INNER SANCTUM sustains its perfervid mystery plot for a surprisingly long while before collapsing into an unsatisfying, if crypto-feminist, ending. The problem is it's just not very interesting.
Los Angeles insurance man Baxter Reed (Joseph Bottoms) hires fetching nurse Lynn Foster (Tanya Roberts) to take care of his despised wife Jennifer (Valerie Wildman), who's been confined to a wheelchair after tumbling down a flight of stairs. Baxter, who's having an affair with office chum Anna
Rawlings (Margaux Hemingway), knows that Lynn's husband and a previous patient both died mysteriously and that his insurance agency has put a detective, Neil (Bret Clark), on her tail. Neil moves in next door and promptly begins an affair with Lynn, who's also sexually toying with Baxter--there's
a million-dollar inheritance in Jennifer's future to sweeten the pot. After multiple couplings (some real, some dreamed by Jennifer, who's fearing for her life from, well, everyone), the finale has the jealous Baxter killing Neil and attacking Jennifer; she's saved when Lynn, who has
double-crossed both men, kills Baxter with a shovel.
The films of low-budget king Fred Olen Ray (HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS, WARLORDS) are notoriously badly acted, technically rocky (awkwardly enough, everything is staged so that Jennifer can either see or hear it), and never as much cheesy fun (with the exception of his sci-fi opus DEEP SPACE) as
they should be. Ray usually casts up-from-porn performers or, in the opposite direction, faded stars. Featured here is Tanya Roberts (SHEENA and TV's "Charlie's Angels"), who uses an on-and-off dumb-blond Brooklyn accent. At least she handles her own (considerable) nudity, unlike Hemingway, for
whom an obvious body double was employed for her one big sex scene. The less said about Hemingway and Bottoms, neither aging too well, the better. Released direct-to-video. (Violence, profanity, sexual situations, nudity.)
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: R
- Review: INNER SANCTUM sustains its perfervid mystery plot for a surprisingly long while before collapsing into an unsatisfying, if crypto-feminist, ending. The problem is it's just not very interesting. Los Angeles insurance man Baxter Reed (Joseph Bottoms) hire… (more)