Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Infidelity always leads to disaster...
and yet they still do it!

Maybe it's because I've never met anyone that I could imagine spending the rest of my life with for a very, very long (and I gave up on the notion over a decade ago), but I can't understand the type of person who would get married and then turn around and cheat on that person. I guess if one is a sociopath such behavior could be expected, but are there really that many sociopaths in the world?

I hope I never understand the sort of impulse that would cause someone to betray another person like that. But what I WOULD like to understand is why anyone would turn around and marry the person that cheated with them on their spouse. Why would you ever want to enter into any sort of permanent arrangement with someone who has proven themselves to be scummy and untrustworthy? Even if you are kindred spirits?

Much talk is spewed about how movies and other popular culture items shame people's behavior. If that was indeed true, wouldn't there be LESS infidelity in the world than more? After all, cheaters NEVER prosper in the movies... they end up framed for murder, stalked by psychos, or just find their lives in ruins in the aftermath.

And real-life cheaters usually don't have fates more impressive than their fictional counterparts... take John Edwards for example. Since he was caught sleeping around on his dying wife, he has not only been exposed as a corrupt weasel, but as a cry-baby coward as well. If people contemplating cheating on their husbands or wives doesn't care about the spouse's feelings, you'd think they'd at least care about what might happen to themselves and their own reputations.

Then again, stupid is as stupid does. Rather like the cheating characters in "Point of Terror" (and thus I segue into a review to keep the blog on track).

Point of Terror (1971)
Starring: Peter Carpenter, Dyanne Thorne, Leslie Sims, Joel Marsten, Paula Mitchell, and Lory Hansen
Director: Alex Nicol
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

Lounge singer Tony Trelos (Carpenter) thinks his dreams of stardom are at hand when he becomes the latest boy-toy for the oversexed wife of a record executive (Thorne) and she promises him a record contract. But things get dangerously complicated when her husband (Marsten) turns up dead and Tony falls in love/lust with her stepdaughter (Hansen).

"Point of Terror" is a messy movie that meanders through a predictable "Pride Goeth Before a Fall" story. The tone varies widely from comedy to thriller to horror, but it never stays with one atmosphere long enough to establish whether writer/producer/star Peter Carpenter failed at making an erotic thriller, a horror movie, or a dark comedy. Although the demise of the abusive husband, some of the revelations around Dyanne Thorne's character, and the fact that Tony Trelos is about as dumb as a box of rocks make me wonder if this is a REALLY dry comedy, I THINK Carpenter and director Alex Nicol were trying to make a thriller in the Italian "gaillo" vein. Unfortunately, while they captured the incoherence so dominant in many Italian mysteries and thrillers, they captured none of the style. Worse, scenes with flourishes that were intended to be artistic drag on and on and on and feel more like padding than anything else. (You know you're watching an erotic thriller gone wrong when you are reaching for the remote to fast-forward through the sex scenes because they are boring and the music score under them is nerve-gratingly bad).

The film isn't helped by the fact that the only performer with any screen presence in the whole thing is Dyanne Thorne. As prone as I am to make jokes about her two humongous talents, she actually does have quite a bit of charisma... and it really shows when she's surrounded by the caliber of actors in this film. She pretty much steals the movie from poor Peter Carpenter, although he obviously intended this to be his vehicle of stardom.

Speaking of Carpenter, this is the second of his films that I've watched--the other being "Blood Mania", which he also wrote, produced, and starred in, and which I will be reviewing over at Terror Titans one of these days--and in both cases, I felt that he was an okay actor but simply didn't have much in the way of screen presence... or he simply had the misfortune of always playing against actoresses who outshone him. This was the last of Carpenter's films, and I feel like he was to the 1970s like John King was to the 1940s.

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