Intimate Stranger

(Allan Holzman, USA, 1992)


At the B movie end of the thriller genre, Intimate Stranger offers a disconcertingly matter-of-fact story about a woman (Deborah Harry) who gives great phone sex.

Unfortunately for her, this handy way of bolstering the weekly income tends to attract the wrong kind of man – the serial killer kind, in fact.

The handling of this proudly sleazy material by director Allan Holzman – who boasts the memorable Grunt! The Wrestling Movie (1985) on his CV – reminds one less of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1990) than the off-hand, virtually plotless, charmingly ragged low-budget American features of the early '80s emerging from the underground New York No Wave, such as Beth & Scott B's Vortex (1982), Bette Gordon's Variety (1983) and Mark Reichert's Union City (1980).

Besides Harry, Intimate Stranger showcases several fine character actors who emerged in that period: Tim Thomerson, James Russo and Grace Zabriskie. The script is by Rob Fresco, who went on to direct several films including the enjoyable Evil Has a Face (1996), starring Sean Young as a sketch artist.

© Adrian Martin November 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search