Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cold Sweat

Somehow, COLD SWEAT, a direct-to-video erotic thriller from Canada, was not produced or released by Roger Corman’s Concorde/New Horizons, despite its name cast of B-movie stars, its female director (Corman was unusually progressive in this regard), and one of the all-time great exploitative one-sheets.

Beth (Shannon Tweed, who gives her fans plenty of what they're waiting for) is married to Larry (SCTV’s Dave Thomas, hamming like he’s still doing THE DAYS OF THE WEEK), but having sex with Larry’s business partner Sean (Henry Czerny) and his rollerblading drug dealer Mitch (Adam Baldwin, later on FIREFLY and CHUCK). Mark (Ben Cross, a long way from CHARIOTS OF FIRE) is a conflicted hitman who is being haunted by the ghost of his last victim, an accidental witness (Lenore Zann) to the killing of his real target. At least she’s usually naked when she shows up.

Beth’s and Mark’s lives intersect when Larry, using Mitch as a liaison, hires Mark to kill Sean. However, the hit goes bad, there’s a struggle, Sean kills Mark at Beth and Larry’s house…or does he?

COLD SWEAT, written by Richard Beattie (MAXIMUM CONVICTION) and directed by Gail Harvey (MURDOCH MYSTERIES), is fairly stupid. Or at least it makes its characters act fairly stupidly. Why does Sean have a habit of shooting his targets in clear view of others? Why don’t Beth and Sean call the police instead of trying to conceal Mark’s body? Why…oh, why even ask? Harvey and Beattie didn’t ask them when they made the film.

There’s a lot of deception and doublecrosses, so much that the movie eventually escalates into parodic happy endings for Cross and Tweed. Besides the miscast Thomas, the acting is generally good though, and Czerny (REVENGE) is very good—he landed his big break in CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER that year.

No comments: