HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shock Wave
Mom and Dad Save the World
Leatherface
Grimsby
Caniba
Bedroom, The
Dark Tower, The
Better Watch Out
Beguiled, The
Year of the Comet
Levelling, The
Dog Days
Annabelle Creation
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Sssssss
Woman in Question, The
Atomic Blonde
Doulos, Le
Okja
Bob le Flambeur
Wedding in White
Léon Morin, Priest
Napping Princess, The
Scorpions and Miniskirts
Berlin File, The
Beaches of Agnès, The
Blue Jeans
Garokawa - Restore the World
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Gleaners & I, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
   
 
  Desperate Remedies Bodice RipperBuy this film here.
Year: 1993
Director: Stewart Main, Peter Wells
Stars: Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Kevin Smith, Lisa Chappell, Cliff Curtis, Michael Hurst, Kiri Mills, Bridget Armstrong, Timothy Raby, Helen Steemson, Geeling Ng
Genre: Drama, Historical
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In 19th Century New Zealand, the sea port town of Hope, dressmaker Dorothea Brook (Jennifer Ward-Lealand) surveys the immigrants arriving at the docks. She is looking for a man, not for herself, but for her sister Rose (Kiri Mills), who has been led astray by the efforts of professional scoundrel Fraser (Cliff Curtis), and left her addicted to opium and pregnant with his child. Dorothea spies Lawrence Hayes (Kevin Smith) in the crowd and knows that he is the man for her; what she plans is for Lawrence to marry Rose to spare her the shame of her predicament, but matters are not going to work themselves out as easily as that, as she soon discovers.

Written by the directors Stewart Main and Peter Wells, Desperate Remedies is a passionate, way over the top melodrama that might remind you of an old Margaret Lockwood movie, only with more blatant sex and added homosexuality. Filmed on claustrophobic sets that heighten the atmosphere of delirium, the cast have obviously been encouraged to overact as much as they please, which is a bonus to the excessively heated plotting and unbridled emotions on display.

Once you adjust to the mood, and have worked out who is doing what to whom, the film can be fairly diverting. Dorothea finds herself reluctantly falling for Lawrence, just as he is more interested in her than her sister, but there are complications in that Dorothea is being wooed by prospective governor William (Michael Hurst), who wants a share of her business and respectability, and meanwhile the dressmaker is in love with her assistant and closest friend Anne (Lisa Chappell), who is helping her help her sister.

The costumes are extravagant and occasionally revealing, and the dialogue is flowery and floridly written. There's society of two tiers in Hope, with Dorothea having to mix with both the moneyed classes and the poor who live beside the docks, all to see her plan succeed. The highly decorated sets of the rich contrast with the grime of the poor's surroundings, which contributes to the conflicts between the characters: Dorothea and Anne have a lot to lose, and Lawrence and Fraser have a lot to gain.

With all these tempers running high, and swooning emotions overwhelming everyone, there's a point where Depserate Remedies starts to grow exhausting. Despite the depth of feeling from the personalities, the tone doesn't rise above the superficial, verging on the shrill, and there's only so much camp you can take without looking for something a little more genuine. The story has to jump forward two years to reach a satisfying conclusion, and although true love wins out in the end, the resolution is as unconvincing as the questionable sincerity. However, if full-blooded pastiche at energy levels of one hundred per cent appeals to you, then this film is an experience you'll enjoy. Music by Peter Scholes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6578 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Keith Rockmael
Paul Shrimpton
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
   

 

Last Updated: