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the pathetic caverns - movies by title - Preaching to the Perverted

eclectic reviews and opinions

Preaching to the Perverted

1997, D & S: Stuart Urban

The "director's cut" of Stuart Urban's 1997 offering Preaching to the Perverted recently made its way to the "New Releases" rack of our local video shop.

Here, at last, is a movie guaranteed to offend virtually everyone.

The squeamish or moralistic won't care for the explicit language, partial nudity, or generally tolerant outlook toward sexual deviance. But on the other hand, even casual fetishists will be appalled by the myriad stereotypes and innaccuracies. The supposedly ultra-tough dominatrix Tanya Cheex (Guinevere Turner) secretly longs for a vanilla relationship. She explains to the naif attempting to infiltrate her club that all of the scenes she plays are based on consensuality -- except, of course, when it gets in the way of the narrative. And the scene in which one of the kinky crowd kills a neighbor's pet (offscreen, mercifully) is as gratuitious as it is stupid.

Anyone at all can be disgusted by the one-dimensional characters, trite dialog and the insipid and predictable excuse for a plot. Christien Anholt plays Peter Emory, a computer geek who finds himself assigned to collect evidence of law breaking in underground S&M clubs, while keeping his virginity intact. No one notices things like how surveillance gear bulks up his leather jacket, and tiresomely, he and Cheex almost immediately start making goo-goo eyes at each other (muttering unconvincing denials all the while). Stupid as it was, it was far too earnest to be funny.

What baffles me still is the question "Who would like this movie?" I have no answer. Even the raincoat crowd is likely to find this unsatisfactory; they'd do better renting the real thing.

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