Impact Point


Kelly Reyes is a minor star on the women's beach volleyball circuit. She's devoted all of her waking hours to volleyball, and she possesses the talent to be a tournament winner, but a more experienced team dominates every championship and stands in Kelly's way. Just as Kelly is wondering if she should abandon her dreams of glory, two major developments thrust her into the limelight. First, one of the girls on the more experienced team dies in an accident, and Kelly is the chosen replacement. Second, a major sports reporter decides to write about the new team, and he wants to focus his story on Kelly rather than her storied partner.

There are a few bumps on her road to glory. After she and the reporter take their relationship to a deeper level, the police show up on the beach the next morning to question her. The police think that the death of the other volleyball star might have been a homicide, and the only one who seems to have benefited from the death is Kelly. As they check out her alibis and explanations, they are flabbergasted by her claims to have spent time with a reporter who disappeared some time earlier, and is presumed dead.

Impact Point is a by-the-numbers stalker film which was made for the video market. In order to maintain some dramatic tension, the story relies almost exclusively on plot twists involving the identity of the man who claims to be the missing reporter. In the hands of a slick director working with a deft script, that might have made a nice little grade-B mystery, but most of the plot twists are spoiled by heavy-handedness. It might have been different. For example, if the script had cut out the sequence in which the reporter interviews, then seduces Kelly, the film would have taken on many additional layers of mystery. In that case, we in the audience would wonder if Kelly herself had killed the other volleyball player, and we would wonder along with the detectives whether she had completely fabricated the supposed interview, not knowing that the reporter was missing. None of that tension was allowed to develop. Since we see Kelly being interviewed and seduced by the man who is using the reporter's name, it is immediately apparent that the imposter must have known that the real reporter was dead. Since that is a secret known only to the police, the imposter must therefore have killed the reporter and assumed his identity in order to get close to Kelly. Knowing that, we also have to assume that the imposter also killed the other volleyball player because of his obsession with Kelly.

The completely obvious nature of the mystery doesn't doom the film to complete failure. There are still matters to resolve - who the imposter really is, how he can track Kelly's every move, and whether he can get to Kelly at the specific time and place he has chosen to murder her (the major volleyball championship). Of course, there's also the matter of whether Kelly can pull herself together enough to win the big match knowing that there is a killer somewhere on the premises.

If all that sounds sort of tired, well, that's because it is. It's a hackneyed sports movie nested inside a predictable stalker film. I would not call it a poor film, but rather just a workmanlike, ordinary effort. The director did get some pretty good mileage out of a $2 million budget, and she elicited some pretty good performances out of a C-list cast, so it's not the kind of film that will make you seek out gypsies to place a curse on everyone involved in its creation. It's the kind that may be barely interesting enough to get you to stick it out without the fast forward button on DVD, or changing the channel on cable, but will later provoke some introspection when you wonder why exactly you did that.

The woman who plays Kelly (Melissa Keller) has a very nice smile, a nice figure, and delivers a competent performance. Unfortunately, all of the nudity is restricted to two shower scenes shot from the rear, and even her pretty butt is somewhat spoiled by the fact that many of the shots involve grainy footage on a video camera planted in her apartment. Oh, well. There is a very brief look at her breasts from the side, but that's a grainy-cam shot. There is no clear look at her breasts, and no lower frontal action.

Here are the film clips of Melissa Keller.


Savage Grace


The Baekelands were a socially prominent American family throughout the 20th century. The patriarch of the clan was Leo Baekeland, a brilliant Belgian-born scientist and inventor who emigrated to the United States when he was in his mid-twenties and promptly came up with some patents that would make him rich and important enough to merit a cover of Time Magazine. His most important invention was Bakelite, the first truly useful plastic and, as such, an ubiquitous and profitable product throughout the century.

Long after Leo had departed from our plane of existence, his great-grandson Antony was incarcerated in England for stabbing his mother to death. After serving nearly a decade in a mental institution, he moved to New York to live with his grandmother whereupon, within a few days of his release, he stabbed her as well. She survived; he went to Riker's Island, where he committed suicide within a year.

Savage Grace traces the relationship between Antony and his parents, Brooks and Barbara, from the time of his birth until the fatal knifing. The parents are established as idle sybarites who seem to know everyone important in the world, but cannot contribute anything worthwhile to society. Although Brooks was widely regarded to be an extremely brilliant man, his career consisted of spending his family's money and posturing as an unpublished writer. Barbara is pictured as a woman lacking in the intellectual and social graces necessary to move in the company she and her husband keep. She dotes excessively on her son, and eventually relates to him incestuously.

As pictured here, Antony's childhood lacks any hint of normality. As a boy, he is seducing other young boys, to his parents' dismay. (In real life his mother tried to "cure" him by paying young women to please him, but the film does not mention that, which is just as well because the scriptwriter already had too much on his plate.) As a young man, Antony tests his sexuality in a family environment inimical to experimentation. When Antony brings home a beautiful Spanish girl, his father soon seduces the girlfriend and almost immediately runs away with her. When Antony forms a gay relationship with his mother's "walker," his mother seduces the boyfriend and they soon all end up in bed together.

The entire film is like one of those Dominic Dunne pieces in Vanity Fair in which the decadence of the very rich turns eventually into violence, thence into a media circus trial. The script covers virtually every detail of the Baekeland's anomie, self-loathing, suicide attempts, and sordid sexual escapades, but there is no particular insight on display, nor even a point of view. The film covers 25 years of Antony's life in only 90 minutes of real running time and is spread so thin as to require great temporal leaps over critical periods, yet at other times it seems to dwell at excessive length on scenes which have only minimal relevance to the central thrust of the story. The lead performers are extremely talented (Julianne Moore and Stephen Dillane), and the exotic locales look magnificent, but the film seems to have no good reason to exist other than to recite the details of the family's moral bankruptcy in the manner of a docudrama.

It's not a pleasant film to watch. The characters are impossible to like because they are immodest, pompous, rude, cold, utterly humorless, and have absolutely no sense of their own fallibility. It's like watching a trailer for a Jeremy Irons film festival. The film's real problem, however, is not that the characters are nasty, because they are supposed to be, but that we don't really know or understand why. When the film was over I felt no sympathy for the murdered mother, nor compassion for the disturbed child, nor understanding of the father. I could not understand how the mother and father could have married in the first place, nor how they could have stayed together as long as they did. Although it is possible to make assumptions about why Anthony became disturbed and angry enough to kill his mother, I couldn't see the direct connection. (The film implies it happened shortly after they had a consensual sexual encounter. Apparently there were many previous violent incidents between them which were not pictured.) When the film was over I felt that there must have been more to the Baekelands than the one-dimensional characters on display here, and that the script did them a great injustice by not developing their characters and motivations more fully. I got the sense that they were interesting enough to make a movie about, but that this was not that movie.

Elena Anaya, as the son's only girlfriend, later seduced by the father, supplies the female nudity: full frontal and rear



  • * 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.








Human Desires


Human Desires (1997), AKA Indecent Behavior 4, is one of the worst soft core films I have ever seen. IMDb readers say 3.8. If anything, this is generous. The problem is not the nudity, which isn't so good either, or the boring simulated sex. The problem is the brain-dead plot.


Shannon Tweed and her philandering husband run a modeling agency, and are holding a pajama party to introduce their three finalists for an important modeling assignment. One of the three, who is also sleeping with Tweed's husband, ends up face down in the pool, after having taken sleeping pills and slashing her wrists. The police declare it an obvious suicide, so one of the other two models, who was also sleeping with the dead girl, hires a private detective, and tries to convince him it was really murder.

So far, a pretty standard plot for a poor whodunnit.

But get this. It turns out that the woman who hired the detective committed the murder. Why on earth would she have hired someone to prove murder when the police considered it a closed case?

End spoilers

Several women, the usual suspects, show breasts in this darkly filmed masterpiece.

Shannon Tweed

Peggy Trentini

JJ Mantia

Dawn Ann Billings







Nine and a Half Weeks

The Time Machine goes back to 1984. Kim Basinger was oh-so-hot in this one. The nudity was actually minimal, but yet just unbelievably sexy. Caps and eight clips. The clips show off the eroticism better than caps ever can.








Notes and collages

The Villain










Holly Marie Combs in A Reason to Believe. 1995. This was her last film.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Strip Search. 2004.



Film Clips

The women of 99 Francs, a highly regarded Belgian film from 2007


Sylvia Kristel in La Marge , some seldom-seen Kristel nudity from 1976

Sophie Thompson in A Harlot's Progress (2006, sample right.)
Penelope Cruz in Elegy. The quality is better than the previous clips from this film. (2008, samples right)