Filmed in 1992, THE COOL SURFACE is a tedious "erotic thriller" that's low on both its quotients of thrills and sensuality. It was released to home video in 1994 after Teri Hatcher, prominently featured in the film's sex scenes, became a star in the TV series "Lois and Clark: The New
Adventures of Superman."
Jarvis Scott (Robert Patrick) is a novelist who lives in Hollywood. His new neighbors are a sexy woman (Teri Hatcher) and a man who are always having loud, violent fights. One day, he peeks in his neighbor's window and sees them making love, then goes into his own apartment, gets drunk and has a
fantasy of himself having sex with the woman. The next day he runs into her at a cafe, and she tells him she's an aspiring actress named Amanda. Later, after hearing her getting beaten up, he smashes down his neighbor's door and breaks the man's nose--only to be told by "Amanda" that her name is
really Dani and that the two of them are actually actors rehearsing for a play.
Jarvis and Dani begin a torrid affair and he decides to incorporate her into his new novel. When he finishes writing, his agent sells the property to a film studio and Dani starts flirting with the studio head in order to play "herself" in the movie. This infuriates Jarvis, who follows her back to
the studio head's house, where he puts on a mask and beats the man unconscious with a fireplace poker.
After getting the role, Dani makes up with Jarvis and agrees to take a trip with him. At the airport, she gets into his car, and he knocks her out and stabs her to death, then stuffs her body into a trunk. On the airplane, an attractive woman sits next to Jarvis and starts flirting with him,
saying that she's an actress and could tell he's in show business.
The only thing worse than a bad direct-to-video erotic thriller is a boring and pretentious direct-to-video erotic thriller, and THE COOL SURFACE has pretentions to spare, not to mention contrived plotting and implausible characters. While its raison d'etre would seem to be Hatcher's nude scenes,
the amount of skin shown is actually rather small, while there is a plethora of long, talky scenes where nothing happens, filled with laughably symbolic dialogue and situations. When Jarvis and Dani have their first conversation, they meet at the "Cafe Beckett" and spew out such ludicrous lines
such as his declaration that "I could have had a big corporate job back in Philly, but I have to write because I needed to feel my pain." Later, while she's straddling him nude, she coos "Show me what you do Jarvis. Let me in that cool, cool surface."
Hatcher is definitely sexy, and tries hard to give her cliched femme fatale character some depth, but Patrick's idea of portraying a mysterious writer is to grow his hair long, wear wire-frame glasses, get drunk, and smash things. Writer-director Erik Anjou seems to believe that viewers will be
fascinated by his twisted psycho-sexual fantasies of living in Hollywood and making it with seductive starlets, but in reality, all potential video-renters will really care about is Hatcher's unclothed form.(Violence, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations, profanity.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1994
- Rating: R
- Review: Filmed in 1992, THE COOL SURFACE is a tedious "erotic thriller" that's low on both its quotients of thrills and sensuality. It was released to home video in 1994 after Teri Hatcher, prominently featured in the film's sex scenes, became a star in the TV ser… (more)