In the Electric Mist


The character of Dave Robicheaux, Louisiana lawman, appears in more than a dozen crime novels written by James Lee Burke. "In the Electric Mist," #6 in the series, is the second one to be adapted into a film. The first was "Heaven's Prisoners," #2 in the series. The first actor to play Robicheaux was Alec Baldwin, who was then still in his thirties. The new one stars Tommy Lee Jones, who is 62.

The film had a lot of promise. After all, ol' Tommy Lee seems to have the mastered the art of playing a tough and taciturn southern lawman. The Hollywood Reporter summed it up perfectly: "Tommy Lee Jones does his usual wonderful job of playing Tommy Lee Jones, that is, a contemplative but alcoholic and violent small-town sheriff who beats people up when he has to, between bouts of philosophical rumination rendered in poetic voiceover." Jones is supported by a strong cast including John Goodman, Peter Sarsgaard and Mary Steenbergen. Burke's books are highly regarded by mystery fans, and this is a particularly quirky one about modern crimes being solved in parallel to a crime which occurred 40 years earlier. At one point Sheriff Robicheaux gets some LSD slipped into his Dr. Pepper, so he starts to imagine conversations with a Confederate General, just for a little extra southern-friend flavor. The director of the film is Bertrand Tavernier, a favorably regarded French helmsman who has nearly two dozen directorial credits at IMDb, including The Passion of Beatrice, and Coup de Tourchon. The story is dripping with Louisiana atmosphere: olden plantations, neighborhoods destroyed by the great hurricane, bayous in the morning fog, torrential rains, zydeco music, flamboyant accents, and more.

So why isn't it a better movie?

The script is the culprit.

Tavernier, although a virtual novice in English-language films, did a fine job at presenting the atmosphere and attitude of Loozeann, and the film flows nicely for about forty minutes - and then it just falls apart. It seems as if the authors were about 40 pages into the script and suddenly realized that they were going to have a six hour film on their hands if they didn't start moving the story forward a little faster. About halfway into the film, the plot twists just start piling up and people start dying like flies. When the film was approaching the finish line, while I was trying to piece together who was actually responsible for all the dead bodies, Tommy Lee suddenly started spewing some resonant southern prose in voice-over, telling us what happened to a bunch of the characters after the movie ended. Unfortunately, the movie never did end. Tommy's narrative didn't include one of the guys who actually committed the key murder from 40 years earlier, and it didn't explain exactly why some of the people died in the present, or how the murderer could have gotten to them. I know who the latter-day murderer was, but I don't know how he could possibly have been where he was or could have done what he did in at least two cases. As for the other guy who was involved in the murder in the past, that story line just ended without closure. For all the build-up, the revelation of the two baddies and the subsequent denouement were casual and underwhelming.

And then, out of nowhere, there was a science-fiction element in the epilogue.

I didn't make that up. Honest.

That final moment before the credits was just plain dumb. All of a sudden the film had had one of those crazy endings after the ending, totally out of left field, like the ones Hitchcock would deliver while talking to the camera after his TV show, or the ones that used to cap the stories in the old EC horror comics.

To Bertrand Tavernier's credit, the version of the film which he presented at Berlinale did not include the preposterous "crypt-keeper" finale. On the other hand, Tavernier's version must have included many scenes which have subsequently been deleted, because the festival version was 117 minutes long, while the current version is 15 minutes shorter.

Despite plot holes and pacing issues which may have been created when the studio altered Tavernier's cut, In the Electric Mist is not at all a bad film. As straight-to-video films go, it is definitely top-shelf material, and you absolutely should rent it if you have any interest in this type of genre film and/or in Burke's writing. Those inclined to enjoy this kind of story, and I count myself in that group, will find it worth watching for all of its plusses, and will be tolerant of its problems. But with the high-powered talent involved in this production, the investors had to be hoping for something better than a strong cable movie, and that just never emerged.

Too bad. It coulda been a contenda.

NOTE: the film is not technically a straight-to-cable or straight-to-DVD. It made a perfunctory appearance in a few theaters to avoid the stigma of hyphen world. In fact it may be playing in your city right now if you live in one of the big movie markets.

The only nudity comes from an uncredited extra with aftermarket hooters  She performs a private strip for John Goodman.



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Maximum Risk


Natasha Henstridge: 1920x800 film clip. Collages below.

Except for her role on "Commander in Chief," the lanky Canadian virtually disappeared after The Whole Ten Yards, but is now in some films in the pipeline. I think she's clothed in them, but she's still only 34, so don't abandon hope. (She was only 20 when she did Species.)


Bonus: One additional Kate Winslet clip from Little Children







The Tailor of Panama


Jamie Lee Curtis gets a hand gag from Pierce Brosnan. Oh I forgot to mention that her boob falls out. Caps and a clip.


TV Land

Over in TV Land Jennifer Love Hewitt pays a visit to "Leno" on Tuesday and shows off some deep cleavage while on her hands and knees. Caps and a short HD clip of the cleavage segment. Must-see.


(Note: The white dress was from a previous appearance.)







Naked Outlaws


Another rarity from Scorp. This is a 60 minute video which presents many of the usual suspects in various stages of undress. The first installment features Lauren Hayes, who strips to her birthday suit.

Sample below:








Notes and collages


"Las Vegas"

s3, e21

Christina Hendricks makes Nikki Cox look like a boy.

She has her own cult based on her character on "Mad Men"

The gorgeous redhead needs to set those jumbo jacks free.









Christina Derosa and Cristin Michele (mistakenly ID'd onthe collage) in Extreme Movie

Heather Hogan in Extreme Movie

Karen Gregory in Little Voice

Jessica Alba doesn't shave down there.

Briggie Lahaie in Paul Raymond's Erotica

Because if you want porn, you always look for the label, and Paulie just reeks of quality. He's the Gucci of Coochie.

To be serious for a second, that Gucci thing is pretty much true if Gucci stands for Guccione. Raymond became one of the richest men in the UK as a cabaret owner and as the godfather of the country's modern "lad's mags." Mayfair was one of his publications, and there were many others.

IMDB commenter about this specific film: "Paul Raymond's Erotica mainly documents nude-dancing routines at Raymond's London cabarets in the early '80s; which took the shticks of Paris's Crazy Horse club and turned up the gloss and the explicitness. The women strip out of fancy costumes and perform energetic, athletic moves on stage, some of which seem to be inspired by the disco-aerobics fad. The women dance alone, in groups, and sometimes with nude men. These numbers are interspersed with the story of Brigitte Lahaie as a French reporter learning to become a Raymond dancer-model, and having softcore sex scenes with almost everybody she meets (except Mr. Raymond). One of these scenes, in a sauna, features what might be the first on-screen erection in British film history."

Brigitte's mom must be proud, indeed.

Film Clips

Jane March in The Lover. As I've mentioned many times, this is the most beautifully photographed soft-core sex film ever made. In fact, it was nominated for the cinematography Oscar! It is exactly what the Emmanuelle films should have been. Big download (almost 300 meg), but worth it.