Fatal Charm (1990) Christopher Atkins, Amanda Peterson, Mary Frann, James Remar - movie review on The Movie Scene

Fatal Charm (1990)   2/52/52/52/52/5


Amanda Peterson in Fatal Charm (1990)

Fatally Boring

Valerie (Amanda Peterson) is a teen with an over active imagination full of sexual fantasies which often involve Adam Brenner (Christopher Atkins) who she is obsessed with. Brenner is currently in the news as he is facing trial for the rape and murder of 6 women, some thing he denies doing. Despite being found guilty and put inside Valerie finds herself writing to Brenner, striking up a relationship with her imagination running away with her when it comes to what it would be like to be with Brenner. When Brenner tags along with a prison break he comes looking for Valerie which puts her and her family in danger.

For those who don't know the name Alan Smithee is used when a director doesn't want to put their name to a movie which is the case with "Fatal Charm" as Fritz Kiersch replaced Peter Medak as director but used Alan Smithee instead of his own name. Now I don't know why Fritz Kiersch chose to use the pseudonym Alan Smithee but truth be told if I had directed this movie I might have used a pseudonym also. It isn't so much that "Fatal Charm" is a really bad movie but it is an incredibly dull one which for the first half relies heavily on the soft eroticism of Valerie's sexual fantasies. Yes it delivers some background as to the characters, which also includes Valerie's creep of a stepfather who tries it on with her, but there is little other than dream sequences involving topless women getting it on.

The downside to this slow, going nowhere build up is that when things eventually start to go some where with Brenner escaping prison and coming looking for Valerie you don't care what happens. Truth be told if it wasn't for the fact which alongside Christopher Atkins and Amanda Peterson this movie also features James Remar and Mary Frann it might have ended up unwatchable. It is ironically the slowness that you remember the movie for as whilst there is the soft eroticism and some drama it is the dullness which ends up memorable.

What this all boils down to is that I am guessing that "Fatal Charm" had a troubled production with maybe Kiersch brought in to try and salvage what ended up a dull movie. Unfortunately nothing can salvage it although maybe teenage boys back in 1990 would have enjoyed it for the nudity and fantasy scenes.


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