Review: ‘From the Files of ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Escape from Terror — The Teresa Stamper Story’

The title puts the kibosh on any suspense in this recounting of a true story about a woman who married in haste and lived to regret it. Handsomely produced by John Perrin Flynn, photographed beautifully by Stephen M. Katz and smartly directed by Michael Scott, the tale still wears thin.

The title puts the kibosh on any suspense in this recounting of a true story about a woman who married in haste and lived to regret it. Handsomely produced by John Perrin Flynn, photographed beautifully by Stephen M. Katz and smartly directed by Michael Scott, the tale still wears thin.

Impressionable Oklahoman Teresa (Maria Pitillo), falling for smooth-talking mechanic Paul (Adam Storke), marries him despite the concerns of her mom (Cindy Williams). Right off the bat, he socks her and buys her a huge house. She discovers he’s a thief and an addict, but she has a baby by him. She keeps leaving him and returning like a yo-yo.

When she does divorce him, Paul shoots her new boyfriend (Tony Becker) and kidnaps her. It goes on mindlessly like that for years until the title’s fulfilled. Viewers may fall away before then.

Law enforcers look a trifle stupid in most instances — don’t they watch TV? — and they fumble their work until “Unsolved Mysteries” goes into action.

Telepic’s main trouble, though, is the familiarity of the territory, and being a true story doesn’t add any gas. Pitillo and Storke, though, are totally believable, and Becker fits the bill as her longtime friend. Rest of the cast, some uncredited, are equally good, and the location filming is first-rate.

Scott Smith’s sure editing paces the vidpic, and Donna J. Hattin’s design is right on-target. Philip Giffin’s down-home score is strong.

From the Files of 'Unsolved Mysteries' Escape from Terror -- The Teresa Stamper Story

(Mon. (23), 9-11 p.m., NBC)

Production

Filmed in Denver by Cosgrove/Meurer Prods. Executive producers, John Cosgrove, Terry Dunn Meurer; producer, John Perrin Flynn; director, Michael Scott; writers, Camilla Carr, Walter Klenhard; story, Carr.

Crew

Camera, Stephen M. Katz; editor, Scott Smith; production designer, Donna J. Hattin; sound, Mick Fowler; music, Philip Giffin; title theme, Cactus Jack.

Cast

Cast: Adam Storke, Maria Pitillo, Brad Dourif, Tony Becker, Steven Hartley, Cindy Williams, Phillip A. Luna, Annette Marin, Jan Van Sickle, John Nance, Stanley M. Fisher, Pat Mahoney, Caitlin Flynn.
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