Dedicated to a group of people who apparently died of drug abuse, SHAMELESS is a mixed bag that doesn't have much impact in any area.
The daughter of a rich industrialist, Antonia (Elizabeth Hurley) has taken to heroin in the year since her mother died of a drug overdose. While she makes a token effort at holding down a job, she spends most of her time partying at the house of Tony Vernon-Smith (Jeremy Brett), drug dealer to the
Another regular at Tony's is Sandy Stringer (Louise Delamere), who fancies herself Tony's girlfriend. She is also having a casual affair with her stepfather, veteran police detective Sam Stringer (Joss Ackland). Stringer is horrified to learn that he is actually Sandy's real father.
Stringer and Antonia meet each other outside Tony's house. Not knowing who he is, Antonia casually admits to having given drugs to Sandy. Stringer attacks Antonia and dumps her into a river in an attempt to make it look like she committed suicide. Recovering, but with no memory of the incident,
she and her boyfriend Mike (C. Thomas Howell) go to her family estate in the country.
Afraid that Antonia will identify him, Stringer arranges to have her killed. When the murderers botch the assignment, Stringer tracks Antonia back to London and Tony's house. He finds Tony watching a pornographic film featuring Sandy. He shoots Tony and a woman behind the screen he assumes to be
Antonia. But when the screen is removed, the dead woman is Sandy.
The depiction of drug use in the mysteriously named SHAMELESS is rather less horrifying than the average Hollywood film's portrayal of beer use. The worst effect of heroin use on these characters, aside from exacerbating the indolence to which they all seem prone anyway (oh, the travails of being
rich and good-looking) is that it brings them in contact with characters not normally found in better social circles. Its social conscience can be measured by a scene in which bike messenger Mike delivers a fix to Antonia, and they follow it with great sex. Any sympathy we might be expected to
have for this spoiled little rich girl is lost in Elizabeth Hurley's flat performance.
The plot line involving cop Sam Stringer's efforts to battle drug lords seems to belong to a totally different movie. And even that one doesn't know which way it wants to go, veering between tragic melodrama and Quentin Tarantino-ish excess (both the opening sequence and several scenes of criminal
brutality refer clearly but pointlessly to RESERVOIR DOGS). (Graphic violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, substance abuse, extreme profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: Dedicated to a group of people who apparently died of drug abuse, SHAMELESS is a mixed bag that doesn't have much impact in any area. The daughter of a rich industrialist, Antonia (Elizabeth Hurley) has taken to heroin in the year since her mother died of… (more)