Play Nice (1992)



It's your typical erotic thriller, so why bother? One reason: Louise Robey. I had a major league crush on this star of the Friday the 13th TV series back in the eighties. Who knew she starred in an erotic thriller? Well, as soon as I found out, thirty plus years later, I had to check it out.




































CHARACTERS
Jack 'Mouth' Penucci (Ed Ross)
Dennis 'Crick' Crichmore (Michael Zand).
Jill Crane (Louise Robey)
Crick's wife (Ann Dusenberry)
Susan (Angel Ashley), Jill's co-worker
Captain Foxx (Bruce McGill)

RATING: ☆☆☆☆☆☆ 6/10

REVIEW: There's no question this is a paint-by-numbers erotic thriller; however, points for getting creative with the fairy tale allusions. Jill, is Red Riding Hood at one point; she's also the Rapunzel killer. Later, she'll lose a shoe and be Cinderella, etc. We find out that Jill has serious daddy issues, so the fairy tale motif makes sense I suppose, as she's forever stunted in her childhood. But the real sell with this film is Louise Robey. The scenes with Robey are pure dynamite. She's willing to be naked in nearly every scene she's in.. and if that weren't enough, she throws one-thousand percent into her batshit crazy moments. She's taunting Penucci, then groveling, then drooling with rabid fury - it's a roller coaster ride of crazy - at a level you never see in these dime-a-dozen erotic thrillers. A crying shame Robey decided to stop with this film.


LOUISE ROBEY


And here is the one and only reason I watched this movie. I was a huge fan of the 1980's Friday the 13th television series. The show was about Micki (Louise Robey) and her cousin Ryan who must retrieve cursed antiques from the people who bought them. In my humble opinion the X-Files borrowed a lot from this show. It perhaps never achieved the popularity it deserved simply due to the title - as the Friday the 13th movies were still popular, and I can see the confusion. Plus (if memory serves) this was also stuck on cable late in the evening.


The article reads: "On TV's Friday the 13th it's Robey who makes little boys really howl"... yeah, no doubt. After the series ended, she did this movie then quit acting altogether - after marrying a British Earl and being set for life.


ANN DUSENBERRY


If there is a more egregious example of wasting a great actress on a small pointless role, I can't think of one. The extent of Ann Dusenberry's part was to show up for two minutes as Crick's pointless wife. A travesty. Dusenberry was amazing in National Lampoon's Movie Madness (1982) and Basic Training (1985). 

SYNOPSIS


Mismatched homicide detective partners: the tough guy who never goes by the books, Jack 'Mouth' Penucci (Ed Ross) and the wimpy guy who always does things by the books, Dennis 'Crick' Crichmore (Michael Zand). Penucci is such a renegade, he shows up at a crime scene and lays next to the murder victim. There's a string of murders they're calling the "Rapunzel" case, and they've assigned it to the human train wreck, Penucci. The Rapunzel murders involve a mysterious female who leaves long blonde hairs at the crime scenes. As if things couldn't get any more cliché, Penucci's boss, Captain Foxx (Bruce McGill), screams at him when he gets out of line.

Penucci is assigned help from the records department - Jill Crane (Louise Robey). Penucci and Jill spend countless hours in a diner (beneath a cool Sorceress poster) going over the case. After a long night of hard work, Penucci and Jill enjoy a glass of wine. Penucci and Jill have sex. Their sexual encounter is followed close behind another. Penucci and Jill are going at it, day after day. Penucci meets with his partner, Crick, at the same diner with the "Sorceress" poster. Then it's back to his place to bang Jill again. Crick has a happy, normal home with a lovely wife (Ann Dusenberry) and a young daughter - so you know something bad is going to happen to them.

Penucci discovers some information that implicates Jill, and he lays into her, asking her whereabouts last night. Actor Ed O'Ross was great at portraying a scary asshole. Jill pleads her case with Penucci, and he finally relents. But he's still suspicious. Penucci goes to the records department to see if Jill is who she says she is. He interrogates some of her coworkers including the leggy Susan (Angel Ashley). Jill starts abusing Penucci. She taunts him about his past, poking him, insulting him, and basically making him cry. Penucci smacks her to the floor, but she only smiles and begs for more. The next day, Jill doesn't let up one bit with the mind games. When Penucci comes home, Jill is waiting for him. She jumps up on him. This time Penucci thinks with his brain and not his dick. He tells Jill he can't do this anymore. She puts on a red coat and he hands Jill her picnic basket.

Captain Foxx and Penucci find definitive proof that the Rapunzel murderer is actually Jill. Meanwhile, Jill is busy with her next victim. Wearing a long blonde wig she shoots the guy. But Penucci and Crick are on the scene to chase her down. She's chased through the building. A tray of dishes is thrown on her, causing her to fall down a flight of stairs. But she gets right back up. The final showdown: Jill shoots Penucci, who lies on the floor gasping for breath. Crick enters the room, but is gunned down by Jill. But Penucci fires the last shot, killing Jill. But Penucci fires the last shot, killing Jill. THE END

Comments

  1. I liked Louise Robey too. Friday the 13th the show is what I think of first over the movie because it was a childhood favorite of mine (even though I was probably too young to be watching it). Robey and the guy who played Ryan were great together - the show wasn't the same after he left. Robey could have done very well in TV or films with the charisma she had, but I'm glad she was able to find happiness elsewhere.

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    1. Yes, and I think the X-Files comparison is apt. The two partnered solving paranormal mysteries - there was everything except the X-files mythology aspect. But yeah, super shocked when I found out Robey had done such a revealing performance... sadly, her last before moving on to bigger and better things.

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  2. I happened to be in Madrid in the mid-90s on a business trip and was flipping through the channels in my hotel room when I stumbled upon "Juego Inocente" and was about to continue flipping when I noticed Robey from "Friday the 13th: The Series." I figured if I can't understand what they're saying I might as well enjoy the female scenery. When her totally unexpected first topless scene came on ... ¡Ay, caramba! ... I was sold and watched it till the end and couldn't wait to get back to the states to search for the film on home video. I honestly couldn't remember anything about the plot until I read your review but I totally remembered every scene Robey was in.

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