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Released: Feb 01st, 1999
Running Time: 94
Director: Paul Thomas
Company: Vivid Entertainment Group
Cast: Racquel Darrian, Claudia Chase, Randy Spears, Emily Jewel, Vince Vouyer, Dee (I), Derrick Lane, Ember Haze, Asia Carrera, Alexandra Silk, Tim Hard, Colt Steele, Michael J. Cox, Ian Daniels
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
Just one teeny notch below some of Paul Thomas\' all-time best stuff, and that ain\'t bad.
Clint Eastwood's illustrious career eventually reached the stage where critics would invariably comment on how the squinty-eyed one was finally growing into his movie roles. The same can be said for Randy Spears, who's acquired a certain touch of physical world-weariness since his last tour of duty in the adult business. It's obvious at a glance that Spears isn't going to be landing the pretty-boy parts anymore, but, as a philandering husband who's caught by his wife (Racquel Darrian) as the third party in a threeway love nest, you'd be hard-pressed to cast a better, more polished performer. Spears exudes just the right amount of confusion and curiosity required of his character, who finds himself cast abruptly in the middle world between life and death, attempting to locate answers (primarily from guide Asia Carrera) to life's obvious questions. And Spears does it so well in these tightly-dispensed packets of eye contact and facial reaction shots that it should be a required study in the curriculum of acting economy. The script itself isn't a brilliant one, but Spears excels in making a little go a long way.
Judging by the fact that it would take a team from Price Waterhouse to do an accurate tally of the number of sex scenes (at least 10, all of which register a more-than-generous commitment to style and energy), it doesn't require a genius to figure out that Original Sin -- as much about an avenging wife as her victim -- isn't decidedly heavy on grandiose exchanges of brilliant philosophy and dialogue. Though it does have a field day in the way it plays games with time elements and sequencing. (A word to the wise: Don't Fast Forward at the risk of getting hopelessly bewildered by the non-linear narration.)
Not that she's barking up the Katharine Hepburn tree where age is a major issue, but Racquel Darrian also lends a surprising grace and maturity to what she brings to this significant little film. Which makes it safe to say that Racquel's past the bimbo phase of her career, though her majestic bod speaks volumes in, if the count is accurate, three sex scenes, two with Spears and one with Vince Voyeur.
As might be expected during the natural course of humane vents and cold-blooded murder, Darrian has taken up with her shrink Vouyer and plans to marry him, despite their Mutt & Jeff appearance. (The scene where Vince takes her over his desk probably sealed the deal.)
Spears, who's condemmed to roam not only swingers' club where women are generously served up on a bar like Rum Collins', but also a very active garage bay where resident mechanics like Michael J. Cox have the libidos of raging Viagra patients, seems bewildered by all the events. He has fidelity issues, of all things. Then, again, spirits were neer known for their generous gifts of insight or common sense.
In the relatively small portion of screen time allotted to him, Colt Steele, as a grease monkey, is partnered in a wonderful sexual duet with Claudia Chase that puts all the natural resources of the Chilton's Auto Repair Manual to work. Colt, in a relatively surprising turn, squeezes out just enough emotion to qualify for a supporting actor nod when he finally informs Claudia that he's married. (A natural sequel dictates having the betrayed Claudia also putting a bullet in Steele's head.)
But the real question which Original Sin fails to answer is, what's with Spears and that windbreaker which he wears in every scene? After watching the film you'll understand why subliminal advertising pays dividends, even in limbo.