Over The Wire

over the wire

Written by Pete Slate and directed by Fred Olen Ray (under the name Nicholas Medina) this 1996 film stars David Christensen as a telephone lineman named Bruce. We see that while working on telephone polls he’s able to listen in on private phone calls, and one day he hears a phone call between a woman and a man where the woman is hiring the man to kill her sister. He traces the phone number and tries to alert the police but, for some reason, no one takes him seriously, they say it’s probably just a prank or maybe he heard it wrong, and tell him to drop it. But Bruce can’t let it go, he’s worried that a woman is going to get killed if he doesn’t do something, so he goes to the house where the call came from. It’s a large mansion where two sisters, Susan and Rachel, played by Landon Hall and Shauna O’Brien live together. They inherited it from their parents. He tells them about what he heard, but they both deny that either of them made the call and think he’s just some random weirdo.

Of course, realistically, that should be the end of it. Bruce did all he could, he warned them, so he should get on with his life. But he can’t get over it, and tries to get to know the women more so he can find out what’s going on. And that’s pretty much the premise of the rest of the film. The sisters do have a large inheritance coming to them, but if one of them dies the other one gets it all, which is what makes Bruce suspicious. Both women eventually contact Bruce privately and tell him they suspect the other one is trying to kill them. Who is Bruce supposed to trust? Well, that’s the mystery that this film is about, and I won’t spoil the ending.

As storylines go, I’ve seen better (and worse). But this is back in the days when softcore films (known more as “erotic thrillers”) had decent budgets and sincerely tried to tell a story rather then just titillate the audience, so it’s shot at various locations throughout the city and is filmed very well. It also has a good cast. Christensen carries the film for the majority of it, and is a fine leading man, while both Hall and O’Brien are alternatively seductive and sincere throughout the film, which helps keep the suspense of which one is the killer. There is also Tim Abell who has a co-starring role as Rachel’s boyfriend Mark, and Keith Lewis as Roy, a police detective who is an old friend of Bruce’s and initially dismisses his concerns about the possible assassination but eventually gets involved.

And, of course, there are the sex scenes. 5 in total. Hall and O’Brien each have separate sex scenes with Christensen and Abell. And there is also a scene between Lewis and Griffin Drew (also known as Griffen Drew), who plays his character’s wife. The scenes are all worth watching, especially O’Brien’s scenes. This was when she was younger and still had her small natural breasts, before she got the large implants, and she looked much better then, in my opinion.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that this film is notable for one element that is typically missing from mainstream and softcore films: full frontal male nudity. That’s right, we get a full glimpse of both Christensen and Abell’s (non-erect) penis’. So, progress?

Overall, despite some flaws in the premise, this is a well-shot, well-acted film with sufficient suspense to keep you hooked until the end. Chacebook rating: 4 STARS

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