Nov 21, 2017

I'm Watching You (1997)

How many late night cable, Skinemax variety erotic thrillers were made in the nineties?  One can only wonder.  We could cover only this brand of film on VZ1 and never reach the bottom, there was such a tsunami of this stuff coming out every week back in the day.

I'm Watching You (1997) was just one of the many... but on one quality, it delivered more than most.  Unlike its late night cable comrades which could often be stingy with their nude scenes, this film offered a nonstop marathon of T&A from start to finish, yet somehow managed to work in a cookie-cutter erotic thriller plot as well.  Let's have a look...

Laura (LoriDawn Messuri) is staying at a cool loft apartment while her friend Maria travels Europe.  I wonder if she'll get embroiled in a murder mystery while having a sexual awakening while she's here.  Just wondering - it happens.

Meet Laura's new roommate, Alisha (Jacqueline Lovell).  We've covered quite a few movies starring the uninhibited Lovell (Head of the Family, Damien's Seed) who's no stranger to late night cable.

Holy shit, are you kidding me?  Jacqueline Lovell has literally been on screen five seconds, before she delivers the full monty.  This has to be a record of some kind.

The excuse for the gratuitous nudity: Laura is an artist and Alisha wants to be her nude model.  Whatever.  I'm Watching You, being a late night cable erotic thriller, serves basically one purpose, to deliver the nudity with a modicum of plot.  So, let's not pretend we're watching this flick for any other purpose.

Alisha shows Laura around the place, and points out that all the neighbors are fellow artists, including the famous Julian, who lives in an apartment across the way. Then it's on to the next in a long line of nude scenes...

Jacqueline Lovell just can't keep those clothes on... and we're all better for it.  Rather than have a boring scene where Alisha boringly recounts the boring as hell neighbors, Alisha does it in the buff (posing for Laura), which makes this stale plot and dialog oh-so-much more tolerable.

Laura starts to take a keen interest in spying through the neighbors' windows, especially the artist Julian.  The girls break out the binoculars and have fun being voyeurs.  (Note, this would probably be considered creepy if these were two guys instead of two hot girls.)

Jacqueline Lovell is fully nude once again.  This time putting on show for any fellow voyeurs in the neighborhood.  This makes Laura feel uncomfortable, as she is just a straitlaced virgin.

Laura gets a call late at night.  It's some mysterious dude looking for Maria... but the two end up hitting it off over the phone.  The sweet innocent virgin, for the first time in her life (what is she twenty five?) starts to feel the stirrings of lust.

Laura follows Alisha's good example and disrobes in front of the window (presumably for the benefit of her mystery caller who lives across the way).

The next day, Laura observes all kinds of drama through her binoculars, including a confrontation between Julian's girlfriend Erika (Vanessa Blair) and Julian's agent, Marco (Francesco Romano).  Erika tells Marco he's ripping her lover off, and she doesn't appreciate it.

Looks like Laura has received another phone call from her mysterious loverboy.  After an erotic conversation, Laura proceeds to fondle the hell out of herself.

Actress LoriDawn Messuri has been in a number of low budget late night flicks including Malibu Nights, The Seventh Sense, Ultimate Prey, Insatiable Wives, and her last credited role is as a "topless golfer" in Towel Head (2007).

Laura is horrified to find that she hadn't actually hung up.... this mysterious caller was listening to her the whole time.  He heard her masturbate!  (Little does she realize, he was actually watching as well, from a telescope in an apartment across the courtyard.)

Oh, the shame.  The lingering, unbearable shame.

That's Alisha posing with a revolver for Julian.  Ol' Jude likes to paint then screw his girl next door.

Laura thinks she saw someone getting shot across the way, but when the police came, they found nothing. Must be all in her mind.  Subsequently, Alisha thinks Laura needs to loosen up and have fun, so the girls do tequila shots.

I'll bet you already predicted where this was going.  Yes, the two roommates have sex.  The background music sounds just like Sade... she should have sued.

When the tequila wears off, things get awkward.  Laura says she didn't know Alisha was a lesbian, and that pisses her off for some reason, and she storms off.

Have no fear.  The two make up the next morning.

The girls go to an art show.  There, Laura hooks up with some random guy (who looks like a skinnier Joe Rogan) and they shag in the bathroom.

Alisha gets hammered and gets into a fight with Erika.

Alisha passes out, causing a bit of a spectacle.

Oh fuck!  Laura puts Alisha to bed and finds some incriminating items in her bureau. Remember when Laura saw that murder take place? Well, here's the hat and knife - just like the killer wore!

She then finds a dead Julian packed in dry ice in a crate in the courtyard.  Wait... why are there crates in the courtyard in the first place?  It's all a very quick and convenient way for this "plot" to come together.

Wait - who's this?  It's Laura's mystery caller. He's come to save the girls - the killer is coming for them!

What the hell?  Here comes Erika - she's Julian's killer.  It's something about getting his money, blah, blah.  Of course, there's a lame battle, with mystery caller getting shot (and surviving, of course - just a flesh wound), while Erika is killed.  Laura and the mystery caller have sex, THE END.

The plot here is thin - even for a late night erotic thriller. But plot is only the secondary duty of a Skinemax flick, its first is to deliver the nudity, and that it does spectacularly.  LoriDawn Messuri and  Jacqueline Lovell are stone cold foxes, and they spend the majority of their screen time butt naked.  You can't go two minutes in this film without one of them delivering the goods.  This movie is wall to wall bush.  This brand of movie often under-delivers in the skin department, with just a handful of simulated sex scenes, poorly shot with annoying alto-sax background music.  Not this film.  I raise my glass to I'm Watching You - it did its job, and it did its job well.  Bravo.