Postmortem (1998 DTV)

Single-malt embalming fluid?

US / 101 minutes / color / Imperial Entertainment, Filmwerks Dir: Albert Pyun Pr: Gary Schmoeller, Tom Karnowski Scr: John Lowry Lamb, Robert McDonnell Cine: George Mooradian Cast: Charles Sheen, Michael Halsey, Ivana Mílíčevíć, Stephen McCole, Gary Lewis, Dave Anderson, Leigh Biagi, Phil McCall, John Yule, Ian Hanmore, Ian Cairns, David Walker, Zuleika Shaw, Hazel Ann Crawford, Pauline Carville, Rab Affleck, Suzanne Carlsson, Lisa Earl, Carol Findlay, Erin Mooney, Alan Orr, Jenny Hughes.

This is not, let’s say it at the outset, a good movie. It’s a movie in which the lead actor, despite having built up an international reputation for spending much of his time falling over while under the influence, fails to convincingly portray falling over while under the influence. He portrays sobriety even less convincingly, which I suppose says . . . something.

Charles Sheen as James MacGregor.

James MacGregor (Sheen), after a stellar career of tracking down serial killers, has dropped out of the San Francisco PD because of acute depression and general burnout, and has written a bestselling true-crime book, Mind Crash, about an especially vile serial killer of children, Albert Smith. Now MacGregor is living in a cottage on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland, hoping to find himself at the bottom of a Continue reading

Treacherous Crossing (1992 TVM)

Based on a John Dickson Carr radio play, a vicious plan to drive a new-wed bride insane!

US / 84 minutes / color / OTML, Wilshire Court, USA Network Dir: Tony Wharmby Pr: Bob Roe Scr: Elisa Bell Story: Cabin B-13 (1943 radio play) by John Dickson Carr Cine: Brian West Cast: Lindsay Wagner, Angie Dickinson, Grant Show, Joseph Bottoms, Karen Medak, Charles Napier, Eric Avari, Cameron Watson, Jeffrey DeMunn, Scott McCray, Robert Meadmore.

Treacherous Crossing - 0

A TV remake of the John Dickson Carr adaptation DANGEROUS CROSSING (1953) dir Joseph M. Newman, with Jeanne Crain and Michael Rennie. If you’re familiar with the original then, to be honest, you’ll find that the remake doesn’t have very much new to offer, and of course it lacks Crain and Rennie. On the other hand, Wagner’s interpretation of the abandoned wife who fears for her sanity is arguably on its own worth the price of admission.

It’s New York City in 1947 and the crowds along the dockside are waving at the passengers aboard a luxury liner that’s preparing to depart for Europe. Among those waving passengers are freshly wed Lindsey Gates (Wagner) and cynical wife-on-holiday-from-husband Beverly Thomas (Dickinson); they meet and promise to spend time together during the voyage.

Treacherous Crossing - 1 Lindsey, full of hope for her new married life

 Lindsey (Lindsay Wagner), full of hope for her new married life.

Conspicuously not by Lindsey’s side is her adoring new husband, Kenneth, a composer and former writer of Broadway plays, who promised to meet her in the bar after embarkation. Lindsey waits and she waits, assuming he must have gotten delayed while sorting out some detail with the purser, perhaps. When one of the crew (McCray) suggests he might have gone back to their cabin, she looked there . . . only to discover that her key doesn’t fit the lock. Further inquiries reveal she’s been booked aboard the passage under her maiden name, Lindsey Thomas, and in a different cabin, 240B rather than 236B, a single rather than a double. In vain does Lindsey protest:

“We were just in Room 236B—it’s full of yellow flowers, he carried me over the threshold . . .”

Yet the maid who supposedly tended to the young couple’s cabin, Belinda (Medak), has no memory of Kenneth or of the yellow flowers in 236B; all she can remember is Continue reading