HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Desperate Remedies Bodice Ripper
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, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
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 7890 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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: