Stagnant pacing and a muddled plot make AMNESIA eminently forgettable. The film premiered on cable and was subsequently released to home video.
Minister Paul Keller (Nicholas Walker) has an affair with teacher Veronica Dow (Dara Tomanovich) at a seedy motel. They are watched by motel owner Charlene (Sally Kirkland), who obsessively fantasizes about Paul. At home, Paul cruelly shuns his wife Martha (Ally Sheedy) and her son (Vincent
Berry). Sick of his family and job and tortured by a childhood trauma, he plots to fake his death and run off with Veronica. The plan--to make it appear that he has drowned--backfires when he sustains a serious head injury. He awakens in Charlene's motel suffering from amnesia.
Insurance investigator Tim Bishop (John Savage) informs Martha that he doesn't believe Paul is really dead and thus won't pay Paul's million-dollar life-insurance policy unless she has sex with him. Paul, who realizes Charlene is deranged, manages to call Veronica--whom he doesn't quite
remember--but Charlene knocks him out and ties him to the bed. Wanting the money, Martha decides to sleep with Bishop, but he passes out drunk. Martha then finds out about Veronica's affair with Paul, but she chooses to join forces with her anyway. They head to the motel with Bishop, who is shot
dead by Charlene. She chases the two women around the complex until Veronica finally clubs her to death. The two women find Paul and decide to murder him and collect the insurance money. Martha suffocates him and they toss his corpse into the lake.
AMNESIA is a film so shaky, unbelievable, and boring, it's a wonder it ever made it past the script stage. The notion that Paul Keller could succeed in faking his own death to escape his current life is nearly as ludicrous as the idea that an insurance company would consider doling out a million
bucks for a death without seeing the body! The film also contains a curiously pointless mystery subplot concerning the guilt Paul feels over his childhood friend's drowning; this sidebar leads nowhere, and never figures in any other aspect of the plot.
The characters are idiotic and hateful, particularly Paul and Martha. Veronica is the only fairly sympathetic figure, but in the final analysis, none of the behavior in the sceenplay by David Henry, Chris Belden, and director Kurt Voss (POISON IVY: THE NEW SEDUCTION) seems even remotely realistic.
The film's strongest point is its darkly comedic ending that could only have been improved if all the characters had been killed.
The lead performances are unimpressive, though Savage camps up his sleazy dialogue in classic style. Sally Kirkland, who also served as associate producer, here hits a truly degrading career low point with her exploitative turn as the obsessed Charlene. In the final analysis, the aptly titled
AMNESIA begs viewers to forget it ever existed; those who have seen it will be more than glad to do so. (Extreme profanity, violence, sexual situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1997
- Rating: R
- Review: Stagnant pacing and a muddled plot make AMNESIA eminently forgettable. The film premiered on cable and was subsequently released to home video. Minister Paul Keller (Nicholas Walker) has an affair with teacher Veronica Dow (Dara Tomanovich) at a seedy mot… (more)