So exceedingly complicated that one is tempted to dub it "Quadruple Indemnity," SINS OF THE NIGHT fails to make its insurance scams and triple crosses sufficiently suspenseful. It has too many subplots and, like so many would-be noir thrillers, quickly runs out of steam and concentrates on
scenes of erotica--which may be reason enough for the non-discriminating to watch it.
Born loser Jack Nietzsche (Nick Cassavetes) works for a hard-boiled insurance investigator Ted Quinty (Matt Roe), who gives ex-cons like Jack a second chance. Closing in on a flim-flam involving beautiful Laura Winters (Michelle Brin), who pretends to be wheelchair-bound, Jack is dismayed when
his no-excuses boss removes him from the case. Pragmatic Jack gives his all to a new case once he sees the curvaceous suspect. Jack is ordered to locate Roxy Flowers (Deborah Shelton) who has a longstanding whiplash claim. He falls for her, even though the only thing about which she's ever honest
is her husband, Tony Falcone's (Miles O'Keeffe), abusiveness. Besotted by Roxy, Jack conspires to take over Falcone's Mafia rackets. What he doesn't realize is that Quinty is Roxy's partner in crime, and Quinty plans to eliminate Falcone and pin the blame on Jack. What Quinty doesn't realize is
that bisexual Roxy plans to have the men in her life kill each other so she'll be free to spend Falcone's money with gal-pal Danielle (Courtney Taylor). Quinty kills Falcone, and Roxy shoots her own fond farewell into Quinty. Believing that Jack was fatally wounded by his boss, the women celebrate
prematurely. Demonstrating his bullet-proof vest for the ladies, Jack phones the cops and lets Roxy and Danielle take the well-deserved fall.
Marred by the crippling casting of Cassavetes in the lead, SINS OF THE NIGHT is an unsuccessful foray into Mickey Spillane territory. It's difficult to take a thriller seriously when so many available babes spill out of their clothes for so unworthy a hero, and the screenplay is equally stripped
down: we can see every swindle telegraphed in advance. Further hampering the film is the pedestrian direction, which fails to generate suspense and doesn't really enhance any of the numerous opportunities for eroticism. Because the women in the cast are extraordinarily alluring, armchair
detectives will have plenty to look at even when they have little to ponder or deduce. Falling short in the tongue-in-cheek private eye category, Cassavetes is easily outflanked by the gruffly masculine Roe and the aggressively sexy Shelton. In this rather jejune sex thriller, the suspense only
builds fitfully, and the eroticism distracts without ever really arousing viewers. With a yawn, we watch the scheming spiders get caught in a web of their own making and begin to dismiss this unexciting shell game even before it reaches its predictable climax. (Extensive nudity, extensiveprofanity, graphic violence, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1993
- Rating: NR
- Review: So exceedingly complicated that one is tempted to dub it "Quadruple Indemnity," SINS OF THE NIGHT fails to make its insurance scams and triple crosses sufficiently suspenseful. It has too many subplots and, like so many would-be noir thrillers, quickly run… (more)