About 60 of this feature's tortured 95 minutes elapse before a discernible plot materializes. Most of THE DEADLY SECRET, scripted by Douglas Stalgren but based on a "concept" by co-directors Jason Hammond and Erik Hanson, is trippy imagery: colored lights, monochrome seashores, dead
animals, large-breasted nude women, classical art, pixilation, more large-breasted nude women, knickknacks on shelves, skulls, large-breasted women, etc.
The story as such concerns Randall Parks (Joe Estevez), cutthroat boss of a brokerage firm. Back in 1970 the venal yuppie was a mere counterculture dropout who, during a drugged-up beach party, raped and murdered flower child Sarah (Tracy Hagemann). Now one of Randall's former hippie pals wants
money to keep silent--but which one? The businessman pays an assassin to kill all his old Nixon-era pals in hopes of nailing the blackmailer. Meanwhile Randall's having an affair with sexy employee Reyna Vaught (Tracy Spaulding). She learns his secret, and when Randall finally and personally
eliminates the aging acidhead behind the threats, Reyna emerges from the bushes to gun down her boss. It seems that Sarah was Reyna's mother and Randall her father. Huh? Wasn't Sarah slain right after ...? That's the problem with plots based on "concepts." They're so, like, conceptual, man.
One would have to go back to the LSD-laced psychedelic films (or the nearest lava lamp) of the late 1960s to find ooze this pretentious, pointless, and eye-straining. Joe Estevez, whose career may have peaked with acting as a stand-in for his look-alike brother Martin Sheen during the making of
APOCALYPSE NOW, has appeared in many a low-budget action cheapie, but he still deserves better than THE DEADLY SECRET (probably not its original title). It was lensed in Dallas, Austin, and Port Arkansas, Texas, and went directly to home video. (Violence, substance abuse, extensive nudity, sexualsituations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: About 60 of this feature's tortured 95 minutes elapse before a discernible plot materializes. Most of THE DEADLY SECRET, scripted by Douglas Stalgren but based on a "concept" by co-directors Jason Hammond and Erik Hanson, is trippy imagery: colored lights,… (more)