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Moment of Truth: Stalking Back

Priscilla English's melodramatic script examines the nearly devastating psychological pressures an obsessed stalker puts on the least dysfunctional family in America. The dialogue becomes so saccharine that, were this not based on an actual incident, the entire project might be written off as yet another serious subject trivialized for the mainstream.

Priscilla English’s melodramatic script examines the nearly devastating psychological pressures an obsessed stalker puts on the least dysfunctional family in America. The dialogue becomes so saccharine that, were this not based on an actual incident, the entire project might be written off as yet another serious subject trivialized for the mainstream.

The story tells of pretty, young Laurisa (Luanne Ponce) and her four years of mounting tension at the hands of her admirer-turned-stalker, Curt (Tom Kurlander). The strain also shows on her parents’ (Shanna Reed and John Martin) relationship.

Repeated efforts to restrain Curt’s affections, first by reason, and later by legal means, prove fruitless. The law’s response is the age-old canon, “Until he breaks a law, our hands are tied.”

As Curt gets more aggressive, Laurisa becomes a prisoner in her own house, only leaving under close parental supervision.

Laurisa’s mother works with a state representative and assists in the passage of an anti-stalker bill. Eventually, Curt goes too far, is caught in the act of harassment, and is arrested.

The competent cast cannot overcome the banality of English’s writing. Ponce heroically braves the dangers she faces, all the while the obedient daughter. Reed’s near hysteria grates the nerves, while Martin’s role is underwritten and underdeveloped.

English’s handling of Curt, coupled with Corey Allen’s direction, leaves Kurlander appearing as a generally compulsive, nondescript weirdo, with no regard as to what makes a person behave the way he does.

Possibly most enigmatic aspect is the title, as there is no stalking back. The telepic shrinks in magnitude as it ambles to its inevitable conclusion.

Moment of Truth: Stalking Back

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

  • Production: Filmed in Phoenix, Ariz., by O'Hara-Horowitz Prods. Executive producers, Michael O'Hara, Lawrence Horowitz; producer, Brian Hickox; director, Corey Allen; writer, Priscilla English.
  • Crew: Camera, Ronald Lautore; editor, Duane Hartzell; production design, Gary T. New; sound, Dick Church; music, Bruce Babcock.
  • Cast: Cast: Luanne Ponce, Shanna Reed, John Martin, Jeremy Russell, Tom Kurlander, Gregory Itzin, Cassie Yates, Katherine Willis, Jim Roehr, Rachel True, Heather McNair, Kathy Fitzgerald, Robyn Rabb, Tom Noga, Blake Conway, Praizer Bain, Brett Bolinger, Rif Hutton, Priscilla Lopez, Diana Lamb, Samuel Hernandez, Ty Bass, Paul Rudd, Mike Genovese.
  • Music By: