(Worth Keeter, USA, 1993)



An amnesiac (Pamela Anderson) who experiences flashes of torture, slavery and prostitution in her Oriental childhood. A cop (Chelsea Field) who, obsessed by the sexual pathology of serial killers, brings a little rough stuff into her own relationships. A psychiatrist (Steven Bauer) who gets rather too involved with the problems of his patient (the amnesiac) and his lover (the cop).


Snapdragon has all the right ingredients for a stirring erotic thriller.


This low-rent version of Basic Instinct (1992) plunges viewers into a whirlpool of dream sequences, red herrings and hysterical outbursts. Gene Church's script runs with the basic idea of so many early ‘90s thrillers: zeroing in on those moments when seemingly rational, law-abiding citizens fall prey to deadly desire or just plain curiosity.


Soon enough, the official reports filed by these unhinged individuals start to resemble encyclopedic dissertations on every exotic perversion under the sun.


Director Worth Keeter develops a suitably lurid style for this material: askew angles, gaudy red lighting, candles and curtains everywhere. Those video buffs and pop sociologists particularly drawn to tales of female serial killers will find Snapdragon a minefield of telling images and allusions.


Rarely has a movie been so single-mindedly fixed on the vision of women-on-top during lovemaking or invented such an ingenious means of murdering the guy on bottom at his moment of climax.

© Adrian Martin October 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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