If telephone-sex services have set Alexander Graham Bell spinning in his grave, then the proliferation of phone-sex-slasher movies should do the same for film pioneers like Edison and the Brothers Lumiere. Since the mid-1980s there have been a handful of lowly potboilers about murderous
perverts stalking the teleporn girls, and SMOOTH TALKER adds nothing but deadweight to the microgenre.
Surly cop Carl Waters (Joe Guzaldo) is having no luck nabbing the mysterious "976 Killer," who has so far left three female sex-chat employees permanently disconnected. Carl also carries a torch for his imperiously gorgeous ex-wife Lisa (Blair Weickgenant), an assistant district attorney. She
can't stand him, but lets herself get hit on by all the other horny males in City Hall, especially clean-cut defense lawyer Jack Purdue (Peter Crombie). Guess who the serial murderer turns out to be? Carl gets to rescue Lisa from Jack in the nick of time, but not after a lengthy and distressing
subplot about police efforts to pin the crimes on an innocent man. At one point Carl and cohorts scheme to frame the suspect for drug possession so they can lock him up in the absence of any other proof. If that implies criticism of law-enforcement zealots, it doesn't come through very well in
this portrait of the boys in blue at work.
It's all awfully predictable, with Jack signifying his guilt from the get-go when he jokes about having just poisoned his spouse. Though nudity and gore isn't as excessive as others of its ilk, SMOOTH TALKER looks generally grungy and cheap, the only real class supplied by a Humphrey Bogart poster
that Carl keeps on his wall. Weickgenant is a looker, though; one marvels that this regal beauty and the obscenity-snarling flatfoot ever got hitched in the first place. Some veteran character actors fill out the supporting cast, and Batmaniacs will hearken to the sight of TV's Robin, Burt Ward,
as an audio technician. Evidently movie police now have entire labs devoted to the burgeoning science of phone-sex-homicide. (Violence, excessive profanity, nudity, sexual situations, adult situations.)
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1992
- Rating: NR
- Review: If telephone-sex services have set Alexander Graham Bell spinning in his grave, then the proliferation of phone-sex-slasher movies should do the same for film pioneers like Edison and the Brothers Lumiere. Since the mid-1980s there have been a handful of l… (more)