Dead by Dawn


Dead by Dawn stars Jodie Fisher, the woman in the center of the scandal over the termination of the CEO of HP. Cutting right to the chase, here are Jodie's nude scenes. (Collages in the encyclopedia)

Here are my comments about the film:

Major Spoilers - if you really care about spoiling a sex film.

Alan Pakula was a serious-minded Yale graduate who migrated westward toward California-style showbiz, and first made his mark in the movies as a producer. He must have been pretty damned good at it, because his credits in that role include To Kill a Mockingbird. After he did that for a decade or so, the studio system started to crumble in the late sixties and early seventies, so Pakula started directing his own films. He was a top-notch filmmaker in the 70s and 80s, having directed such acknowledged triumphs as Sophie's Choice and All the President's Men, and other noteworthy films which were characterized by their intelligence and their compassionate liberalism. After All The President's Men, his career took a downturn, and by the 1990s he was directing thrillers, some pretty good (1990's Presumed Innocent, starring Harrison Ford), some not so good at all (1986's Dream Lover, starring Kristy McNichol).

If you are an intelligent and patient person, you are probably wondering why I am discussing one of Hollywood's most beloved A-list icons in an article that is supposed to be about a lame softcore sex movie made a year after Pakula's death.

I'm getting there. Stay patient for a minute.

In 1992, during the thriller phase of his career, Pakula directed a movie called Consenting Adults, which didn't do much at the box office ($21 million) and is now largely forgotten. Here are his directorial efforts sorted by IMDb rating:

  1. (7.99) - All the President's Men (1976)
  2. (7.48) - Sophie's Choice (1982)
  3. (7.16) - Parallax View, The (1974)
  4. (7.07) - Klute (1971)
  5. (6.79) - Presumed Innocent (1990)
  6. (6.67) - Orphans (1987)
  7. (6.51) - Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing (1973)
  8. (6.37) - Sterile Cuckoo, The (1969)
  9. (6.20) - Pelican Brief, The (1993)
  10. (6.12) - Starting Over (1979)
  11. (5.71) - Comes a Horseman (1978)
  12. (5.70) - Devil's Own, The (1997)
  13. (5.53) - See You in the Morning (1989)
  14. (5.34) - Consenting Adults (1992)
  15. (5.19) - Rollover (1981)
  16. (4.68) - Dream Lover (1986)

Consenting Adults is near the bottom of that list because it didn't have much of a script but it did star two major Hollywood names, Kevin Spacey (pre-stardom) and Kevin Kline. I reckon that "The Two Kevins" are the grade-A version of "The Two Coreys." Spacey played a shifty wheeler-dealer who was always looking for the bigger, better deal. Kline played a 40ish fuddy-duddy who found himself trapped in a joyless suburban life - pretty much the same role Kevin Kline always plays when he's not doing comedy. The two men became neighbors and then friends, after a fashion, whereupon Spacey started to seduce Kline into a more sinful and daring world-view. The piece de resistance of the seduction was an offer to swap wives. Simple enough - one night they would each go to the other's wife in the dark, and make love to her. The women would catch on, but if they refused, well, so what? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Kline gave in, and the women agreed to the deal. The lovemaking went fine, but Kline woke up with a major problem. Spacey's wife was killed during the swap-night, bludgeoned to death with a Louisville Slugger. When the bat was found with Kline's fingerprints all over it, he seemed to be headed for the electric chair. There are many more twists to the plot, but I can't reveal them without spoiling the entire movie. You have the idea, and can probably guess the rest.

I suppose even the most patient among you has now lost patience with me, so I'll get to the point. Dead by Dawn is basically the same movie as Consenting Adults. The plot description above is identical in both films - right down to the baseball bat.  The only real difference between the films was generated by time constraints. Dead by Dawn is a softcore sex film, so it has lengthy sex scenes. Since there are some 25 minutes worth of sex, the script had to economize somewhere else, so Dead by  Dawn was only able to fit in the first half of the plot from Consenting Adults.

In Consenting Adults, Kevin Kline made bail about halfway through, found out that his own wife had moved in with Spacey, and that's basically where the real movie began.  Dead by Dawn condensed the plot to the point where the pseudo-Kline did find out about his friend and his wife, but was still in the slammer at the time. The film ends with our understanding that the ersatz Kline character will fry for a crime he did not commit.

I'll bet you are thinking, "So, a softcore sex movie actually had a plot as good as an Alan Pakula film. That's probably a pretty good thing, right?"

Well, sorta. It wasn't a bad idea, I guess, but ...

  • The original plot was butchered so badly with inexplicable editing and a an unsatisfying and too-abrupt ending that it was no longer at the  level of the original. It was sort of an interesting idea to end the film with the patsy realizing that he's been had, ala Body Heat, but in this case it seems totally inappropriate for the character, and therefore annoying. In Body Heat, Bill Hurt is likeable enough, but is also a genuine sleazeball who actually does some bad things along the way. The poor schnook in this movie, on the other hand, never did anything bad in his life except to sleep with his neighbor's wife one time. He is simply a victim, so his impending and certain murder conviction seems like an unsatisfying denouement.

  • As you might expect, the actors in Dead by Dawn are not quite up to the standard of Kline and Spacey.

  • Remember this is a softcore sex film. By that genre's standard it does have a decent plot, but that's not the sole standard for evaluating such a film. Dead by Dawn isn't good in the other areas where a softcore sex film should be good, like sex and nudity, for example.

  • Shannon Tweed, 40ish and near the end of her career in erotica, did her first sex scene in her underwear until the final minute, when she removed her clothing while sitting down with her back to the camera, so that only the top of her buns were visible. In her second sex scene, she stayed in her underwear. In the last minute of the film, she finally flashed one of her mammoth breasts.

  • Jodie Fisher's first sex scene basically wasn't a sex scene at all. It was a topless woman hugging a man interminably, while they flopped around a suburban swimming pool. Fisher's final sex scene was the only good one in the film. She was seen fully naked from the rear (she looked great), and her breasts were exposed from several angles.

I can't recommend this film at all. The borrowed plot is not the reason. The salient point is that the film is filled with long, passionless sex scenes in which the participants are fully-dressed or in panties. There's no sign of a pubic area anywhere, and almost no nudity from Shannon Tweed.


  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


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Welcome II the Terrordome


Saffron Burrows has carved out a pretty solid career in films and TV, so I suppose she'd love to forget this part, which was her first starring role. In fact, it was the first film where she played a character with a name. You'll see how bad the film is when you watch the clips. (Not much nudity, but there's a brief flash in clip #2)

Saffron Burrows film clips (samples below)





Johnny's comments:

"Cherrybomb is an Irish film about two friends whose friendship is about to be tested by the daughter of the gym owner, who both boys are desperate to get with. But, she's into bad boys and to get with her, they must top one another in performing criminal acts. Of course, this is going to end in tragedy. Not much to the plot and not much to write home about either."

Here are the film clips of Kimberley Nixon.

The collages are below:




Amber Heard in The Joneses

Cynthia Belliveau in Loose Screws


C.J. Fidler in Loose Screws

Beth Gondek in Loose Screws

Karen Wood in Loose Screws

Laura Potter in Loose Screws

Susan Irvine in Loose Screws

Caroline Paar in Gold: Before Woodstock


Merrin Dungey on the latest Hung

Sasha Grey on the latest Entourage

The DVD box from the Montana Fishburne sex tape

Jennifer Aniston in outtakes from a Bazaar shoot

A rare shot of Megan Fox pubes in a FHM shoot

Paris Hilton sunbathing topless on a yacht, as is her wont. (Different versions, same old pics)




Aimee Leigh in Hellraiser III

Bo Derek in Bolero (and a brief appearance from Olivia D'Abo)

Itonia Salchek in Blood Harvest

Krysten Ritter in How to make love to a woman

Lola Naymark and Melanie Leray in Dans Tes Bas

Maja Miletich in Grupie

Maria Bello in Yellow handkerchief

Nastassja Kinski in Maria's Lovers (samples below)