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1 review, 2 user ratings

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Naked Lies
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by Chris Parry

"A softcore erotic thriller without a whole lot of actual softcore action."
2 stars

Yep, it’s another softcore erotic thriller starring Shannon Tweed as the heroine of the hour. In this stunning piece of ‘Cinemax noir’, Tweedy-Bird has to go under cover (and under the covers) to bust a Mexican gangster who runs a casino and counterfeits US dollars. More often than not with these kinds of films, storyline is left by the wayside as we go from one bedroom/shower scene to the next, but for some odd reason, the makers of Naked Lies seem to think that they’re making something important.

Tweed’s bazoongas, an integral part of any Shannon Tweed erotic thriller, are barely seen in the first two acts of the film, leaving a stunned late night TV audience to wonder what the hell they’re supposed to be looking at for 90 minutes.

After sitting through some truly awful dialogue, not to mention some Shannon Tweed martial arts displays as she beats up some local locos, we learn that her character has been booted to desk duty after killing a child during a drug bust. The kid in question was aiming a gun at her form behind a curtain, circumstances that would see any cop being given a second chance and a pat on the back for doing your duty. But in Tweed-world we’re instead treated to her boss hitting her with comments like, “did it turn you on to see the kid’s body twitching after you shot him?” Way to be there for your people, boss.

The boss in question is played by Jay Baker, an actor of questionable talent who is best remembered as ‘Big Bob’ in Shag. There’s another cop around, played by Steven Bauer, but all he does is sit at a desk, leaving me to wonder if he was brought in merely to sell the film to a Latino audience, as well as what gambling debts he needed to pay off. I mean, come on, this guy was in Traffic! He was in Primal Fear! He was Manny in Scarface, fer cryin’ out loud! What’s he doing in this cheap garbage?

If you took merely their performance in this film as your guide, you’d think that Baker and Bauer combined contain as much acting talent as Shannon Tweed’s left breast. Baker actually (and thankfully) stopped trying to act soon after this was released, so I guess he finally got some good advice.

Mexican actor Fernando Allende, as crime Damien Medina), manages to look probably the most professional of the lot, even when he’s having pretend sex with an unnamed blonde. On the balcony. In public. Outside his crowded casino. His eville sidekick, Santiago Diaz (Hugo Stiglitz) is as scary as large sweaty aunts at Christmas – more disgusting and gross than actually fear-inducing.

So how will Shannon Tweed get undercover with casino boy? Well, of course she’ll apply for a job as a roulette girl. Just as well she’s a mathematical genius! And just as well the mob guy has a penchant for large-breasted 45-year-old blondes!

So she spins some roulette and even though everyone else at the casino thinks Tweeder is suspicious, the bad ass refuses to listen and insists his favorite old broad continue working there. What’s more, he insists she be given a job to move some packages for them. Just as well this guy is an idiot, eh?

Having made it clear that Naked Lies is hopeless TV, there are some positives that should be mentioned. Shannon Tweed, for all her faults, actually throws a mean spinning sidekick. I guess when you’re married to Gene Simmons from KISS, it pays to be an asskicker. Added to that, while the story is mostly yawn inspiring and full of contrivance (Tweed has to be wearing her shoes for the listening device sewn into her stocking to work), it also has a few funny moments.

The almost total absence of any actual flesh for a large part of the film (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) does detract from the final product though. I mean, if you’re putting together a remake of The Grapes of Wrath, nudity would be out of place, but when you’re making a Shannon Tweed film, forcing an audience to wait until the last ten minutes to see her get it on with anyone is just cruel.

Directed by career softcore man Rich Portillo and written by Beverly Hills Bordello scribe D. Alvelo, in terms of the all-time greats of cinema, Naked Lies is very much at the bottom of the pack. But as a mild enjoyable, mostly hokey, not naked enough diversion on late night cable, it’s a lot less painful than many of its ilk.

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originally posted: 11/01/02 09:51:43
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User Comments

12/14/02 Winkler They're at the end and looking fine 4 stars
11/01/02 Buddha Where's Tweed's tooters? 2 stars
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  25-Aug-1998 (R)


  25-Aug-1998 (MA)

Directed by
  Ralph Portillo

Written by
  D. Alvelo

  Shannon Tweed
  Fernando Allende
  Jay Baker
  Steven Bauer
  Hugo Stiglitz
  Moneko Mori

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