So it came to pass that a new era of film would be ushered in. Many came. Many went. And all was good. There ain't nothing like a good 90's thriller. Sadly, NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS is not one of them. All the signs pointed to a stroke of luck with NTTS. A BadMovieArt favorite, Rebecca De Mornay's return to "classy" thriller is neither classy nor thrilling. Toss in a fresh faced and ready to take Hollywood by storm actor by the name of Antonio Banderas and you have all the trappings for a sexy, sexy good time. NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS is neither sexy or a good time. Scrapping together pieces that resemble much more popular 90's thrillers, the film failed to capture an audience at the time of its release and has become a permanent fixture on my Roku. That being said, just among you and I, NTTS is kinda wonderful in its trashy way.
Even as the opening credits start you realize exactly what type of movie you have gotten yourself into. An uptown melodrama overheated mystery that has a very cheap look, but filmed well. An enigma that plagued many at 90's thriller. We are subjected to Babs De Mornay doing her best Jodie Foster to Harry Dean Stanton's Hannibal Lector. She,like Clarice, has to walk down the hallway of jail cells. No one cums on her, but 'tis life. In the role of Dr. Sarah Taylor, De Mornay channels Peyton Flanders and gives some good icy stares at just about everyone in the movie. UGH ALERT!!! Dennis Miller plays her best friend/old flame/same character from The Net. I can't be alone in this, but wasn't there a time when we all liked Dennis Miller. He didn't really do anything great or anything, but he wasn't an asshole. Now it seems like he is always mouthing off about the dumbest stuff. Honey, go back to playing weird straight guys in women heavy thrillers. I think fake Hannibal Lector reads Dr. Sarah Taylor to filth, but is so static that you just tune it out for a touch, but I at attention when he said he heard TV voices telling him to do things. Someone get Jo Beth Williams STAT!
Since this is a sexy movie, everything gets to be sexy. Dr. Sarah Taylor has to attend an erotic art opening and trembling and queefing at the pictures of pierced nipples and legs spread apart. Then the oddest thing happened at 4 minutes and 25 seconds the line, "Ephesus with a hard on!" was uttered and suddenly, I had one of those Carrie Bradshaw flashbacks and it all came back to me! I would say I have a baker dozen viewings of NTTS, but I always forget what happens. But that line made me remember all and I GOT REALLY EXCITED!
So the artist is Banderas and De Mornay says some shitty stuff about his work to his FACE and they get all hot and bothered for each other. So now she has to work on her psychological profile of fake Hannibal Lector for the state department and have a MAJOR case of the hornys at the same time. PROBLEM! The movie, like De Mornay's eyes, has a cold feel to it, because everyone wear HUGE coats in the movie. You think the movie was set in Anchorage, AK or something. It's like RENT A COP freezing and everyone looks miserable. De Mornay, who loves a good bit of business while acting, gets to act with a cat the whole movie. This is a patent pending trademark of hers.
GUILTY AS SHIT - coffee and pencils
HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE - coffee, blue sweater, baby
AND GOD CREATED WOMAN '88 - guitar and boom box
RISKY BUSINESS - Tom Cruise
The cat is really cute and pretty good in the film. Antonio finally stalks De Mornay and seduces her in a quik stop while discussing the merits of cheap wine. If you look closely, De Mornay's shopping cart is full of huge bottles of water. He finally completely wins her over by whispering, "You look like a woman who must be won". That is a panty dropper if I have ever heard one. Babs, turned on by the prospect of sex that she can't concentrate anything, is all thumbs. She drops a bag full of spaghetti sauce all sexy like and it runs down her apartment stoop. "Excuse me miss! You gotta clean that shit up"! That is what I imagine Pearl from 227 would yell out her window if she saw that happen.
Then it happens. NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS has been sprinkled with clues that there was something much more sinister at hand. A visible crack is when De Mornay breaks a bunch of glass in her kitchen, she sweeps it up and dumps it into the sink. She then turns on the garbage dispose. ODD. Hitchcrapian through and through. She starts to apply frenetically chap stick on her lips throughout the whole movie and tries to be all SILVER on our ass with modern technology and shit, but fails. She then gets a box of dead roses and stale bread, but decides that she should go on her date with her sexy, mysterious new beau. They go to a seedy club and there are some gays kissing. Very Basic Instink. They then go to a carnival and you if you look closely you will see Santa Claus in the background roaming around. NTTS suddenly is set during Christmas. We are a good 45 minutes into it and there has been no mention of the holiday spirit. I ain't complaining, but it's ODD.
De Mornay shows up at Banderas artist condo and they fuck like animals in an actual cage in his living room. See, classy! It is kinda like prison sex as De Mornay takes the dominate role and proceeds to toss Banderas salad! Once again, it is not sexy. It has this animal shelter feel about it, which reminded of Mutley Crews AKA Boris Beauty Shop. LATER.....they are looking at some of her case files and there is one about child abuse. Banderas voices his opinion on child abuse, which is the more popular opinion and De Mornay silently reads the documents, smiling. ODD.
LATER....De Mornay is cooking dinner for them and Banderas goes to take a leak. It seems Babs has a rattling heater with the screws closely coming out of the sockets. CLUE! The phone rings and De Mornay mumbles something then says, "Call me closer to Christmas". Which I think I am going to start saying all the time now when people are bugging me. They have sex again.
She shows her tits and he shows his ass. A good trade off. She awakens in the middle of the night to find Antonio digging through her purse! My mom always told me that you should NEVER DIG IN A WOMAN'S PURSE. That would be a good title to the sequel.
When her cat ends up dead, you know the shit is going down. We do get a montage of Banderas and De Mornay falling in love and it involves trust falls in the snow! That I like. The scares are getting piled on as De Mornay goes to take a bath with the above mentioned rattling wall heater looming next to her. There is also a lot of WATCHER IN THE WOOD mirror scares and....SPOILER ALERT....
I am not a big fan of the spoiler alert, but with NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS it really doesn't matter, but if you don't want to know the ending, just stop right here. But the movie goes bat shit.
Okay, so we then find out ala SILVER that De Mornay is STALKING HERSELF!!! She has multiple personalities and Banderas is just a hapless lovelorn erotic artist and she is fucking nuts. After you get out of the fetal position from the shocking revelation, you get to see EVERYONE cast member start shooting at one another and then it is all over! 86 minutes of pure 90's thriller goodness. The ending is full of so many twists that you don't even know what is going on, but it is always the journey that counts.
Alternate titles for NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS:
1. SHUT UP WEIRD PERSON
2. GURL, NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS
3. STRANGERS NEVER TALK
4. DON'T NEVER EVER TALK TO STRANGERS
5. JUST DON'T
I would like to go on record now and state I LOVE REBECCA DE MORNAY