Our Rating: ★★★☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content
Short Take: Anne Heche and Joan Chen play lovers in this twisted thriller.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1995
Duration: 111 min
Language: UK, USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Donald Cammell
Writer: China Kong, Donald Cammell
Starring: Steven Bauer, Anne Heche, Christopher Walken, Joan Chen

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Wild SideAlex (Anne Heche, If These Walls Could Talk I and II, Girls in Prison) is a Long Beach, California bank executive with money problems. She works as a high class hooker in the evenings, and that’s where she meets Bruno Buckingham (Christopher Walken), a big shot money launderer. On that fateful night, Bruno’s bodyguard Tony (Steven Bauer) rapes her and turns out to be a undercover cop who blackmails her into helping him nail his boss. (Warning: it’s a brutal rape scene.)

Bruno’s wife Virginia (Joan Chen, What’s Cooking?, Saving Face) visits Alex in her office. After a liquid lunch, the two get it on in the executive washroom and then move to an extended love scene in Alex’s bedroom. Alex is in love for the first time in her life, but is she just being used again?

This is one of those thrillers in which the good guys and the bad guys are hard to distinguish. Alex tries to set both men up and run off with Virginia. Will they make it away safely with the cash in hand, or will Virginia double cross her?

Christopher Walken is creepy as usual, but the rest of the film also has an uncomfortable, twisted feel to it. In one scene, Bruno almost rapes Tony to prove his love for Alex. It’s all about power and control – over money, sex and other people. This is not a film high on my list, but Heche and Chen make quite a sexy couple. Make sure you look for the version of this film that includes the sex scenes. (The Netflix rental apparently does not.) (AB)