Body Shot

Year: 1994
Production Co: Eternity Pictures
Director: Dimitri Logothetis
Writer: Dimitri Logothetis
Cast: Robert Patrick, Michelle Johnson, Ray Wise, Jonathan Banks

Okay, okay. The only reason I watched this movie was because of falling hopelessly in love with Michelle Johnson at about 14 the first time I saw Blame it On Rio.

And I'll bet everyone involved – from Johnson to T1000 Robert Patrick – wishes they could erase it from history. Think of all the trappings of an unmistakably 80s version of a noir thriller (the surprisingly tame sleaze, the fashions, the stodgy blocking and the growly voiceover by the hero) mix well, and you'll have Body Shots. The only things I didn't notice were neon signs and a single mournful saxophone on the soundtrack, but I'm sure they were in there somewhere.

That's all good for a laugh, but you don't get to see as much of the delectable Johnson (then 29) as you do in her 1984 classic when she was 19.

See something wrong with the maths there? Right up until researching the background of this movie, I remembered how loudly it screamed 'eighties' and didn't even know it came out in 1994, a full three years after Patrick excelled in the timeless Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Either writer/director Dimitri Logethetis was doing a brilliant job of taking the piss out of an earlier time, or he was just a talentless hack copying the styles of everything that had been cool a decade and a half before.

The story is all over the place. Sleazy paparazzi photographer Mickey (Patrick) came to LA, lost his soul, and now every word past his cigarette comes dripping with Raymond Chandler-esque cynicism and sarcasm.

When he's caught trying to get snaps of reclusive Hollywood pop star Chelsea (Johnson) one too many times and gets an AVO, his future looks bleak. But a mysterious man approaches him at a club with an amazing offer – take BDSM-themed pictures of his wife Danielle for a sizeable payday.

Mickey does so, falling in love with the guy's wife in the process because she's a dead ringer for Chelsea, but when the real Chelsea is found murdered in the same pose Mickey shot Danielle in, Mickey becomes a suspect. All the while he's on the lam trying to clear his name, he's wondering if everyone around him – including Danielle – is playing him.

The sleazy sexuality it's supposed to be about feels like a 13-year-old wrote it, then took it all out anyway after his mother told him to. If there'd been much more blood and sex, it might have been a campy classic today, but the merits it wants to rest on just don't exist.

If you were a pervert who'd only watched it after drooling over Michelle Johnson in Blame it On Rio for so many hours (I didn't, it was a friend of mine), you'll be very let down.

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