Sep 28, 2021

Sheer Passion (1998)


An erotic thriller about a private investigator who goes undercover to collect clues to the murder of a model.

Barbie (Nenna Quiroz) is tied to a chair, ready for kinky sex, when a mysterious intruder enters and strangles her.

Her partner, Stefan (Clayton Norcross), had stepped out to meet with an important client.

I love that this dude Stefan is supposed to be super cool - a studly martial artist and rich guy who runs a modeling agency.

The crime scene is investigated by Ned (Jonathan Fraser), the most annoying cop in history.  I wanted to kill him, with all his wry, cocky comments at the scene. 

Ned talks to Stef, the number one suspect.

Dana (Jodie Fisher) is Ned's ex-partner, now a P.I.  Dana just hooked up with a guy out jogging.

They get playful in her apartment.

They guy can see she trains for fighting and playfully asks Dana to fight.  She politely declines.

He gets insistent, and Dana knocks his lights out.

He leaves in a huff.  Dana's toughness and fighting skills are great, but they have a way of turning off the men she meets.

She takes a shower.

Dana starts to furiously masturbate.  She ends the feverish self-love in personal disgust.  She clearly needs a man.

Who's not having any trouble in the sex department is Ned, Dana's ex-partner (and ex-lover).

He's getting serviced by Stacy (Brande Roderick).

Dana barges in unannounced. 

Ned is not too happy about the interruption. 

Dana needs a case to work on.  She looks through his files and lands on the murder of Barbie, the strangled model.

So, Dana goes to Stefan's place where he's working with naked models.

He's currently fitting Brandi (Sandy Wasko) in some lingerie 

And now Christi (Shyra Deland).

Dana meets another model working for Stefan...

Terri (Lisa Boyle)

Terri has a thing going with Stefan

Dana is back in her apartment training

After an intense workout, it's time to peel off the top and pour water on the boobs....

Ned enters her apartment with new information on the Barbie murder case.

"Don't you knock?"

Dana tries to get a job as a model under the name "Cassandra". Stefan's assistant, Moira (Ginger Justin), isn't very welcoming and turns her away.

But Stefan happens by and is captivated by Dana.

He checks her out and sends her to a photographer.

Paolo (Adoni Maropis) is the eccentric photographer

He tells her to put on the clothes behind the screen.

The photography session starts out awkward, but Dana turns out to be a natural.

Terri joins in.

After the session is over, Terri invites Dana to keep it going.

Moira and Stefan prepare for the big photo shoot.

Brandi (Sandy Wasko) and Christi (Shyra Deland)

Terri and Dana

Stefan invites Dana over to his place.

Back at the studio.

Let's pause and just acknowledge how awesome Jodie Fisher is.  She definitely has personality, a compelling screen presence and clearly isn't ashamed to bare all (having appeared in Playboy as well). It's surprising she didn't become a Shannon Whirry level softcore actress.  Instead, she seems to have quickly gotten out of softcore cinema after only a couple films to try for a "legit" acting career.

Fisher went on to small roles in mainstream film and a fairly successful TV career. But she's probably best remembered for the newsworthy sexual harassment scandal with Gloria Allred as her attorney as the accused was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard. 

Dana finds a clue: a letter typed by Barbie.  This will be important later.

Dana sees Christie pleasuring a guy - and learns that Moira is pimping out girls, using Stefan's models in a prostitution ring.

Moira offers Dana the opportunity to make money as a whore, but she declines.

Back to Stefan's place for a fireside romance.

Shit hits the fan when Dana determines that Barbie's letter was written on Stefan's typewriter.  She points a gun at his face.

But you'll remember that Stefan is trained in martial arts and chokes out Dana.

When she wakes up, Terri has a gun to her face.  "If I can't have Stefan, no one can."

Terri is shot before she has a chance to pull the trigger.

As they put Terri in the back of an ambulance, Dana says to Stefan, "I'm glad she turned out to be the killer.... I'd hate to have to arrest you."

These erotic thrillers rarely had an original plot; so many stories about models killed by fashion designers and photographers - like a distant echo of the Italian giallo.  This story was no different - as cookie cutter as it gets.  The difference is Jodie Fisher.  I think we only have two softcore films with her presence, before she moved on to mainstream TV and deposing a tech company CEO. So, let's appreciate what we've got. 


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