing business, Barry gets upset and cuts all the phone lines so that they can’t contact anyone else. This is supposed to force them to have to spend time with each other. Then Gwen (Rochelle Swanson) and Cal (Martin Hewitt) show up, saying that their car broke down on the road. Since they can’t use the phone to call for help, Barry invites them to stay the weekend with them. Gwen and Cal are much more sexually open and, as we soon find out, they were actually hired by Barry to come for the weekend in the hopes that by seeing them having sex that would turn Lydia on and encourage her to be more open, possibly even swap with the other couple.

So right there, as a premise for an erotic film that’s actually pretty good. Two couples spending time together, the more repressed couple learning from the more adventurous couple, that reminds me of the episode “Truth or Dare” from The Best Sex Ever Season 1. Unfortunately it doesn’t stay within that premise. Like a lot of these erotic thrillers from the early 90’s there’s a violent turn. Barry actually wants to kill Lydia (presumably to inherit her fortune) and frame Gwen and Cal for the crime. And the problem is that this film makes no attempt to keep his intentions a secret, therefor there’s no surprise when it’s revealed. From the very first time we see Barry and Lydia on screen, Barry is putting a gun to her head while she sleeps. He pulls the trigger but it’s empty. In their further sexual interactions he tends to get violent, including tying her to the bed and cutting her shirt off with a knife, and holding her head underwater while they’re in the pool, all under the guise of “just playing”. You wonder why the heck she hasn’t gotten away from that psycho much sooner. As for Gwen and Cal they’re also a couple of obvious psychos. The first time we see them they’re beating and robbing another couple (Lisa Welch and Jeff Carlson) in an alley and stealing their car. As they drive out to the country they drive erratically taunting other drivers, with Gwen standing up in the car to flash her breasts and ass (not that I’m complaining).

So before the big climactic final act, which involves running and shooting in the dark, we get several sexualized scenes, but they never really follow through on them. We see Gwen stripping for Cal in the guest room, then later we see them in the bathtub together, and Gwen gets topless a few more times in the film. There are two times when we see a full sex scene, each couple together, but they’re both filmed in the dark, so we can’t really see anything but shadows. And we get one brief scene of Lydia naked in the shower.

The actors are all great here, It’s pretty much a 4-person film with Tweed, Laughlin, Swanson, and Hewitt in the majority of the scenes, and they play their roles well. But despite having the two of the most drop-dead gorgeous actresses to ever star in erotic films, it’s not quite erotic enough to be a turn-on nor suspenseful enough to be dramatic. It’s just pretty average. THREE STARS

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