The tribulations of the rich, beautiful and naked in Beverly Hills are the focus of this inane soft-porn warming over of Bunuel's classic BELLE DU JOUR. Michelle Brin, admittedly a ringer for Catherine Deneuve in looks if not in talent, plays Julianne who, neglected by her architect husband Mark Langford (Billy Drago), and bored with shopping, joins a ritzy...read more
The tribulations of the rich, beautiful and naked in Beverly Hills are the focus of this inane soft-porn warming over of Bunuel's classic BELLE DU JOUR.
Michelle Brin, admittedly a ringer for Catherine Deneuve in looks if not in talent, plays Julianne who, neglected by her architect husband Mark Langford (Billy Drago), and bored with shopping, joins a ritzy daytime brothel in search of afternoon orgasms. Shy at first, she warms up with some mild
lesbianism, topless sunbathing and parading around in frilly undergarments before taking on her first male client, the mysterious Eric (Martin Hewitt). Not only does Eric bring her to earthshaking orgasms, but he also chats with her afterwards. Julianne is, of course, smitten by this hunk who not
only torques her body but is interested in her mind. She is, however, tormented by nightmares about her Catholic school upbringing in which she's mauled by a gay-porn magazine cover model in front of a miniskirted nun with great legs.
What these nightmares might mean is never explored before Eric's dark wacko side emerges. He wants to own Julianne and will stop at nothing. During one session, he "discreetly" snaps photographs of Julianne frolicking with a fellow lady of the day. He mails samples of the photos to Mark along with
an offer to turn over the negatives for $10,000, but his real intention is to murder Mark in order to take possession of Julianne. Having escaped her bedroom-cell in Eric's apartment, Julianne arrives at the scene in the nick of time to kill Eric as he's about to kill Mark.
Not likely to erase memories of V: THE HOT ONE, porn legend Annette Haven's hard-core reworking of BELLE DU JOUR, much less Bunuel's classic itself, SECRET GAMES is the kind of movie for which pay cable was invented. The plot is minimal and nonsensical, the gals are gorgeous, and the action, in
the unrated version at least, is about as salacious as it gets outside the "Adults Only" section of the video store.
The plot, when it gets going, resembles "Charlie's Angels" on an off week when the other prostitutes team up with Julianne to put Eric out of commission, sneaking around Beverly Hills in limousines and skittering in and out of mansions in the dead of night in tight miniskirts and
nosebleed-inducing heels. Another highlight is the male bouncer of the brothel, who keeps an industrial key copier handy at his workplace, allowing him to copy all of Eric's keys to facilitate Julianne's later escape from Eric's luxuriously appointed holding cell. The handiest of handymen, he also
services the madam of the house whenever she gets too heated up from watching her employees at work through the clever closed-circuit cameras she's scattered throughout the house.
But for the most part, SECRET GAMES is geared to lovers of lingerie and the ladies who wear it; in one long sequence, having little to do with anything else in the film, the daytime prostitutes demonstrate their skills at striptease for one another. In this kind of context, acting seems
superfluous. But, for the record, Drago (THE UNTOUCHABLES, DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY) is terrible as ever, while Hewitt (ENDLESS LOVE, CARNAL CRIMES) actually does act, and it's very distracting. Brin has the right idea. As Jack Nicholson advised in interviews while he was playing the Joker in BATMAN,
she let the costumes do the acting. (Sexual situations, nudity.)
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