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Bloodknot

Filmed in Toronto by Chesler Perlmutter Prods. in association with Showtime Entertainment Group. Executive producers, Lewis B. Chesler, David M. Perlmutter; co-executive producers, Hank McCann, Kevin Kelly Brown; producer, T.A. Baird; director, Jorge Montesi; writer , Randy Kornfield; camera, Philip Linzey; editor, George Roulston; production designer, Ed Hanna; sound, Bill McMillan; music, Michel Rubini. TX:Cast: Margot Kidder, Allan Royal, Ashley Ann Wood, Patrick Dempsey, Krista Bridges, Kate Vernon, Nancy Cser, Dean McDermott, Heidi Atherton, Kate Trotter, Craig Sheffer, Penelope Gioris, Victor Ertmanis, Judah Katz, Kevin Hicks. This Showtime original is a hoot, a sexual thriller that works thanks to its melodramatic qualities. Teetering on the edge of parody, "Bloodknot" is a hybrid -- a network made-for with bad language and lots of graphic sex. Dialogue has its moments, and, while the mystery shouldn't surprise, it satisfies.

Filmed in Toronto by Chesler Perlmutter Prods. in association with Showtime Entertainment Group. Executive producers, Lewis B. Chesler, David M. Perlmutter; co-executive producers, Hank McCann, Kevin Kelly Brown; producer, T.A. Baird; director, Jorge Montesi; writer , Randy Kornfield; camera, Philip Linzey; editor, George Roulston; production designer, Ed Hanna; sound, Bill McMillan; music, Michel Rubini. TX:Cast: Margot Kidder, Allan Royal, Ashley Ann Wood, Patrick Dempsey, Krista Bridges, Kate Vernon, Nancy Cser, Dean McDermott, Heidi Atherton, Kate Trotter, Craig Sheffer, Penelope Gioris, Victor Ertmanis, Judah Katz, Kevin Hicks. This Showtime original is a hoot, a sexual thriller that works thanks to its melodramatic qualities. Teetering on the edge of parody, “Bloodknot” is a hybrid — a network made-for with bad language and lots of graphic sex. Dialogue has its moments, and, while the mystery shouldn’t surprise, it satisfies.

Kornfield keeps viewers wondering about the motivation of Kaye (Kate Vernon), who assumes the identity of an Army sergeant and insinuates herself into a Southern family by posing as their dead son’s girlfriend.

“Connie” charms the grieving clan one by one. Second son Tom (Patrick Dempsey) is aroused, and his sister (Ashley Ann Wood) needs the attention. Mother (Margot Kidder) blames herself — a bit excessively — for her son’s death in a military accident, and Tom’s girlfriend (Krista Bridges) is jealous and suspicious, in that order. Meanwhile, “Connie” plays games with the local Lothario, Mike (Craig Sheffer).

Vernon gives a confident perf, capturing her character’s versatility. She makes you admire the way this desperate woman thinks on her feet and on her back. But what is she after?

The buildup is better than the payoff. A lame accidental death leads to a circus climax. Montesi isn’t at his best in the last 15.

Cast is called on to transmit enough sexual voltage to light a small city. Sheffer is wonderful in a smallish part. Kidder weeps and wrings her hands on cue, and Dempsey runs around with his tongue hanging out. The very natural Bridges deserves a mention.

Even considering the amount of whispering these characters do, the audio mix is a real problem, with many lines inaudible.

Michel Rubini’s music is a pastiche of horror scores, with whale sounds, wind chimes and a church organ intruding on the action — an example of how “Bloodknot” works despite being over the top.

Bloodknot

(Sun. (17), 8-10 p.m., Showtime)

Production: Director Jorge Montesi gives latitude to everyone, especially himself, and the result is far from subtle. Writer Randy Kornfield winds the knot predictably , but tight enough to hold viewer interest.

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