As an erotic aid, OVER THE WIRE has its batteries fully charged. But as a conventional made-for-Playboy-cable whodunit, this heavy-breathing thriller is a few stiletto-heeled paces ahead of the competition.
When telephone repairman (and ex-cop) Bruce (David Christensen) overhears a potentially deadly business conversation over crossed wires, he dutifully reports his concern to his police-detective pal, Roy Walker (Keith Lewis). Bruce believes that one of two sisters--realtor Susan Sternam (Landon
Hall) and exotic dancer Rachel Sternam (Shauna O'Brien)--has hired a hit man to eliminate the other. Playing the good citizen against Roy's advice, Bruce confronts both women, immediately suspecting overtly bitchy Susan (whom he nonetheless beds) and shielding troubled Rachel, who presents herself
as the victim of her controlling older sister. Meanwhile, Susan's unfaithful boyfriend Mark (Tim Abell) tangles with Roy, who mistakes him for the hit man.
The only thing Bruce's snooping reveals is that a deceased aunt's will stipulates the Sternam sisters must live together for five years in order to inherit--unless one dies first. Assuming that greed is the motive, Bruce succumbs to Rachel in a hot tub. Meanwhile, the hit man (John LaZar) shoots
meddling Mark and prepares for his killing du jour. After Rachel lets a piece of incriminating information slip, Bruce suddenly realizes that Rachel is actually the murderess-to-be, motivated by simple jealousy. After shooting at Bruce, Rachel grazes Roy in the head when he arrives to save his
buddy. In a hail of bullets, Bruce kills Rachel before heading to the Sternam house, where he interrupts the hit man as he's about to perform his assignment. The hit man wounds Bruce, and Susan--innocent all along--kills the hit man with the gun Bruce dropped.
Viewers of "erotic thrillers" are by now accustomed to how often steamy scenes pointlessly jam up the narrative flow. But when OVER THE WIRE pauses to slip a condom over its plot, it always manages to return to its exposition without a feeling of "plot-us interruptus." While the blue interludes
may be a few too many, OVER THE WIRE is marred more by mediocre dialogue and performances. Still, the amateurish quality doesn't extend to the ingenious scenario in which two sisters are pitted against each other not by financial one-upmanship, but by endemic sibling rivalry. Delivering both
suspenseful chills and bedroom thrills, OVER THE WIRE offers those who regard crime-solving as an alternative aphrodisiac two distinct avenues of satisfaction. (Violence, extensive nudity, sexual situations, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1996
- Rating: R
- Review: As an erotic aid, OVER THE WIRE has its batteries fully charged. But as a conventional made-for-Playboy-cable whodunit, this heavy-breathing thriller is a few stiletto-heeled paces ahead of the competition. When telephone repairman (and ex-cop) Bruce (Dav… (more)