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Saturday, January 7, 2012

A LOVER'S REVENGE -- movie review by porfle

 (This review was originally posted in 2005.)

What happens when a radio psychologist who spews relationship advice to others on a daily basis finds herself in the middle of her own sordid "life crisis"?  If there's a dangerous psycho involved, it can get pretty scary.

No, I'm not talking about Dr. Laura and those nude photos.  In this made-for-Lifetime thriller A LOVER'S REVENGE (2005), it's Dr. Liz Manners (Alexandra Paul), and she's just found out that her husband Rob (Gary Hudson) is a big dummy who charges dinners-for-two on their mutual credit card when he's supposed to be out of town on business.  Yes, he's been getting a very different kind of relationship advice from another woman. 

Dr. Liz throws him out of the house and then seeks out the woman who produces her radio show so they can discuss the problem over a couple of International Coffees.  Rob, however, still loves Liz and wants to move back into the house, because that's where all of his clean underwear is.  So he breaks it off with Ashley, the blonde floozy he's been sheet-surfing with, buys a big bunch of long-stemmed roses, and comes crawling back.  But when he walks in, he's surprised to find some crazy guy with a gun in his house. 

If you're a Perry Mason fan, you'll recognize the crazy guy as "Ken Malansky" (William R. Moses) from a whole slew of "Perry Mason" TV-movies that aired back in the 80s and 90s.  Here, he plays Kyle, an obsessive-possessive husband who discovers that his wife is the "Christine" who's been calling Dr. Liz regularly and telling her what a creepy, overbearing control freak her husband is.  Kyle morphs into Mr. Hyde and throws a fit, so "Christine" flees from the house and gets run over by Father Drake from Melantha Blackthorne's SINNERS AND SAINTS (Jason Cavalier), although here he is billed as "Motorist."  His wife's death drives Kyle the rest of the way over the edge, and he vows to get revenge--a lover's revenge, that is--on the person he blames for it.  And that person, of course, is Dr. Liz.

What follows is pretty entertaining.  Kyle bugs her house and gets all sorts of juicy stuff to use against her, including a phone conversation that just might mean a whole heap o' legal trouble for Dr. Liz, especially if it falls into the hands of a sleazy tabloid journalist, which it does.  And it turns out that he hired Ashley to seduce Rob, so the marriage woes Dr. Liz has been suffering are his doing as well.  He even keys her car. 

But even this isn't enough to satisfy his lust for revenge--a lover's revenge--and his plans soon take a deadly turn that leads to murder.  I won't tell you who gets murdered, because you aren't supposed to know that yet.  But the murders make a fairly interesting story even more interesting, especially when Dr. Liz herself becomes a prime suspect.  And to make things worse, she soon realizes that her own life is in grave danger.

I enjoyed watching A LOVER'S REVENGE because the script by Christine Conradt (GHETTO DAWG 2, A KILLER UPSTAIRS) and Nelson Williams keeps all of these elements humming along rather nicely toward a suspenseful conclusion.  Prolific Canadian producers Pierre David (SCANNERS, A KILLER UPSTAIRS) and Tom Berry have turned out a lot of films like this, and here they've come up with an above-average thriller that sustains interest all the way through. 

The cast is capable as well, especially William R. Moses as the creepy Kyle and Gary Hudson, whom I've always liked as Steve, the guy Patrick Swayze tells to stay on his break in ROADHOUSE.  Alexandra Paul looks swell here--hard to believe it was decades ago when I first saw her as an aspiring female bodybuilder in the TV-movie GETTING PHYSICAL--and she makes a good Dr. Liz.  "Beverly Hills, 90210" alumnus Gabrielle Carteris is also good as Detective Sparks, the cop who eventually sorts everything out.

So, if you're looking for a fun movie to watch while enjoying a delicious cup of International Coffee and trying to remember what that waiter's name was, you could do a lot worse than A LOVER'S REVENGE. 

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