Judas Kiss


Not too much nudity from Carla Gugino, but a very hot sex scene. The raw footage is mine, from the UK DVD. The brightened clip comes from somebody else. (The brief nudity is pictured below)

And a scene involving lesbians from outer space. The actresses are Beverly Hotsprings and Yvette Lera. This clip was taken from a different source as the Gugino clip, and is not my clip. I've never seen this film in a widescreen aspect ratio.



Scoop's notes:

As the film begins, a security guard is supposed to be paying attention to his video monitors, but is actually watching a porno video about lesbians from outer space. We watch along with him, but we don't just look over his shoulder to get a second hand view of what he sees on his tiny monitor, nor must we squint through the double pixilation of a video tape within a movie. Instead, we watch the porno movie as if we had rented it ourselves. It occupies our full screen, in top quality with lush production qualities, as if the lesbian alien porn were the movie we had rented.  About a minute into the action, there is clear, well lit, full-frontal female nudity, followed by an energetic lesbian love scene aboard a cheesy spaceship that looks like a bad disco from the early 80s.

So right away we know we're not going to be watching "The Sweet Hereafter."

Was there any reason to picture the lesbian porn at length in high quality? None at all.

  • The plot did not require the guard to be watching a porno film. He could have been napping, or watching "To Kill a Mockingbird."

  • If the fact that he was watching a porno film was part of his character development, there was no need to picture it in detail.

  • If it was to be pictured in detail for some reason, it should have been seen on his monitor in order to avoid breaking the fourth wall. Why do we need to see the lesbian porn in high quality at great length?

  • The video within the film had no bearing on the main plot.

Now THAT's gratuitous nudity.

My kind of film.

From those first moments, Judas Kiss wants to tell you upfront that it is a guilty pleasure movie, pure and simple. Once you determine that it is not actually a movie about lesbians from outer space, you will see that it is one of those detective stories where ... well, at one point one of the characters turns to another and says, "There is really only one plot: "Nothing is as it seems.'"

It's that kind of movie.

What is it supposed to be about?

If the security guard had not been totally into space lesbians, he would have seen and/or reported a kidnapping. A band of four crazy criminals (who often spout faux-poetic dialogue) decide to kidnap a Bill Gates kind of guy, opting to demand a ransom exactly equal to the amount covered by his company's insurance. As predicted, the company has no problem forking over the money, but those darned law enforcement officials insist on taking the matter seriously, not in small part because the kidnappers managed to shoot and kill a witness on their way out, and that witness happened to be the wife of a U.S. Senator. Oops! Murder and kidnapping come under separate jurisdictions, so a cop and an FBI agent must work together on the case. Alan Rickman is the cop assigned to the murder investigation, and Emma Thompson is the federal agent in charge of the kidnapping. You must be thinking, "Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman? So this takes place in Manchester, or London, or someplace like that?"

You're close. New Orleans.

Yup, Em and Rickman spend the entire film trying to speak in Paul Prudhomme accents, y'betcha. As it turns out, they did reasonably well. Their speech did slip out of Louisiana now and then, but they generally managed to cover up their British roots. When they messed up, it was usually to draw out an American "r", which made them sound like cops visiting The Big Easy from Minneapolis. To tell you the truth, their accents didn't really matter very much, because they are both good actors who brought wit and quirky intelligence to their parts, so the film was much better with them than it would have been with two ordinary actors with perfect accents.

The film takes a lot of twists and turns, and involves a lot of secrets. Rickman somehow figures out what is really going on, which is amazing because even the criminals are not completely sure, but he can't pursue the case directly because a lot of people in very important positions don't actually want him to solve the crime. Instead they want him to follow some planted clues and solve the apparent crime, which is actually only a mammoth distraction from what is really going on. So Rickman has to skulk around in the background and solve the crime indirectly.

Don't fret if it sounds too complicated. Judas Kiss is not one of those way-too-confusing stories. In fact, the only reason we are ever confused at all is because we don't know all the details, but the whole scheme makes some sense once the smoke and mirrors are removed, so the story plays out as a pleasurable noir. It is not an ultra-realistic and gritty film, but rather the stylish type of noir in which the complicated story is really of secondary importance when contrasted to the witty and philosophical exchanges between the characters. Rickman and Em provide humorous and literary banter throughout their pursuit, and even the criminals are quirky and articulate. Carla Gugino is an absolute treasure.

A couple of years ago there was a movie called "Real Women Have Curves." I haven't see it, but if its title represents an accurate statement, then a picture of Gugino should be used as the scientific symbol for reality. Her lush, curvaceous figure and innate sexiness combine with a kind of sweet Sally Field wholesomeness and a deceptive intelligence to make her kind of like Salma Hayek without the accent. She is the perfect femme fatale for the film noir genre except that audiences would normally have a hard time accepting her as a calculating schemer. In this film, however, her girl-next-door vulnerability worked to her advantage because the script actually required her to teeter on the tightrope between the roles of criminal and victim. Yes, she was a bad girl - but one with a conscience and a good heart who eventually ends up as the hero of the story, even though it was she who killed the Senator's wife and first turned the intended comical lark into a bloodbath!

How could that be? Oh, it's complicated and delicious, but you'll have to watch the movie to find out!

From the opening sex scene between lesbians from outer space, to the banter between Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson as cynical Louisiana cops, Judas Kiss is a great guilty pleasure film. It went straight to video in the USA, and it is difficult to find, but you should look for it if you love a sleazy, twisty R-rated noir. It's a terrific guilty pleasure film.


  • * 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.











Andie MacDowell film clip. Samples below.

Scoop's notes:


Deception is an international thriller shot on location in Athens, Cairo, Vera Cruz, and Berlin. Laszlo Kovacs (Ghostbusters; New York, New York) did the cinematography. The stars are Viggo Mortensen and Liam Neeson. The Aussie character actor Jack Thompson plays a support role.

Bessie Faro (Andie MacDowell) learned that her handsome, reckless, devil-may-care husband (Viggo) had died in a fiery crash. She was dismayed to find out that she was not only a widow, but a poor widow with a stack of bills to pay. She thought that her husband had some money stashed away, but didn't know where it could be. She checked his known hiding places, but found nothing but a tiny package of baseball cards hidden in her husband's ramshackle workshop. By piecing together some cryptic notations on the cards, she was able to determine which banks held her husband's secret cache of money. The cards also gave clues to the account numbers, and the false names associated with each account. 

So far, not bad at all.

Unfortunately, she then proceeded tediously across the world from bank to bank to bank, getting big stacks of money from each one until she reached Berlin, where she found that someone had withdrawn the money just before she arrived. Given the fact that nobody else had access to the baseball cards, she knew that the person withdrawing the money must have been her husband, and that he was therefore not quite dead yet.

Still not so bad, but from then on, the flimsy house of cards quickly tumbled.

Bessie had $840,000 already collected, and would never have to worry about money again, but she just had to meet her husband face-to-face one more time so that she could ask the time-honored noir question, "whyja do it, Johnny?" She really said those words. Unfortunately, MacDowell's genteel Southern drawl took some of the edge out of that question, which should be asked by a sharpie with a New York accent, and should be preceded by "Sa-a-a-ay, ... "

She kept following the trail, putting herself in great physical peril for no reason just so she could see Johnny face-to-face. As soon as she met him, however, she ran back out the door and told him they were through. Huh? If she wanted to break up with him, it wouldn't have been difficult. She could simply have pretended that she never found out Johnny was alive, or she could have simply sent him a nasty telegram from the beach in Rio. Either way, she could and should have gone home after visiting the last bank, thus avoiding several life-endangering situations in Egypt. The husband also did the exact opposite of what might be expected. Although he seems to have gone to great pains to get away from her, he wouldn't let her go after seeing her. Hell, if he really wanted to have her around, he could have done so at any time before their meeting, but he never made any attempt.

So she chased him around the world to break up with him, and he was running away to get back with her. If the characters' motivations don't make sense, neither do some of the plot details. In fact, when I went back to watch some scenes again, I could clarify nothing. To the contrary, I found more problems. When I watched the movie the first time, I figured that certain enigmatic details would be explained when the secrets were all revealed. When I watched it again, knowing all the secrets, I could no longer take comfort in the thought that all would eventually be explained. There were some things that just didn't make sense at all, and other things which may have made sense but were inadequately explained or expanded. To choose one outstanding example, I thought that Johnny left the baseball cards behind specifically so that his wife could find the money and avoid the poorhouse after his "death." That seemed logical because she was the only one who could have deciphered the sequential logic of the cryptology. When it turned out that Viggo did not intend for her to empty those bank accounts, the great unexplained mystery became "So just why did he leave those baseball cards behind, and whom did he leave them for?" I still don't know the answer to that question. I could cite several other similarly confusing plot points.

What about ol' Schindler? I don't have any idea why Liam Neeson was in the film at all. He was a professor who was feeding the poor in the third world, and Bessie ran into him more than once as she followed the trail leading to her husband and his money. Neeson's relevance was purely peripheral. Bessie and the professor had a brief and sweet encounter, a kiss or two which promised to turn into a romance, but didn't.

What about Jack Thompson? I think he had three lines of meaningless dialogue like, "drive carefully, mate."

There is one thing in the film which may amuse you if you are a baseball fan. When the Viggo Mortensen character was a boy, he allegedly caught Bill Mazeroski's famous homer ball in the 1960 World Series. Of course, Viggo the actor is too young to play a man who was that kid. Viggo had not yet reached his second birthday on that historic day (Oct 13, 1960). We should just ignore that persnickety point, however, and exult in the fact that Viggo lives in the Middle East under the pseudonym "Mr. Bill Mazeroski!"

Many of the film's problems stem from the decision to create a Region 1 DVD from a chopped-up version of a longer film. In order to create this version, the running time has been cut from 106 minutes to 90, and the name of the film has been changed from Ruby Cairo to Deception. I'm sure you understand that cutting 16 minutes from any thriller is likely to result in a significant loss of exposition and explication, and in this particular case the cuts have caused many of the problems which I described above. 

Not to mention some lost nudity!

At one time there was actually one certifiably good non-Mazeroski reason to watch this film. Beautiful Andie MacDowell did a nude scene, the only such exposure of her entire career. Well, guess what? The nude scene has disappeared from the version of the film seen on the current Region 1 DVD. Unfortunately, that scene is necessary to explain why the wife decided to leave the husband after going to all the trouble of finding him. With that scene absent, as I noted above, she basically says, "Hi," followed by "we're through," and turns their encounter into a complete WTF experience for the viewer.

The deletion of that scene would be reason enough to avoid this DVD, but the disc is disappointing in all other respects as well. It contains a 4:3 pan-n-scan transfer with the sides of heads cut out of scenes. Given the aspect ratio, the confusion caused by the missing exposition, and the lack of nudity, I suppose this is a version that was prepared for broadcast TV somewhere or another.

I'm not really sure of that point, but I am sure you should avoid this DVD.



Ruby Cairo


Ruby Cairo, which can be found in Germany on an all-region DVD, is the full 106-minute version of Deception. By presenting the film as originally intended, the German DVD solves many of the problems enumerated in the paragraphs above:

1. It not only includes the complete, uncut film, but presents it in a theatrical widescreen aspect ratio.

2. The character motivations are clear with the lengthy sex scene restored. In the short version, it makes no sense that Andie would chase her husband around the world, and then leave when he answered the door. The reason that was confusing is because she didn't actually do that. The two of them did get together, had sex, and talked a lot. In the lengthy process of multiple flashbacks, mood shifts and extensive dialogue, Andie flashed back to what their relationship used to be like, and thus realized the man she was having sex with was just not the same man she married.

3. There is now some point to Jack Thompson's presence in the film. There is still not MUCH point, mind you, but at least he has a substantial part instead of a cameo.

Unfortunately, the DVD has two other problems which prevent me from recommending it

1. The transfer is far inferior in quality to the one on the Region 1 DVD. The video quality is grainy and just not sharp.

2. There is only one sound track, and that is in German. The original English soundtrack is not available. There are no sub-titles available. If you want to hear it, your only choice consists of dubbed German voices.

It's kind of a shame that there is no high quality, uncut, widescreen version of this film in English. Such an offering would still not be a great DVD, but it would be a pretty good one, and would get me to watch the film again

Here is the material which is in Ruby Cairo but not in Deception:

Andie MacDowell film clips (samples below)



The Doors in HD - Christina Fulton

The Doors in HD - Meg Ryan

The Doors in HD - Kathleen Quinlan

Adriana Lima

Mageina Tovah in a recent episode of Hung

More promos for the Montana Fishburne sex tape

Becca Romijn in X-Men


Becca Romijn in the X-Men special features

Alizee Poulicek

Eniko Mihalik

Apparently that Jennifer Beals image is the real deal. Here it is again, plus another from the same shoot. She looks great.




Laura Bertram in ControlAltDelete - 1080

Renee Soutendijk in De flat

Bryce Dallas Howard in Manderlay

Kamala Makswitis in Die Traenen Meiner Mutter (sample below)

Ellen Burstyn in Alex in Wonderland (sample below from a different source)