Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


THE HOT SPOT (1990). Director: Dennis Hopper.

"I'm f--king you to death, George."

A drifter named Harry Madox (Don Johnson) comes into a sleepy town, gets a job as a car salesman, and winds up bedding his boss, George's, wife (Virginia Madsen) as well as romancing a 19-year-old clerk in the office (Jennifer Connelly). Johnson and Madsen make a sexy duo, there are bank robberies, steamy sex scenes, beatings and murders -- and a lot of jealousy -- but while the picture holds the attention, it never really amounts to much. There's no real sense of time or place, the characters are vague or simply unlikable, the plot [based on the 1951 novel "Hell Hath No Fury"] is old-fashioned, and both the acting and pacing are rather too languid, although Madsen isn't bad and William Sadler nearly steals the picture as the sleazy blackmailer, Sutton. Some gay material that may have been inserted into the picture to make it seem more modern only makes it even more dated.

Verdict: Perhaps more fog than steam. **

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