If nothing else, SAVE ME proves that a direct-to-video "erotic thriller" can have a male lead so stupid that even Andrew Stevens couldn't plausibly play him.
The uber-chump is Jim (Harry Hamlin), a West Coast stockbroker, newly separated from his wife, who's more than ready to be suckered when shapely mall sylph Ellie (Lysette Anthony) slips him a note reading "Save me." She angers Jim with woeful reports of abuse at the hands of her live-in lover,
psychiatrist Oliver Moran (Michael Ironside). Soon, a car with tinted windows chases Jim and shots are fired at him. Jim (like the viewer) is meant to believe Moran is the attacker. Yeah, right. After Moran is killed by an unseen someone (guess who) with Jim's gun, our hero is further bamboozled
by foreign-accented phone calls that threaten to tell the cops. Jim can't imagine who this interloper could be, though a few scenes earlier his reptilian office nemesis (Steve Railsback) had declared for the umpteenth time his intent to nail Jim and get Ellie all to himself.
The plot is as transparent as the heroine's clothes. At one point Jim catches Ellie in a network of lies, but after a roll in the hay--actually rough sex in a stairwell--he's clueless again. Ultimately Jim helps the LAPD record Ellie's Psychology 101 confession on tape (she's a schizo incest
survivor out to ruin men). As officers drag the femme fatale away they neglect to rip her blouse open, the narrative's one surprise. In the unrated "director's cut," Lysette Anthony and other lovelies are undraped in various ways, the most inspired being Jim and Ellie's deep-focus tryst in back of
a lingerie store, where a one-way mirror into the dressing room provides an ongoing strip-show backdrop to the principals' passion. As if confirming that Hollywood exploitation sometimes parallels real-life sleaze after all, last billed in the cast is a then-unknown Kato Kaelin, the Z-movie bit
player and "houseguest" who won fame as a witness in the O.J. Simpson murder trial. (Profanity, adult situations, extensive nudity, sexual situations, violence.)
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