USA has certainly chiseled its B-movie imprint onto the cable movie firmament. Its latest, “Snapdragon,” an acquisition featuring the gorgeous Pamela Anderson (three-time Playboy cover gal), is more fun than most of its offerings.
A psychological thriller, Gene Church’s script explores a female serial killer (Anderson) who’s working out childhood problems, notably Oriental white slavery (dramatized like a devilish scene out of a “Charlie Chan” movie).
Complicating matters is Steven Bauer’s smitten LAPD psychiatrist, who stumbles onto the femme fatale as she’s being treated for amnesia in a public clinic.
Hurtling the arabesque forward is the production’s second female star (Chelsea Field), an LAPD cop (and Bauer’s lover) investigating serial killings in which a curious red snapdragon is smeared in blood on the victims’ mirrors.
Director Worth Keeter negotiates the sex, violence and romantic intrigue with sufficient clarity and suspense, revealing just enough characterization to keep the action and the questions moving along.
While the movie’s plot elements and tech values are standard for the genre, some wrinkles are unexpected, such as Bauer’s transformation from a macho, confident shrink into a helplessly bedazzled investigator in sexual thrall of the cool lady slasher.
Killer’s serpentine skills include hiding a razor under her tongue while bringing her victims, mostly Asians, to climax. (The razor-in-the-mouth gimmick was originally exploited in movies by the crazed hooker in “Fort Apache, the Bronx.”)