NAKED SOULS has little going for it beyond the pneumatic talents of Pamela Anderson. The "Baywatch" star's presence lends elevated hype to this otherwise forgettable story of body-switching.
Artist Brit Clark (Anderson) is having her first gallery show. Her mood is dampened, however, by the late arrival of her scientist boyfriend, Edward (Brian Krause). Edward's experiments have brought him very close to "digitizing the chemical components of memory," which will allow him to record
memories on a computer. Brit is angry that Edward's work leaves little time for her. Leaving the gallery, Edward meets a mysterious man in a wheelchair.
The next day Edward learns that his grant was not approved, despite his success in recording the memories of a deceased serial killer. Fatefully, Edward again encounters the mysterious man, who identifies himself as Everett Longstreet (David Warner), a brilliant, dying scientist. Wishing for some
kind of immortality, Longstreet offers his estate to Edward provided that the young man legally assume Longstreet's identity. Longstreet shows Edward mystical techniques that allow him access to collective memory. This inspires Edward, and his work progresses quickly. Despite this success, Edward
is plagued by strange, violent dreams. This problem is forgotten, however, when Brit arrives to rekindle their romance. While Brit and Edward make love, Longstreet tampers with Edward's computer programs. Later, Edward begins his experiment, entering a chamber that will record his memories.
Longstreet has other plans, however, and when Edward exits the chamber, he finds that Longstreet has switched bodies with him and, even worse, poisoned him; he manages to call for help before collapsing.
In Edward's body, Longstreet attempts to impress Brit with money. Sensing something odd, Brit is scornful of him. Angered by this rejection, Longstreet-as-Edward storms out and is overcome by violent imagery and impulses. He realizes that Edward's brain is corrupted with the serial killer's
memories. He goes to Edward-as-Longstreet in the hospital, telling him that he has kidnapped Brit and will kill her if Edward does not help him. Back at the lab, Edward resets the computers to eradicate the killer's presence. As the process begins, Longstreet shoots Edward. Brit finds a CD-ROM
containing Edward's memory patterns. She reverses the procedure, restoring Edward's memory to his body. With his original body dead, Longstreet's consciousness evaporates.
Appropriating themes from such superior films as BRAINSTORM (1983), BODY PARTS (1991), and the Steve Martin comedy ALL OF ME (1984), NAKED SOULS offers an unsatisfying mishmash of science fiction body-switching and B-movie erotic thrills. While the production values are above average, the film is
hampered by predictable plot devices and overworked themes. Capitalizing on her starring role in the successful "Baywatch" series, Anderson's artificial beauty and featherweight dramatic skills provide campy pleasures. Unfortunately--and despite her top billing--Anderson has little screen time,
leaving the focus on Krause. Krause, who brings to mind a milquetoast Jon Bon Jovi, lacks the charisma to carry the film, and he gets little help from a sleepwalking Warner.
From the images of beautiful naked women (including Anderson) that recur throughout NAKED SOULS, it's clear that the filmmakers were not out to break new cinematic ground, but rather to supply the viewer with titillating images ensconced in a comfortably familiar thriller package. In that much, at
least, they succeed. (Violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: NAKED SOULS has little going for it beyond the pneumatic talents of Pamela Anderson. The "Baywatch" star's presence lends elevated hype to this otherwise forgettable story of body-switching. Artist Brit Clark (Anderson) is having her first gallery show. H… (more)