Written by Steve Martel and directed by P.G. Sanford, this 2002 film stars Wendy Rice as Melody Thomas. Melody hosts a segment during the news on a local TV station where she gives advice to people who have sent letter. Sort of like a televised Dear Abby. But she really has her heart set on becoming a serious news reporter. Melody’s “big break” comes when a serial killer, who is specifically targeting women who have recently become engaged, starts sending her taunting letters and pictures bragging about his crimes. Now Melody has to work with the local police in order to see if they can track this killer before he strikes next.

So there’s your basic plot, which, as far as erotic thrillers go, is not bad. It’s a forward moving mystery that naturally builds to a climax. So that works. Rounding out the main cast is Edward Johnson, as Melody’s live-in boyfriend Ron, Lane Anderson as Melody’s assistant Greg, Star E. Knight as his girlfriend Mindy, and Chris Gustafson as Detective Jameson, the lead investigator on the murder case. There’s also David Usher, as Greg’s friend Doug. Doug is a notorious womanizer, who has proposed to two different women (Nadia, played by Melissa Milano, and Diana, played by Tess Broussard). Naturally, when both women turn up as victims of the serial killer, Doug becomes a prime suspect. . .

This is an MRG Entertainment/Mainline Releasing film, and they’re generally great with production, and this film is no exception. Shot on location throughout the city, it very much looks like a mainstream film. And while no one is winning any Oscars, the cast was selected as much for their ability to act, as well as to look good nude. Wendy Rice in particular gives a very believable performance, and carries the film well in her leading role. As far as the rest of the main cast goes there aren’t any weak links there either. And the story, while not completely without flaws, is strong enough to keep you watching until the end. And then, of course, there are the sex scenes.

There are nine in total, in this film. All shot very sensually, with romantic music playing in the background. Wendy Rice is in 5. She has two with Edward Johnson and two with Chris Gustafson (in one of this story’s flaws, Melody falls into bed with Det. Jameson, despite by all previous appearances she and Ron has a stable and happy relationship), and also one with Lane Anderson (but that scene is just a fantasy that his character imagines). Lane Anderson and Star E. Knight have a scene together, and she, Tess Broussard, and Melissa Milano all have one-on-one scenes with David Usher.

Not a bad scene in the batch, in my opinion. I think my favorite has to be Broussard and Usher, just because I think she is the best looking woman in the film. But overall you definitely get your money’s worth. Carnal Passions is an erotic film with a dramatic plot that will keep you hook from beginning to end. Chacebook rating: 5 STARS


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