There have been attempts to create erotic entertainment from just
about every type of film, but this is the first softcore film I've
seen in the form of a theological thriller.
Two cops have to solve a series of murders in which the killer
removes one body part from each victim and tattoos one of the parts
left behind. The
tattoos seem to have some religious significance related to St. Polycarp, the very first Christian martyr.
In fact, Polycarp was put to death twice. According to Christian
legend, he survived being burned at the stake, although some 85 years
old at the time, at which point he was stabbed to death. Apparently he
was quite the tough old buzzard. The original title
of this film was "Polycarp," until somebody decided that the name
of an obscure second century bishop probably wouldn't pull in a lot of
traffic in the erotica section of your local video store, sandwiched
between "The Doctor Is In" and "Spring Break Sluts." To tell you the
truth, I didn't find the subject matter particularly appropriate for a
nudie film, either. There's a little torture, some dismemberment, and
plenty of screaming, if those sorts of things get you in the mood.
In case you were contemplating watching the film for its non-erotic
elements, I wouldn't advise it. The presentation is virtually
incoherent. The film goes for an obscure "mind-fuck" approach in which
characters talk in riddles or recite biblical quotations, and in which
every single witness questioned by the cops turns out to be somehow
involved in the actual murders, although the conspirators sometimes
murder one another when they get bored with the routine practice of
killing strangers, and when they get really bored, they kill the investigators as well.
That really puts a damper on the police procedural section of the
entertainment. When the cops are dead, as the film concludes,
something completely different happens. I think it is supposed to be a
big surprise plot twist. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure what it is
or what it means!
On the road to the befuddling conclusion, the film's biblical
details, though repeated again and again, are simply wrong. Polycarp's
legendary double martrydom could not be mentioned in Revelations or
any other book of the bible. The various parts of The New Testament
were written some time between 45-140 AD and ol' Poly died in 155 AD.
But we need not rely on theoretical presumptions.
The University of Virginia has the entire bible online and searchable,
and a search for Polycarp yields no results.
Surprisingly, two familiar mainstream actors appear in this film. Charles Durning, once a
great character actor who is now just a shell of his former self,
appears briefly, and his appearance will break your heart.
Michael Paré, a former 80s heartthrob, is
the film's other established performer. There was a time in the early 80s when Pare seemed destined for
stardom. In 1983-84, when he was in his mid-twenties, he had solid
parts in four pretty decent movies - the first four movies he would
- (7.20) -
- (6.27) - Streets
of Fire (1984)
- (6.26) - Eddie
and the Cruisers (1983)
- (6.07) - The
Philadelphia Experiment (1984)
That seems so long ago now that it's more like the memory of a
dream than a real recollection. Many of you are probably surprised to
find out that Paré did not retire in the early
80s and disappear mysteriously, like his most famous character, Eddie
the Cruiser. It turned out that those four movies
would constitute virtually his entire career. It would be 15 years
before he had another important role in a good movie. (The Virgin
Suicides, 1999). Oh, he
still makes plenty of films, at least 15 so far in this
century, with ten more currently in the pipeline, but they're just not
any good. Polycarp,
with a mediocre 5.3 score, is rated the highest of all those 21st
century films at
IMDb - and by a great distance. Eight of the others are rated below
- (5.28) - Polycarp
- (4.30) - Postal
- (4.21) - Heart of
- (4.09) - Fate
- (3.88) - Gargoyle
- (3.83) - Furnace
- (3.67) - Crash
- (2.97) - Komodo
vs. Cobra (2005) (TV)
- (2.90) - Space
- (2.89) -
Sanctimony (2000) (TV)
- (2.80) - Red
- (2.61) -
- (2.58) -
- (2.34) -
BloodRayne II: Deliverance (2007)
- (2.07) - Seed
How bad are things going when four of your recent films were
directed by Uwe Boll and a nudie movie is the top one on your personal
totem pole? (Well, to be fair, Polycarp has very few votes and the
ballot has obviously been stuffed, so it will undoubtedly end up much
lower than its current rating ... but still!)
Getting back to the point, at least briefly, Polycarp is dark,
confusing, unpleasant, and horny, which means it plays out like Donny Darko does Dallas. Your tastes may differ from mine of course, but
nasty things are not the proper kindling for my erotic fires.
There is a substantial amount of sex and nudity in the film
including some full frontal action, but it rarely seems very sexy
because of the ugly, confusing context.
- The bulk of the nudity comes from softcore veteran
Lynne, who gives it all up repeatedly.
- Also chipping in with a strong contribution is
- This clip includes three women. The one who keeps her bra on is
Brooke Lewis. Beverly Lynne (again) is the blonde. I think the
brunette with Michael Pare is Kelli McCarty, but I won't swear to
it. I think it is her character, but she hasn't done a nude scene in
six or seven years, and that body looks much too good.