Devil In The Flesh 2
With their lurid subject matter, tawdry plots, and abundant nudity, erotic thrillers have always been fairly disreputable. But the genre is a paragon of filmmaking virtue compared to its offspring, the killer-nymphet movie, a subgenre that works the twin valves of voyeurism and moralism as it exposes the threat posed to blandly hunky middle-aged men by voracious, homicide-inclined teen vixens. A second-generation example of the genre, Devil In The Flesh 2 stars Jodi Lyn O'Keefe as an incarcerated young woman whose writerly ambitions and overdeveloped sense of romance are tragically ignored by a hospital staff more concerned with her propensity for murdering family members. After escaping from a hospital for the criminally insane, O'Keefe makes like a talented Ms. Ripley, adopting the identity and charge account of a rich coed and setting her sights on a creative-writing professor with a weakness for cigars, blues bars, and insane nymphets. What follows is unabashedly lurid and silly, but entertainingly so, with director Marcus Spiegel and screenwriter Richard Brandes keeping the film's tone pitched somewhere between Melrose Place and a Sam Fuller film. Everything is exaggerated to the point of gleeful self-parody: The heiress whose identity O'Keefe adopts doesn't just meet an untimely end; she yells, "Eat shit and die, bitch!," accidentally gasses herself with pepper spray, and becomes impaled on a metal coil, all in one swift gesture. Similarly, O'Keefe doesn't just corrupt her mousy roommate; she introduces her to drinking, Internet porn, manslaughter, and bi-curiosity, all in one eventful evening. Equally impressive is the way Spiegel subverts the genre's glib moralism by inviting the audience to identify with O'Keefe, both through stylistic devices and by making her the film's smartest, most interesting charactera ruthlessly efficient sociopath capable of destroying a frat boy with a withering look and dispassionately delivered insult. Far more enjoyable than it has any right to be, Devil In The Flesh 2 is everything films like Freeway 2 and Confessions Of Sorority Girls aspire to be but aren't: luridly entertaining, fast-paced, and a guilty pleasure par excellence.