Julie Darling (1982)

Directed by Paul Nicholas
Written by Paul Nicholas, Maurice Smith
Produced by Maurice Smith, Monica Teuber, John G. Pozhke, Ernst Ritter von Theumer
Starring Isabelle Mejias, Anthony Franciosa, Sybil Danning, Paul Hubbard, Cindy Girling, Reinhard Kolldehoff, Michael Tregor, Natascha Rybakowski, Benjamin Schmoll, Elizabeth Paddon, Terrea Smith

Synopsis

No deed is too dirty to insure her monopolization of her father (Franciosa), so a patrimaniacal teenager (Mejias) is content to stand idly by when a handsome, goatish goon (Hubbard) accidentally kills her shrilly vindictive mother (Girling). Thereafter, a succeeding stepmother (Danning) and her son (Schmoll) are targeted by the cold-blooded cutie.

Script

Its sinuosity may retain the attention of any audience who can stomach the sheer sordidness plotted by director Nicholas and co-producer Smith.

Histrionics

Planklike, photogenic Mejias could’ve uplifted her femme fatale if her histrionism matched her screen presence. Playing her only apparent friend, Rybakowski is enjoyably worse, though possibly dubbed. Franciosa and Danning radiate likable urbanity as overaffected dad and his marital replacement. As Mathesonian creeps come, Hubbard is distinctly distasteful.

Highlights

Mejias’s pouting plotter twice plays chess with a lavishly clinquant set.

Flaws

Many of Nicholas’s establishing shots are crudely amateurish.

Conclusion

As a vehicle for Mejias at her loveliest in a rare lead, this is a mildly diverting time capsule. For a good thriller, look elsewhere.

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