Playing With Fire

  • 2008
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Erotic, Mystery

David DeCoteau and Matthew Jason Walsh's twisty tale of bad behavior among the dirty sexy money crowd is a throwback to b-movie erotic thrillers of the 1980s, complete with faded star -- '80s golden girl Susan Anton -- and attractive young things who know they look terrific in their underwear. Spoiled little rich bitch Daphne Hendron (Kelly Albanese)...read more

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Reviewed by Maitland McDoangh
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David DeCoteau and Matthew Jason Walsh's twisty tale of bad behavior among the dirty sexy money crowd is a throwback to b-movie erotic thrillers of the 1980s, complete with faded star -- '80s golden girl Susan Anton -- and attractive young things who know they look terrific in their underwear.

Spoiled little rich bitch Daphne Hendron (Kelly Albanese) resents having to share her late daddy's oil millions with her hated stepmother, hard-drinking '80s TV star Sandra Newell (Susan Anton). But otherwise she's got everything an amoral thrill seeker could want: A smoking body, the means to party hard and often and a circle of like-minded friends. Daphne and pals Charlotte (Carrie Southworth), Miles (Tom Sandoval) and Omar (Blake Hood) get their kicks by playing bisexual head games with ordinary folk, spicing up the action with jaded wagers. Daphne finally meets her match in medical student Nick Benedict (Kyle Jordan), who sees right through her manipulative moves and rebuffs her repeated advances. Never one to take defeat graciously, Daphne enlists her friends in a scheme to get to Nick by way of his fiancee, down-to-Earth nurse Heather (Candace Moon). Miles hooks her and the others reel Heather into their decadent lifestyle, allowing Daphne to play reformed bad girl: She only tells Nick about Heather's romp on the wild side because she's worried about Heather and wants to help Nick rescue her before the poor thing gets in over her head. The wary Nick doesn't buy Daphne's change of heart, but Heather genuinely is in trouble. She suffers an alcohol-induced stroke during a wild party and is rushed to the hospital, clinging to life. Or is she…?

A retro mix of PG-13 naughtiness (the women never even take off their lacy bras) and cable-movie thrills that never rises above its limitations, this sleaze-and-tease mystery still manages to be surprisingly entertaining. Director DeCoteau began making this kind of picture in the '80s (often under the pseudonym Ellen Cabot), and it's oddly reassuring that there's still a place for it.

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  • Released: 2008
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: David DeCoteau and Matthew Jason Walsh's twisty tale of bad behavior among the dirty sexy money crowd is a throwback to b-movie erotic thrillers of the 1980s, complete with faded star -- '80s golden girl Susan Anton -- and attractive young things who know… (more)

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