A blessedly minor cinema genre concerns policewomen or female journalists who work "undercover" as strippers or prostitutes in order to gather information concerning either criminal or newsworthy activities, and with this sexploitative affair it is a journalist who assumes the double duty. Reporter Kelly Crosby (Barbara Alyn Woods) supposes that a clandestine vocation as a stripteaser will enhance her stalled newspaper career and she persuades her editor (Drew Snyder) to allow her secondary employment at the sleazy Bottoms Up Club in Los Angeles, following homicides of two strippers who worked there, as Kelly believes that she will possibly locate clues within the club if she doffs everything for her night job. Numerous characters scented of red herring are introduced amid many tiresome scenes depicting augmented flesh of indifferent quality, as the plucky newspaperwoman attempts, with assistance from vice sergeant Shaughnessy (Maxwell Caulfield) who has entered the picture as her lover, to determine the identity of the killer. Because homicides of ecdysiasts persist, and since nearly each personage with a speaking part is clumsily signified as a potential suspect, an element of suspense might be expected to appear, but this production fails to deliver on that score as a viewer in a semi-comatose state should yet have no difficulty in selecting the killer. The scenario, in particular its dialogue, is insultingly puerile, easily finding ways to include an overage of clichés within its framework, and the acting is largely unskillful, with the exception of Lisa Kudrow, near the beginning of her career in a small part as a press room worker and friend of Kelly. A positive element of this extraordinarily poor film is the output of its sound crew, but otherwise there is nothing to commend it, from its wretched direction and continuity through its total ignorance of even the most basic law enforcement procedures as evidenced by Caulfield's (dismal) performance, to the excruciating and seemingly endless climactic scene, silly to the nth, almost as if those responsible are venturing to make it as incongruous as is possible.
Dance with Death (1992)
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