Imagine Pedro Almodovar and John Waters getting together to make a love story for the ’90s: Result could be this pic about Americana at its worst. “Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” is an eccentric comedy peopled by an assortment of vividly drawn oddball characters. Though certainly not to everyone’s taste, this original creation should make its mark with cult audiences through good word of mouth and bodes well for first-time helmer Joel Hershman’s future.
Lensed on a shoestring in 18 days in El Monte, Calif., it also provides an excellent feature debut for thesp Max Parrish.
Story centers on burglar Eli (Parrish), who accidentally shoots his fiance (Sean Young) during a shotgun wedding. He flees with her $ 200,000 and hides out in an El Monte trailer park until he can obtain false ID to get himself out of the country. His contact is con artist Mr. Jones (Timothy Leary).
What follows could have become a typical love story, except for the characters who live at the trailer park: Sabra (wonderfully portrayed by Andrea Naschak), a sadistic porn star who collects Barbie dolls; her virginal younger sister, Dannie (Andrienne Shelly); washed-up Hungarian opera singer Olga (Ania Suli); her foulmouthed son, Laszlo (Bela Lechoczky); and two down-on-their-luck aging Southern belles (Diane Ladd and her real-life mother), who lust after Eli. Sabra also lusts after Eli, but he’s interested in the innocent younger sister, and Sabra swears revenge.
Characters pursue their desires in a series of truly hilarious scenes, with each part played to the max for optimum return.
Lenser Kent Wakeford creates a polished work on a restricted budget, and Gerald Gouriet’s musical score adds both the perfect raunchy accompaniment and, at the moment of Dannie’s loss of virginity, the perfect touch with the playing of the vintage hit from which the pic earns its name.