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Monday, August 26, 2013

Scorchers (1991)

Set in the steamy Louisiana bayou during a wedding party, several stories criss cross: the frightened bride (Emily Lloyd) who refuses to give up her virginity on her wedding night, a gun toting bridesmaid (Jennifer Tilly) who goes on the warpath looking for her adulterous husband and a small bar where a tired streetwalker (Faye Dunaway), the town drunk (Denholm Elliott) and the bartender (James Earl Jones) exchange philosophies. Based on his play, David Beaird directs from his own screenplay adaptation. With the exception of a long opening monologue by Leland Crooke set in front of an artificial bayou backdrop, Beaird manages to avoid making his movie look like a filmed play despite the emphasis on dialogue over a visual style. The first half is a rather amusing sex comedy, sassy and lively. Unfortunately, the second half goes all serious and the spark dies out and what we get is a rather ponderous drama with Emily Lloyd talking to her dead mother in an empty chair and Faye Dunaway analyzing Tilly's sexual problems. It's a short film so that if you make it through the first half, you may as well stick through the second half. At least the Louisiana bayou locations are authentic. With James Wilder as the frustrated bridegroom and Anthony Geary (TV's GENERAL HOSPITAL) as a preacher and a steady customer of Dunaway's hooker.

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