Eye of the Stalker

Filmed in Phoenix and Los Angeles by O'Hara-Horowitz Prods. Executive producers, Lawrence Horowitz, Michael O'Hara; producer, Rick Blumenthal; director, Reza Badiyi; writer, Priscilla English; camera, Charles Mills; editor, Ron Spang; production designer , Shirley Starks; sound, Andy Gilmore; music, Stacy Widelitz. TX:Cast: Joanna Cassidy, Jere Burns, Dennis Burkley, Lucinda Jenney, Michael Woolson, Conor O'Farrell, Brooke Langton, Barbara Tarbuck, John Bennett Perry, Lindsey Ginter, Jonathan Ward, Rick Worthy, Michael Cavanaugh, James MacDonald, Matthew Faison, Joyce Guy, Madison Mason, Sue Bugden, Jonathan Slavin, David Zabel, Darrell Gurney, Robert Mackey. Damsel-in-distress meller takes an abrupt temporary turn from the routine about three-quarters of the way through, but in the end, tradition prevails. Reason for the telefilm is to demonstrate how easily women can be stalked by a fiend, but it's same ol', same ol'. TX:No one uses much common sense to fend off the nut. Langton's character can't bring herself to tell him off in the beginning, even though he's "too weird, scary and way too old." Her mother, an officer of the court, doesn't even consider bodyguards when the action gets violent; instead, she hires a heavyweight p.i. (Dennis Burkley), who, to prod the plot along, loses track of Stephen.

Filmed in Phoenix and Los Angeles by O’Hara-Horowitz Prods. Executive producers, Lawrence Horowitz, Michael O’Hara; producer, Rick Blumenthal; director, Reza Badiyi; writer, Priscilla English; camera, Charles Mills; editor, Ron Spang; production designer , Shirley Starks; sound, Andy Gilmore; music, Stacy Widelitz. TX:Cast: Joanna Cassidy, Jere Burns, Dennis Burkley, Lucinda Jenney, Michael Woolson, Conor O’Farrell, Brooke Langton, Barbara Tarbuck, John Bennett Perry, Lindsey Ginter, Jonathan Ward, Rick Worthy, Michael Cavanaugh, James MacDonald, Matthew Faison, Joyce Guy, Madison Mason, Sue Bugden, Jonathan Slavin, David Zabel, Darrell Gurney, Robert Mackey. Damsel-in-distress meller takes an abrupt temporary turn from the routine about three-quarters of the way through, but in the end, tradition prevails. Reason for the telefilm is to demonstrate how easily women can be stalked by a fiend, but it’s same ol’, same ol’. TX:No one uses much common sense to fend off the nut. Langton’s character can’t bring herself to tell him off in the beginning, even though he’s “too weird, scary and way too old.” Her mother, an officer of the court, doesn’t even consider bodyguards when the action gets violent; instead, she hires a heavyweight p.i. (Dennis Burkley), who, to prod the plot along, loses track of Stephen.

That surprise twist comes when Beth, moving to Denver, changes her name. For a moment the telefilm seems to be veering into new, more promising fields, since Stephen goes after a young woman with Beth’s moniker (Lucinda Jenney), also living in Denver. But it’s only a temporary wonder before the expected catches up.

Reza Badiyi’s uncertain direction doesn’t do anything to soup up the suspense , and Langton seems merely distracted, not terrified, as the prey. Burns strides through the motions, but it’s standard stuff. Cassidy plays along with the foolishness, and Jenney supplies some spark to the actioner.

Priscilla English’s teleplay is old-hat stuff, including Stephen copying Beth’s house key and sneaking into her apartment. In a couple of instances, the supposedly educated folks confuse objective and nominative cases in their dialogue, and Burns spits out a vulgarity that’s appearing on TV with more and more frequency; it weakens the thin writing even more.

The production looks good, though; Charles Mills’ lensing is fine, Ron Spang’s editing OK. Stacy Widelitz provides appropriately spooky music, and Shirley Starks furnishes strong locales with her production design.

Eye of the Stalker

(Mon. (18), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production: Brooke Langton's Beth, the Phoenix college student, attracts obsessive Stephen (Jere Burns), who uses all the standard fictional psycho tricks but the twitching. He teaches at the college, intros himself to her and begins moving in like a boa constrictor. Her mother, a judge (Joanna Cassidy), acts upset but is unresourceful; Langton's boyfriend (Michael Woolson), jealous of Stephen, walks out.

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