Saw legend has it Dennis Hopper agreed to play the role of Lefty Enright in the immortal Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 , just because he wanted to spend his birthday in Austin, and could play golf with buddy Willie Nelson in his off time. So, he isn't exactly too choosy about his roles, which COULD explain his appearance in Lured Innocence (1999, 97 minutes). Director Kikuo Kawasaki claims Dennis was really interested in THE SCRIPT, and even poopoo'd rewrites. But he also demanded final approval of his leading lady. What a crafty codger.
The movie: Hot, sticky, May/December lovin in Mississippi. Marley Shelton is Elsie Townsend, a yummie young waitress, who quietly wishes to be anywhere but in the small town she's felt trapped in all her life. She begins an affair with Rick Chambers (Dennis Hopper) who isn't the least bit hesitant about stepping out on his sick wife (Talia Shire). There's lots of scenes with Elsie sitting in front of a fan, slathered in baby oil, in an attempt to make her look sweaty ... and sexy. She's that, for sure. But Ms. Shelton refused to get the least bit nekkid for the movie. Our loss, but would YOU want to do nude scenes with Dennis Hopper? I didn't think so. There IS this one shot with Rick's sweaty, liver-spotted, naked back hunched over Elsie -- they're almost silently diddling while her mother sleeps in the next room. My Vomit Meter hasn't worked right since Razor Blade Smile, but I shudder to imagine the reading the sight would score. This other guy, Elsie's own age, is also in love with her, Elden Tolbert. He's played by Devon Gummersall who pined for the gloomy chick from "My So Called Life" and date-raped the Pink Power Ranger in "Felicity." In this, he has another sexual problem -- he faints just when things start to get the most interesting ... if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Elsie and Rick plot to kill his wife, so they can run off with her money. Elsie and the comically jumpy wife also plot against Rick for the ol' double cross. But you're never too sure whose side Elsie's on. Elden gets caught somewhere in the middle. Now, if only some of this were INTERESTING. As Elsie's defense attorney, CineSchlockers will remember character actor Richard Potnow from his work in the Shannon Tweed vehicle, Night Eyes 3.
Notables: No breasts. One corpse. One beast (Dennis Hopper). Heavy breathing. Kitty footage. Multiple diddling. Drowning. Screwdriver attack. Gratuitous Cheri Oteri.
Quotables: Dennis as slimeball Rick Chambers, tells Elsie, "My wife says everything that comes out of my mouth -- comes out wrong." and, later, "Baby, I am SO horny! Come on!" Elsie says the words Elden's been waiting a lifetime to hear, "Take your clothes off and get under the covers."
Time codes: Hopper joins the film (10:25). Rick and Elsie slow dance (14:20). Their first love scene (24:30). Hopperinian rage (43:35). Elden's fantasy becomes reality (1:07:30). Rick kisses and tells -- in graphic detail (1:16:15).
Audio/Video: Clean full-frame print. I'm fairly certain that's the original ratio. Dolby 2.0 and 5.1.
Extras: Very cool animated menus with Elsie batting her eyelashes. Perhaps the most unnecessary commentary track ever -- by director/writer Kikuo Kawasaki. Beyond the confession that he wanted to cast Laura Flynn Boyle as Elsie, he merely points out which scenes were shot in Kosciusko, Mississippi (about 2 hours north of Jackson). Trailers and cast bios.
Final thought: The best thing about this flick is its title. Although Marley IS somewhat convincing as an icy, seductive spider woman. Rent it.
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G. Noel Gross is a Dallas graphic designer and avowed Drive-In Mutant who specializes in scribbling B-movie reviews. Noel is inspired by Joe Bob Briggs and his gospel of blood, breasts and beasts.