SOUTH BEACH, a detective thriller involving a psychotic stalker, a phone sex operator, and her private detective ex-husband, favors action over plot and acquits itself gracelessly.
Miami phone sex operator Jennifer Derringer (Vanity) gets calls from a demented man called Billy (Sam J. Jones) who keeps threatening to punish her. When her co-worker is attacked and murdered at the office, Jennifer turns to her former husband, Mack (Fred Williamson), for help. But Mack, an
ex-football player turned private detective, has also attracted the attention of Billy. With the help of a call girl, Billy arranges for Mack to be framed for murder.
Out on bail, Mack tries to find out who has set him up. As he searches for the call girl who lured him into trouble, he must also dodge repeated attempts on his life by the local porn-magnate, who thinks Mack is interfering with his business. Fortunately, either Mack's pal, Jake (Peter Fonda),
or his partner, Lenny (Gary Busey), always shows up to help him out of a jam.
All this action leaves Jennifer vulnerable, and when Mack goes to rescue Jake from the clutches of the skin-merchant, Billy kidnaps his quarry. In the final showdown, Billy shoots Jennifer at point blank range and then loses his subsequent battle with Mack.
Although the premise of telephone sex line stalker is silly (sex phone lines are easily traced--the calls are billed, after all), the real faults of SOUTH BEACH are more basic. Williamson, who directs as well as stars, has difficulty putting together scenes in an intelligible manner; action
scenes, especially, are often confusingly staged and edited. Though the supporting cast is entertaining--and one wonders why they got involved in the production--SOUTH BEACH is an unsuccessful picture on all counts. (Graphic violence, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: R
- Review: SOUTH BEACH, a detective thriller involving a psychotic stalker, a phone sex operator, and her private detective ex-husband, favors action over plot and acquits itself gracelessly. Miami phone sex operator Jennifer Derringer (Vanity) gets calls from a d… (more)