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Object of Obsession Reviews

Despite its pretensions to a feminist perspective, OBJECT OF OBSESSION is aimed squarely at male Pavlovian responses. Just as Cecil B. DeMille licked his lips over biblical orgies while preaching redemption, this sexcapade grants the heroine vindication only after giving male viewers a chance to slobber over her sexual debasement at the hands of a married pig. On the rebound from a painful divorce, Margaret (Erika Anderson) is looking for love in all the wrong places. Cultivating phone sex romance, she falls prey to the practiced patter of Blaze (Scott Valentine), who lures her to his apartment, locks her in and employs drugs, S&M psychology, and bondage to weaken Margaret's will. Desperately hungry for her master's attention, vulnerable Margaret loses her will to leave, tolerates watching him have sex with another woman, and even submits to having sex with a stranger. Blaze eventually tires of his power games and shows her the door. After recovering from her lust-stupor, Margaret returns to the scene of her humiliation to discover she's just another notch on Blaze's bedpost, and that he has videotaped his sexual games with her and other women. Deciding to turn the tables, Margaret pops by the house where Blaze lives with his wife on the pretext of returning his "stolen" camera. Jeopardizing his marriage, she forces him to satisfy her sexually, with his unsuspecting wife downstairs. After mailing out his tape collection to some of his earlier victims, Margaret administers the coup de grace by luring him to an assignation at the apartment, where she binds him and abandons him. Lovelorn females may enjoy Margaret's turning the tables, but OBJECT OF OBSESSION is clearly most interested in titillating male viewers. Only when gullible Margaret reacts with unaccustomed fury does the movie shake off its dramatic lethargy and involve both male and female viewers with the sight of respectable Blaze being hoisted on his own suburban picket fence. Aside from Margaret's late-breaking power trip, this revenge fantasy is predicated on the premise that Men Need Sex/Women Want Romance. In such a paradox, this swinging singles panic-reaction becomes a cautionary tale about meeting lovers by phone. Since there is a happy ending, one can overlook the film's double standard and its initial plodding pace and enjoy the spectator sport of male dominance going down for the count. (Extensive nudity, extreme profanity, sexual situations, substance abuse.)