IN A MOMENT OF PASSION must have been conceived in a moment of lunacy by frustrated actors, since the subtext is that stand-ins are justified in killing selfish movie stars, provided they have the talent to back up their ambition.
When up-and-coming German star Werner Soehnen (Jeff Conaway) lands the lead in a Hollywood historical romance, Werner's lookalike stand-in, Victor Brandt (Maxwell Caulfield), suggests that Werner doesn't really need the role. Less than gracious about ceding his big break to his upstart stunt
double, Werner is quickly eliminated in a high-speed car accident, and self-confident Victor plows ahead with his plan to replace his former boss.
Equally weary of the slings and arrows of casting agents (and her boyfriend's wedding ultimatums) is American actress/stunt coordinator Tammy Brandon (Chase Masterson), who's been hired to teach the epic's male lead fancy horseback riding in Europe. While she complains about Crista Kelly (Vivian
Schilling), the blonde drug addict who stole her part in this upcoming movie, Victor deals with the obstacles obstructing his career path. He drowns Werner's producer, Fritz Brumbacher (Robert Z'Dar), in a creek and chokes Werner's girlfriend, Adriana Rossi (Stefanie Sergakis), during sex. Then he
courts Tammy, while trying damage control the suspicions of Greta (Julie Araskc), the all-purpose hostess and veterinarian for the manor where they are housed. When Greta's lesbian tendencies destroy her credibility with Tammy, Victor breathes easier until ballbuster Crista Kelly arrives; she
knows both Werner and Victor intimately if not well. After poisoning Greta, Victor reveals all to Tammy and begs her to bond with him by killing her own impediment to stardom. Playing along at first, Tammy pretends to drug Crista before running for her life. Surviving a stable fire, she sees
Victor trampled to death by stampeding horses. Without having had to resort to murder, Tammy is rewarded with a juicy movie role and the return of her old boyfriend.
The first victim of budget in this low-cost, steamy melodrama must have been logic. How can Victor dream of getting away with substituting himself for a well-known foreign star whose movies exist on videotape? The script is riddled with lapses of logic, and the viewer isn't swept past the
loopholes by the romance of the two leading players, which fails to smolder. While Caulfield has occasionally risen to a good role (THE BOYS NEXT DOOR), newcomer Masterson disports herself like a less intense Annabella Sciorra with a touch of Didi Conn perkiness. While Arasko has presence and
Schilling is campily amusing, New York-sounding Joe Estevez is totally out of place as, of all things, a German tycoon. Of course, he's not nearly as jarring as Jeff Conaway who brings a surfer-style twang to his interpretation of Germany's rising stage and screen idol. IN A MOMENT OF PASSION
self-destructs on every level, from the flawed central concept to the indifferent direction, ludicrous dialogue, and pathetically ersatz attempts to suggest all things Germanic. (Nudity, violence, profanity, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: IN A MOMENT OF PASSION must have been conceived in a moment of lunacy by frustrated actors, since the subtext is that stand-ins are justified in killing selfish movie stars, provided they have the talent to back up their ambition. When up-and-coming Ger… (more)