Now here is a film I’ve been wanting to review for quite some time. Since August 30, 2014 to be exact, as that is when I reviewed The Pamela Principle a film released in 1992 from Axis Films International, which was a company set up by hardcore porn director Gregory Dark, in which he produced and directed many mainstream films, in particular focusing on “erotic thrillers,” many of which remain some of the best I’ve ever seen in the genre, during the early to mid-90’s. I enjoyed The Pamela Principle and wanted to review it’s 1994 sequel, which I’d seen when it was released, but that was hard find a copy of, and I’d no longer had my original VHS recording of it. Well, I recently found a seller selling this special DVD-R with both films on it via IOFFER, a site where I’ve found copies of many rare and out-of-print films over the years, and so now I have it.
Written by Gerard Maguire and directed by Edward Holzman this film is mostly a sequel in name only. Like with Axis’ films Mirror Images and Mirror Images 2, you don’t need to have seen one film in order to enjoy the other. The connection is mostly through having a similar premise, which in this instance is “A middle aged married man embarks on an afair with a sexually liberated younger woman named Pamela.” Although, now that I think about it, in this film the woman named Pamela does not give her last name, nor is it even listed in the credits. So I guess it is possible that Alina Thompson is actually supposed to be playing the same “Pamela Atkins” that Kim Burnette/Veronica Cash played in the previous film? Thus making this a direct sequel?
Another possible connection between the two films is Fred Pesce, who had a supporting role in the first film, playing Eddie Breeding, a restaurant owner (and amateur comedian). He returns for this film, in a very small but pivotal role. This time he is a professional photographer, who owns his own studio. Here’s the thing, he is clearly referred to as “Ed” by three other characters, with no last name revealed. So he could be playing the same character as before, perhaps Eddie got out of the restaurant business to become a photographer in the two years since the events of the previous film? But the funny thing is that in the credits (including the IMDB page for the film), his character is listed as “Ralph.” That is odd. Well, this film had a different writer, perhaps Gerard Maguire just wrote the script with a character named Ed in it, then the casting agent cast Pesce in that role, and some time after the filming was complete someone at the studio noted the name of the character and decided to change it in the credits to emphasize that it’s not the same character Pesce played before?
Or perhaps I’m overthinking all of this? Yeah, I think I’ve talked enough about this movie without actually talking about this movie. So let’s get to it.
So Nick Rafter stars as Charles, an architect. Middle-aged and married to Elaine (played by India Allen) for the past 15 years, he’s been feeling unsatisfied in both his personal and professional lives. We see instances where he attempts to make love to Elaine but she puts him off, because she’s busy working. Another time they do make love, but she cautions him to not take too much time because she needs to get up early for work tomorrow so just “do it to me the way you always do.” Which is in the missionary position with Elaine barely moving or making a sound and just staring at the wall. So it’s clear that Charles isn’t happy. His friend Ed (Ralph?) has to go out of the country for a big assignment (shooting some major calendar) and asks Charles to run his studio while he’s gone. While not having done this sort of thing before, Charles has experience taking pictures of buildings in his job, so Ed figures he should be able to handle this, and Charles takes him up on the offer, thinking this could be something new for him to experience. Elizabeth Sandifer plays Ed’s assistant Jill, who is also a friend of Charles and Elaine’s, and it was her idea for Ed to approach Charles about this, since she knew how bored Charles has been with his regular job lately.
The photography studio is mostly for boudoir shoots, that’s both professional models and average women being shot in lingerie and nude for paid assignments or as surprises for their significant other’s. This gives us several scenes throughout the film of various actresses posing in various stages of undress. And that includes Shauna O’Brien, Stephanie Hudson (as Tanya Poole), and Cathleen Raymond. And that is, of course, in addition to Alina Thompson, aka Pamela. She comes into the studio late one night, claiming she had an appointment with Ed, and Charles agrees to give her a photo shoot right then. Then Elaine has to go away for several days on an important business trip, and during that time Charles becomes closer to Pamela. First, it’s just professional, as she asks her to be his model for a big photo exhibit he’s planning. So he picks her up at her place, meeting her two roommates Inger and Melinda (Sarah Bellomo and Shannon McLeod), who seems to spend most of their time walking around topless (although Bellomo has a funny sex scene, where Charles mistakes Inger’s loud shouts of ecstasy as cries of pain). They do some photshoots, and Pamela invites him to a pool party at her house, where Charles ends up getting punched in the face by Pamela’s jealous ex-boyfriend Mike (played by Bobby Johnston). Finally Charles and Pamela become sexual (about 44 minutes into this hour and a half film). Charles starts to think he wants to be with Pamela and when Elaine gets back they fight and he moves out. But when Pamela finds out she’s upset, she actually liked that Charles was already married, she considered it exciting to be sneaking around his wife’s back. Plus, she doesn’t want anything serious (it’s why she dumped Mike) and figured she wouldn’t have to worry about that with Charles. So Charles and Pamela part ways, and Charles realizes he want to try to reconcile with Elaine. But, unlike the first movie, this time they wife didn’t just sit around waiting for him when he left. Jill had convinced Elaine to go out, and the two of them went out to club and ended up picking up two guys (I didn’t catch their character names in the credits), taking them back to Elaine’s place and having group sex in a hot tub. Charles is enraged when he finds out. One night he tries to go home and spies on Elaine having sex with a guy (again, I don’t know who he was) in the shower. Now, Charles realizes more than ever what he’s lost, and becomes determined to win his wife back…
I won’t spoil the ending. You’ll have to watch it yourself.
This is a good. Not quite as good as the first one, in my opinion. As I pointed out, in this film it takes a bit longer for the man and the woman to actually begin the affair. You know it’s coming, so it just feels dragged out. Plus, part of the problem, and I hate to say this because she does a decent job as an actress, and she is very attractive, but Alina Thompson just doesn’t have the same overpowering sexual presence necessary for this particular role. In the previous film, Veronica Cash looked like the kind of woman that you could understand why almost any man would recklessly risk his marriage and career over her. And just didn’t get that vibe from her, nor feel the same type of chemistry between her and Nick Rafter. I should note that this film was the first professional acting role for both (it’s Rafter’s only film according to IMDB), so maybe it was inexperience? I think the film would have been better served if they’d put India Allen in the lead role as Pamela. A tall voluptuous beauty, who 6 years earlier had been Playboy’s Playmate of The Year, just oozes sex appeal, in addition to displaying impressive acting skills, in what was her 5th acting role. Her acting career was rather short overall, and that is a shame, as I believe she could have been huge in the softcore/erotic thriller genre. She’s probably more known for her role in the 1993 film WILD CACTUS, which has gain as sort of cult status. I can only imagine what she could have accomplished, especially during the 90’s, if she’d gotten the right roles. She would have probably given Shannon Tweed a run for her money as Queen of Late-Night Cable Television.
Another problem with the film is that most of the sex scenes take place at night in rooms with the light’s off. And that darkness often obscures what we can see. So, overall, a good film that good have been much better. Chacebook rating: 3 STARS
Categories: SOFTCORE FILMS