To paraphrase the World War II-era query, “Was this pic really necessary?””A Passion to Kill” is an entirely formulaic soft-sex soap ‘n’ slasher indistinguishable from the hundreds of cable-ready pix already clogging up the airwaves. With a by-the-numbers script from former soap scribe William Delligan and standard-issue helming from Rick King, pressure falls on lovely Chelsea Field’s nude scenes to keep viewers awake. Pic will hit theaters and disappear faster than a channel-surfed station.
Diana (Field) responds to her abusive husband (Rex Smith) by burying a kitchen knife between his shoulder blades. Seven years later, the fetching but lethal lass has married hard-charging entertainment mouthpiece Jerry (John Getz) whose best friend, David (Scott Bakula), strives to beat him on the squash court and, it turns out, in the bedroom as well.
David should know better, being a pleasant New Age shrink who regularly visits his own guru, Lou (France Nuyen), an exotic psychologist with a penchant for pithy phrases.
But love and lust know no bounds, and soon David is involved in a wearily obsessive romance with his best pal’s gal, and Jerry has become the poster boy for Ginzu. The predictability of the dilemma would be instantly solved if only Bakula could make a “Quantum Leap” out of this potboiler and into another winning TV series.
Is Diana really a husband-killer? Has her ex Rex set her up for a fall? Or is assistant D.A. Beth (Sheila Kelley), who has pined for David since their college days, really the fatal attraction here? These questions pale beside a more pressing mystery: Who on earth will pay for a ticket to this determinedly small-screen diversion?