All Tied Up

(John Mark Robinson, Spain/USA, 1992)


This 1992 Spanish-American co-productionpresumably picked up for video release because of the overnight celebrity status won for Teri Hatcher by television’s Lois and Clark (and later, after a long interregnum, revived with Desperate Housewives)is an oddity.

It begins like a cross between a teen movie and a Blake Edwards sex comedy, with Brian (Zach Galligan from Gremlins [1984]) merrily pursuing his lifestyle as reckless womaniser and hip expert on blues music.

Brian is engaged to Linda (Hatcher) who soon learns of his prolific infidelity. Enlisting her goofy girlfriendsreal estate agent Kim (Lara Harris) and aspiring actor Sharon (Tracy Griffith)Linda decides to tie Brian up for an indefinite period and teach him a lesson or three.

At this point the laughter stops dead and All Tied Up becomes a kinky Almodóvar tribute.

Excruciating tortures are inflicted on our reactionary hero in the name of feminist revenge. An unbilled Patrick Bergin pops in, sporting a Louise Brooks wig as if auditioning for Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994).

Linda even seems to have a faintly lesbian vibe going with Kimthat is, until a “warm, sensitive and nurturing” cop shows up at the door to divert the latter’s affections.

Director John Mark Robinson (who previously made the creditable genre-pieces Roadhouse 66 [1984] and Kid [1991], but has done nothing since) eventually attempts to re-introduce a measure of sanity. But the resolution of this strange sex war harbours an all too familiar double standard. While it is perverse and disturbing for a woman to tie up a man, the reversal of this game is treated as perfectly reasonable. Linda may scream, “What gives you the right to harass me?” but smirking Brian has the show-stopping answer: “Love”.

© Adrian Martin October 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search