This World, Then the Fireworks

Stars: Billy Zane, Gina Gershon, Sheryl Lee

Well, I think I see what attracted Billy Zane to this film that he co-executive produced. It had the appeal of a 1950’s private eye classic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the characters fit to match it. The Philip Marlowe types had some morals, as I recall, Zane’s character has none.

Here he plays a newspaper reporter with an attitude who engages in an incestuous relationship with his sister Carol (Gina Gershon) who’s a hooker. Rue McClanahan plays their unhappy mother. Gershon is quite good and the part seems tailor-made for Zane who certainly has the look. The story revolves around Marty Lakewood (Zane) who tries to scam kinky cop Lois Archer (Sheryl Lee) into “selling” her beach house from under her own brother and making off with the profits for himself and Carol. Archer the cop (why cop?, who knows?) is a sex-starved masochistic lunatic and Marty is the sadist who gratifies her. When he isn’t doing that, he’s playing nice to sister Carol or spewing biblical crapolo to people who piss him off.

The story takes place in the 50’s replete with requisite “detective” style voice overs throughout. That and apart from the costuming, it has little in common with the genre. It’s a convoluted tale made mildly interesting by Gershon’s looks and performance. The brutality and abuse by Marty toward Lois and others are a complete turn off because how are you supposed to root for this immoral creep?

Lotta says it’s a kinky sex thriller of sorts; it will hold your interest, but so would a good book.