HARD DRIVE comes at you from all directions as it tosses pieces of its mystery jigsaw puzzle helter-skelter across the screen. By the time viewers can see the whole picture, however, they'll realize it's the same old film noir double cross.
Suspected of murder, former child star Will Donovan (Leo Damian) fails to impress the Chief of Examiners (Edward Albert Jr.) and his associate (Robin Joi Brown) during interrogation---in Will's version the victim Delilah (Christina Fulton) appears to have died twice. Flashbacks reveal the
suspect's early years as a neglected child and his adulthood as a Hollywood has-been. Chronically depressed and reclusive, Will seeks solace in computer relationships. He finds virtual bliss with dominatrix Delilah, who lures him to her pad for sex games. Will obeys her every whim and when she
commands him to shoot her during a staged rape, the gun turns out to be loaded. While his wife Laura (Belinda Waymouth) bitches about her mate's instability, Will contends with Jack (Matt McCoy), a blackmailing eyewitness to Delilah's "murder" who demands $500,000. Suspicious about Will's sudden
withdrawal of funds, Will's lawyer tries to horn in on Jack's scheme, only to be beaten to death for his presumptuousness.
Will tracks down Delilah look-alike Dana (Christina Fulton) after spotting her in a TV commercial; meanwhile, we discover that she's part of an extortion scheme masterminded by Laura and her lover Jack. Laura wants to fake Delilah-Dana's death yet again, hoping to drive Will permanently bonkers,
but Jack wants to settle for the $500,000. Laura pumps him full of lead. Will is tailed by Delilah-Dana to his beach house, where she makes excuses for her part in the scheme. When Laura arrives and turns on ex-pal Delilah-Dana, Will intervenes and accidentally sends Delilah-Dana sailing over a
high balcony railing to her death below. At headquarters, investigators believe Laura's version of events. Will ends up in a straight jacket; Laura will assume control of Will's assets.
Fancy-schmancy HARD DRIVE wants to re-invent film noir by mixing borrowed plot elements with a trendy story line involving computer dating. Aiming for a dream-like mise-en-scene partly inspired by VERTIGO, the film does a creditable job of rendering Will's confused state-of-mind, but fails to
engage on a narrative level. The Machiavellian plot to divest Will of his sanity and money is given short shrift, and the film turns into a clumsy character study replete with shoehorned flashbacks and soulful confessions. Lead actor (and producer) Damian struggles to make his wishy-washy
character sympathetic, but he's not an intriguing enough protagonist. (Graphic violence, extensive nudity, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: HARD DRIVE comes at you from all directions as it tosses pieces of its mystery jigsaw puzzle helter-skelter across the screen. By the time viewers can see the whole picture, however, they'll realize it's the same old film noir double cross. Suspected of… (more)