Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Rest in Pies
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
VHS Vednesday: The Perfect Bride
THE PERFECT BRIDE (1991). Directed by Terrence O'Hara. Starring Sammi Davis, Kelly Preston, and Linden Ashby.
Essentially a gender-swapped version of Joseph Rubin's 1987 movie The Stepfather (not to be confused with the recent remake), The Perfect Bride stars Sammi Davis as Stephanie, a young woman obsessed with finding the perfect husband and having the perfect wedding...but when her fiances don't live up to her expectations, she eliminates them and moves on to the next town for another try.
Stephanie's latest beau, Ted (Linden Ashby) is clueless as to her sinister intentions, but Ted's sister Laura (Kelly Preston) soon grows suspicious of Stephanie's odd behavior and mysterious past. As, indeed, any reasonable person WOULD find Stephanie suspicious. Implausibly, the rest of the family dismisses Laura's concerns despite the ever-increasing cracks in Stephanie's facade...they all think that Laura's simply being over-protective. I'm reminded of some of television's more prominent "perpetually ignored sisters," Lisa Simpson and Meg Griffin...but in this case, we're supposed to take the situation seriously.
The absurdity doesn't stop there...most glaringly, Stephanie's preferred m.o. (an injection of potassium) would show up on any autopsy, but all of her victims are accepted as heart-attack casualties despite being young and healthy. And then there's the scene in which she finishes off a narrowly-escaped victim by disguising herself as a nurse, sneaking into the hospital room, and cutting off the oxygen. Um, I think those vital-sign monitors are supposed to actually signal the hospital staff in case of an emergency...but apparently, in this case, they're only for the benefit of the people who happen to be in the room.
Who's Leaving This Off Their Resume?
The cast makes a game attempt of carrying off the ridiculous material, but can't rise above it. Kelly Preston fares the best, delivering a sturdy performance as the beleaguered heroine. Sammi Davis, however, is less successful...her act of innocence is never convincing, so it's a wonder that anyone in the family ever buys it. (Curiously, Davis is usually very good at playing genuinely innocent characters.)
The most memorable performance comes from B-movie legend John Agar in one of his last screen appearances, as the Alzheimer's-afflicted grandfather. Both Agar and the director seem undecided as to whether to play the role straight or broad, and the result is truly bizarre.
Labels: vhs vednesday