Sep 15, 2021

Dark Secrets (1996)


A reporter tries to uncover the dark side of a millionaire playboy, but ends up falling in love with him instead. Julie Strain has said this is one of her favorite films, so let's give it a look.

Tbe movie starts out with a bang with a dominatrix (Glitter) wrapping a woman (Summer Cummings) in Saran Wrap.  WTF?

Justin Deville (Justin Carroll) is a wealthy playboy who runs this underground operation.

Claire Reynolds (Monique Parent) is a small time reporter who has managed to get into one of Justin's infamous parties, looking for her big scoop.

A whore (Lori Wagner) gets it on with a senator.

Senator Killburn (William Frederick Knight) doesn't realize he's on camera.

Justin now has a video tape of the senator's indiscretion which he'll use as leverage/blackmail.

Claire reports on Justin's party, but it isn't very interesting.

Larry (Joe Estevez) makes it clear she'll have to get a better scoop.

So, Claire manages to get a date with Justin.  She finds some incriminating photographs in the floorboard of his car.

Mauri (Julie Strain) shows Claire around Justin's decadent club.

Philipa (Cheryl Rixon) and Justin watch Claire on the video monitor.

Claire starts fondling herself when she sees some of the sexual antics going on at the club.

Claire presents Larry with the photos she found in Justin's car.  But she'll have to dig some more.

Claire is horrified to find Justin's surveillance room - and even more disturbed to find the recording of her fondling herself at the club.

But all is forgiven and Justin takes her out to buy some kinky clothes.

We get a taste of Justin's sadistic side when he has Leona (Doria Rone) walk naked and blindfolded onto the docks to get raped by hobos.

Justin has some deep philosophical reasoning for his behavior which Claire completely falls for.

Justin confesses to Claire that he accidentally killed a woman named Nancy Boyer.

Justin gets on his private plane and flies away.

Claire goes to the club on her own and gets seduced by Mauri.

Claire can't believe what she's doing, and runs crying out into the rain.

Mauri chases after her and they resume their lovemaking.

From a 1997 Julie Strain interview: "I play a dominatrix and I have this love scene in the rain with Monique Parent which is one of the most beautiful love scenes I've ever done. It was four in the morning in the freezing cold, but you'll never know that! Except when you see the fog coming out of my mouth every time I moan, of course!"

Claire gets a big time TV offer if she'll provide the dirt on Justin. It's an offer she can't resist, and signs the contract. But wait...

Justin suddenly pops in, and he's with Nancy Boyer (Chanda) who's not dead after all.  Indeed, it was all test, which Claire just failed miserably. THE END

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with Julie Strain and say this is one of her worst films.  First of all, it's not fun - the movie is so damned self-absorbed and oh-so-serious.  Worse, it commits a common sin among nineties erotic thrillers, which is to stylize the sex scenes so much they are no longer erotic - just a pretentious mess of hazy filters and ultra-close-ups at odd angles.  And even worse, the nudity is sparse - which is a offense against nature when your star is Monique Parent.  


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