27 June 2009

Tainted

1988 – United States
Director – Orestes Matacena
Southgate Entertainment, 1989, VHS
Run time – 1 hour, 30 min.

In this one Shari Shattuck (of Naked Cage) plays a grade school teacher with a perm. A terrible teacher with a terrible perm. I was too young to remember well, but I cannot fathom what the fuck people were thinking when the crispy tinsel look was considered attractive. It is beyond my ability to understand. This entire setting is bizarre, a sort of vortex of affluent whitetrashy conservatism where the storefronts all look hokey frontier style and the female teachers alternately sport yee-ha mullets and victorian beehives (see below) amongst a hive of palatial mansions.

Shari yuks it up at a fancy party with a bunch of rich assholes (aren’t they all) then later attends a do-see-do school dance event at her school. At the latter her husband becomes jealous of her flirtatious behavior towards another young teacher and complains about it later that night. The next day the school principal also warns her, but this potentially interesting plot thread is quickly forgotten in favor of personal hygene. Taking a bath to ease the stress of accusatory scrutiny, Shari exposes a bit more than intended, but the bum at the window doesn’t mind. In fact he considers it encouragement and walks right in to the unlocked house. He finds Shari in a special toweling off position that he also finds encouraging for some reason, god only knows, so he tries to rape her.

During the subsequent struggle her husband gets home and joins in the scuffle. After stabbing the bum to death with his own switchblade, already jealous husband accuses Shari of soliciting the bum, and then has a heart attack. Wracked with guilt for having done absolutely nothing wrong up to this point she decides not to call the police but dispose of the bodies herself; the husband in a car to be “discovered” by the police and the bum, in the front yard.

Here the film suddenly switches gears from an erotic thriller into a disconnected series of horror-comedy snafu’s. Pretty much a downshift from Single White Confederate Female to Slasher Weekend at Bernie's, only without the slasher, yet.


Telephones ring with condolence calls driving poor Shari insane. But are they real calls or is she really insane, and just practicing her “bereaved” act for the inevitable interrogation? Moments after selling her house in a barely-alluded-to prior tangent, and while she is clearly still living there, the people who bought it decide to dig a pool in the front yard threatening to unearth the decaying bum.

Worst Enemy (Park Overall) left, and Cathy (Shari Shattuck) discussing the finer points of grave robbery.

To prevent the corpse from being disinterred, Shari conspires with her worst enemy to dig it up, but on the way to the family mortuary/crematorium they suddenly find themselves in an inner-city slum and out of gas. They frighten off a band of street punks with the dead body, and re-emerge from the ghetto-wormhole back in Dixieland and at the funeral home.

Remember that guy at the beginning of the movie who was doing it with Shari’s enemy in that one brief scene? Yeah well he’s also the mortuaries loony embalming guy who suddenly plays the key role as a last-minute calculating psychopathic murderer. Whatever, in any case he gives Shari the opportunity she should have taken at the beginning of this madness, namely to duck out of this haphazard film.

1 comment:

Starmummy said...

Park Overall?!? Damn, I remember her from that old geezer show Empty Nest. Only thing worse than the Golden Girls is a Golden Girls spinoff.....well, maybe not.