This latest erotic thriller from Retromedia is directed by Dean McKendrick and written by “Suzanne Cabot.” It came out a couple of months ago, I caught it on Amazon video, and I thought I had reviewed it here, but it turns out I didn’t. But then when I went to rectify that mistake, it was no longer available on Amazon video, so I had to order the DVD and wait for it, in order to watch it again as I couldn’t find my notes for it, and didn’t want to try to review it from memory. Now here we go.
It stars Carter Cruise as Rachel, a seductive female serial killer (yes, that is becoming a bit of stock character type in Retromedia’s recent films, not that I’m complaining). Rachel’s general modus operandi is to seek out her prey in a bar, flirt with them and then go somewhere to have sex with them, and then after sex she stabs them to death, and then she writes a letter on their chest in red lipstick. This leads the police to initially dub her “The Lipstick Killer”, which probably would have been a better title for this film. At one murder scene she inadvertently leaves behind a bloody high-heel imprint next to the body, and then at another scene one of her high-heels actual breaks off as she’s leaving the scene of another murder, and it is found by the police. Hence the actual title.
It’s kinda hard to recap without spoilers so, fuck it, here’s the basic scoop. Five years earlier, Rachel and her sister Ally (Blair Williams), were out partying where the met up with a bunch of guys. While Rachel was dancing with one, she saw Ally go off to a backroom with another, then later that night Ally was found dead in that room. Now Rachel is looking for revenge, tracking down the guys who did it and killing them. The letters she’s writing on each one’s chest are A, L, L, and Y, to spell out her sister’s name (and while I realize that murderers out for revenge aren’t always thinking clearly, it seems poor plan to literally spell out a name like that, as it could be a pretty strong clue to finding you, but nevermind). The men in question are played by Andrew Espinoza Long, Angelo Bertoli, and newcomer Leandro Dottavio. Turns out the men were all either dirty cops or drug dealers. Brent Harvey plays Sam, a police detective who is investigating the murders. It turns out that he was friends with the men, and was there the night of the murder. But afterward, he cleaned up his act became a good cop, while the others were kicked off the force. Mia Li is his partner Maggie, who’s investigating the case with him.
So that’s the premise of the film, we see Rachel hooking up with each guy and killing them, while Sam and Maggie try to search for the connection between the killings and figure out who’s next on the list. All leading up to a big confrontation at the end, in which there is a “twist” ending.
The premise is good, but I feel like it could have been presented better, with a bit more mystery to it. The ending plot-twist is interesting, but not as shocking as it feels like it was meant to be. Then again, it’s possible that my expectations for Retromedia are a bit higher when they do erotic thrillers like this, as I tend to compare them to the classic erotic thrillers of the 80’s and early 90’s? I can definitely see that McKendrick and company put a lot of effort into attempting to make this story stand-out. And I’m not even sure if I can pinpoint exactly what I would have changed to make it better myself. So take my opinion with a grain of salt.
But there’s a couple of things that are not disputable, one of which is the cast. The cast is stellar, everyone does a good job, there’s not a weak link in the bunch. So that helps make propel the story. The second saving grace are the SEX SCENES!
We get seven in this film, and if you like Carter Cruise, you will definitely be happy as she is in five of them. She has sex with Andy Long, with Leandro Ottavio, a lesbian see with Mia Li, and two scenes with Brent Harvey. The other two scenes feature Angelo Bertoli, who has sex with Blair Williams, and also a scene with Pristine Edge/Jane Doux. I have to say that those last two would be my favorites, especially the Doux scene, which takes place in an outdoor pool. But that’s no knock on Carter Cruise, all of her scenes are hot too. And it’s too her credit (as well that of director Dean McKendrick) that you can have the same woman in multiple scenes and each one is unique enough, that you find them equally arousing.
Oh yes, I almost forgot to mention, the amazing August Ames appears in this film in a small role, she plays a stripper who performs on a stage in a bikini (which comes off) during the opening credits.
Dean McKendrick said yesterday that this film was his favorite out of Retromedia’s 2017 outfit. Well, I think it’s good, I’d give it a solid 4 STARS, but if I were to list them, I’d place this film fourth, after SLEEPING BEAUTIES, KISS AND KILL, and BEDROOM EYES, which puts it above ILLICIT DESIRES and CINDERELLA’S HOT NIGHT.
Categories: SOFTCORE FILMS
I’m relieved that you enjoyed this, although not as much as some others. I was afraid this was going to be one that you hated. I thought this was the most complex and interesting script this time around. Combined with an excellent cast of some of my old and new favorites and I really enjoyed this one. It’s interesting to see your order that you place the films. I would agree Kiss and Kill is excellent (mainly due to the stellar Kira Noir), but I think you under value the comedic value of Cinderella, and I think you overestimate Sleeping Beauties (which has its value to be sure) and Bedroom Eyes (which, despite a wonderful cast, had, in my opinion, an incredibly weak script that doesn’t bear much scrutiny). But everyone’s opinions are valid and I’m glad people are enjoying the films. As I’ve said in the past, we make these things so quickly and cheaply, that any good that comes out is more luck than anything else!
You’re too modest, Dean! I enjoyed it a lot, and it’s definitely my favourite of your 2017 films, or at least the ones I’ve seen so far. When can we expect “Bedroom Eyes” and “Illicit Desires” to be released? Since I don’t live in America the DVD release is the only way I have of seeing them.
It sucks you missed out on those two you mentioned. They’re not even currently showing on any of the Amazon On Demand streaming.
Sadly, it looks like the softcore genre is on life-support.
Isn’t that a good thing? What I mean is, while they’re available for streaming they’re unlikely to be released on DVD. If they’ve been removed the DVD release could be happening soon.
Theoretically, that makes sense. But it’s been over 6 months since each film was released, and there’s nothing even indicating an upcoming release on DVD.
There IS going to be a release of those last two films on dvd. There was an unexplained delay, but I’ve been assured they’re now on the schedule.
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Dean, I sent a message to Fred asking if a short tribute to August Ames could be added to the DVD release, but I didn’t get an answer. Just a few words from anyone who’s worked with her. I asked months ago. Is it too late now?
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It’s too late for this film (for a tribute to August), but I THINK there may be a possibility for something with Illicit Desire, which is the final film we did with her that hasn’t been released (and she plays a starring role in that one). I’m not really in charge of that, but I would be happy to contribute to any tribute to her. She was such a wonderful, funny, joyous person. She will definitely be missed.
Dean, I watched ‘High Heel Homicide’ today, and I really liked it just like the other movies of yours I’ve seen so far. Since Christmas is coming up, I got to thinking. Have you ever thought about doing a holiday-themed softcore movie? I think that would be a lot of fun and something I don’t think has been done before.
Hey, Ben, thanks for reading. Hopefully Dean will come around again soon to answer you, but I’m curious as to what you mean by “holiday-themed?” Like a movie that happens to take place during a particular holiday, or holiday season (like, say, a story where a man has sex with one of his female coworkers during a Christmas office party, and she becomes obsessed with him, or a woman is seduced by a mysterious strangers she meets at a bar on Valentine’s Day), or a story that’s specifically about the holiday (like a movie where a young man gets trained to take Santa Clause’s place, and we see him visiting the homes of women who are on the “Naughty list”, if ya catch my drift)?
What is the name of the song that is playing in the background of the last sex scene.
I only read the first two paragraphs, then skipped the rest because of your spoiler warning. I’ve added the DVD to my must-buy list. Thanks for the recommendation, Chace. Living in Germany I don’t always notice when there are new softcore releases.