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Sunday, August 28, 2016

REVIEW: "Unwanted Guest"

I never took college friends home with me. Our house was small, my dad was grumpy and I am pretty sure my mom would be bent out of shape regarding cleaning the house and having enough food.

So, the psycho in "Unwanted Guest" would have been screwed had she tried to latch on to me like a crazy leech. That doesn't mean that this movie did not resonate with me...in fact, I LOVED it. It's one of the coolest Lifetime thrillers I've seen in a while. 

So, the plot focuses on the super nice Christine (Valentina Novakovic), who invites nerdy Amy (the incredibly awesome Kate Mansi) to her home for the holidays. Apparently, Amy doesn't have a place to go ... and needs a place to hide because she killed someone on campus.

While cops investigate the university murder, Amy makes herself right at home in Christine's mansion. Her mom (my "Daily Show" crush Beth Littleford) is a real estate queen and dad (Ted King) is a super lawyer, so these folks are loaded! It doesn't take long before Amy trades her huge glasses for a nightie and sets her eyes on dear old -- incredibly horny -- dad.

So, Christine falls ill thanks to some poison from pre-med student Amy, and mom is later made a victim. Also at risk is Mr. Chips, Christine's pet hamster!!! Dad, however, is slowly seduced by Amy, so he's safe for a while.

The sexual tension and violence builds to a boiling point, and this movie begins to rack up a body count -- and plenty of tight T-shirt and lingerie shots thanks to Amy. It's pretty typical of Lifetime flicks, but this movie is definitely a classic! Mansi is particularly effective as the sociopathic seductress, flashing that gorgeous smile while unleashing her wrath. King also shines as the the model for a mid-life crisis. Props also go to Littleford and Novakovic who watch on helplessly while Amy destroys their family.

Of course, this slice of excellence is brought to us by legendary producer/director Fred Olen Ray!

It's on Lifetime again at 10 p.m. and is sure to be a network staple. It's definitely one of my recent favorites, so keep an eye out for it alongside other gems about nutty roommates and home wreckers.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Not on Lifetime: "The Boy Next Door"

What better way to kick off the first day of school than with a review of "The Boy Next Door," a tale of a teacher/student relationship gone wrong?

Of course, illicit teacher-student relationships are all over the news. NONE of the convicted educators I've seen on TV, however, look anything like this movie's star, Jennifer Lopez!!

In "The Boy Next Door," J-Lo plays a teacher seduced by a student! Now that's a switch from what we see on the news! Of course, the kid who puts the moves on her also happens to be a raging psychopath!

So, the plot focuses on recently divorced school teacher Claire Peterson (J-Lo). Of course, we're expected to believe that guys aren't beating her door down to get a date! Still, she is unlucky in love, but does have a cool BFF in fellow teacher Ms. Lansing (Kristin Chenowith) and a nice (yet nerdy) son Kevin (Ian Nelson). And the cheating ex (John Corbett) is still hanging around trying to make nice with the woman he betrayed.

Enter new kid in town Noah (Ryan Guzman), who moves in with his uncle -- next door to Claire. He becomes buds with Kevin, who is bullied at school, and pulls the Eddie Haskell routine with all unsuspecting adults. When he's not playing nice, he's appealing to Claire in the classroom with his passion for Homer. Oh, he also watches her undress though her window. 

When Claire has the house to herself, he drops by for dinner, wine and some sex. Yes, Claire is so lonely -- even though she's the most beautiful woman in town and possibly the country -- that she is attracted to a high school student. Don't worry! He's legal (19), so this isn't a completely demented movie. Well, any man 19 or 91 would be obsessed with someone that looks like Claire. And any woman with half a brain would realize that sleeping with a student is very bad news. So, she breaks it to him that this was a one-time fling and it's over. Guess what? Noah's not having it! So, he goes on a rampage stalking her, making sure he gets assigned to her class, then seducing her son's crush.

Claire is worried about keeping her job and sanity throughout this ordeal. Of course, any Lifetime movie aficionado can see where this is going, so I won't deliver the spoilers. I will encourage viewers to stick with this movie through its excellent - and graphic - climax! 

I'd be surprised if this doesn't make it on Lifetime or LMN soon. In the meantime, catch it in full unedited glory on HBO. It's violent, steamy and all around awesome! It airs next at 6:25 p.m., Aug. 31 on HBO Signaure and again at 10:40 p.m., Sept. 4 on HBO 2.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

REVIEW: 'Sorority Nightmare'

Greek life can be a nightmare. Swallowing goldfish ... drink-a-thons ... weird initiations ... and the list goes on when it comes to the horrors of joining frats or sororities. Well, leave it to Lifetime to exploit the crazy lives of sorority sisters. Last night, "Sorority Nightmare" premiered on Lifetime (and it airs again tonight at 6 p.m. CST) and may have scared numerous co-eds out of pledging Greek organizations.

"Sorority Nightmare" (also titled "Twisted Sisters") follows college freshman Sarah (Sierra McCormick). As if college wasn't hard enough, Sarah also is a bit traumatized after losing her sister in a car wreck. Still, she's off to a great start! She has a cool, cute roommate Jodi (Sara Kapner) and is a possible shoe-in for popular sorority Psi Kappa. After all, her mom (Bridget White) was a member, so she's a legacy pledge.

Super student Daisy (Cassidy Gifford) rules this sorority with an iron fist ... often holding a glass of champagne. She forces her sorority sisters to do wild stuff like eat cigarettes and loves to humiliate non-Greeks. So, she's not exactly a barrel of laughs ... but Sarah is drawn to her anyways! Sarah eventually makes it into Psi Kappa, and finds love with track stud Liam (Anthony Del Negro).

Still, something isn't quite right with the Psi Kappas. Daisy is out of control, and weird stuff starts happening ... sorority rivals are duck taped to trees, people are beaten, professors are forced out of the college. It's a mess, but Sarah is clueless ... for a while.

So, there's not much more to say without giving away the movie! So, check it out today and judge for yourself. Gifford pretty much rules the film as the sadistic sorority tyrant! And McCormick is effective as the confused co-ed, who can't free herself from Daisy's grasp. Good performances from Del Negro as the overly nice boyfriend and Kapner as the quirky roommate.

"Sorority Nightmare" is a fun Lifetime movie ... not too dark, and with enough kitsch to keep audiences interested although it takes a while for things to heat up. It's brought to us by the fine folks at Synthetic Cinema, who brought us "The Murder Pact."

"Sorority Nightmare": Directed by Devon Downs and Kenny Gage; Starring Cassidy Giffords as Daisy, Sierra McCormick as Sarah, Anthony Del Negro as Liam, Sara Kapner as Jodi, Anthony Del Negro as Liam, Bridget White as Alice and Katie Sarfie as Maria.