You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Strangers Online

Those nostalgic for the bad old days of late-'80s/early-'90s direct-to-video erotic thrillers might get a twinge of guilty pleasure from "Strangers Online."

With: Noel Palomaria, Tara Killian, Eva Frajko, Joaquin Garay III, Michael Waite, Nansi Aluka, Monique T. Parent, P.W. Aubrey, Victoria DeMare, Laura Otis, Stuart Duckworth, Linnea Quigley.

Those nostalgic for the bad old days of late-’80s/early-’90s direct-to-video erotic thrillers might get a twinge of guilty pleasure from “Strangers Online.” But anyone else is likely to find this a silly, cut-rate hash of bluntly delivered sexploitation and rote violence. Possibly the most lowbrow feature ever to open with a quote from Keats, John Huckert’s film is braving a June 24 theatrical opening on two Laemmle screens in Los Angeles before July 26 DVD release. Softcore-friendly cable is likely to prove the most welcoming outlet.

Hollis (Noel Palomaria, who also starred in the helmer/co-writer’s nasty but awkward 1998 gay serial-killer opus “Hard”) is amused host to Web radio station KSIN’s titular broadcast, a popular nightly call-in forum for people seeking sexual advice or simply an outlet for their exhibitionism. Offline, he’s in therapy dealing with the nightmares he’s had since his wife was stabbed to death in their bed four years earlier — an unsolved crime some suspect he committed himself. Meanwhile, he’s in a new live-in relationship with Laura (Eva Frajko), despite female fans throwing themselves at him at every opportunity.

As the usual ominous synthesizer music warns in every other scene, a cast full of L.A. hardbodies inclined toward frequent gratuitous nudity — including, natch, some babes enjoying themselves too much in hot tubs and twentysomethings posing as horny jailbait — is surely at risk of murder most foul. Looking particularly suspicious are Hollis’ new intern, Karen (Tara Killian), who emits “Play Misty for Me” stalker vibes from her first day on the job; “Sick Rick,” a creepy frequent caller facially obscured by a plastic mask; and Zeke (Michael Waite), a hermit/voyeur living near Hollis. When Hollis publicly proposes to Laura, Karen goes off the rails, though by then half the cast seems eligible for a stay in the funny farm.

Perfs are variable, packaging adequate within ultra-low-budget constraints, with OK pacing even if the pic would have benefited from a more compact length. Veteran scream queen Linnea Quigley has a cameo as a caller; if a latenight spent with some of her golden oldies like “Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers,” “Robot Ninja” or “Stripteaser” sounds appealing, you might get a few yucks from “Strangers Online.”

Strangers Online

Production: A Breaking Glass Pictures and Rev Releasing presentation of an MPH production. Produced by John Matkowsky, Noel Palomaria, John Huckert. Co-producers, Steak House, Pete Stanovich. Directed by John Huckert. Screenplay, Dan Acre, Huckert, John Matkowsky.

Crew: Camera (color, HD), production designer, Matkowsky; editor, Huckert; sound, Ali Vossough; supervising sound editors, Henri Yonert, Noah Kass, Greg Vossberg; sound designer, Noah Kass; re-recording mixers, Kass, Joe Oglesby, Donald W. Johnson Jr. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, June 19, 2011. Running time: 106 MIN.

With: With: Noel Palomaria, Tara Killian, Eva Frajko, Joaquin Garay III, Michael Waite, Nansi Aluka, Monique T. Parent, P.W. Aubrey, Victoria DeMare, Laura Otis, Stuart Duckworth, Linnea Quigley.

More Film

  • Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

  • Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Vaclav

    Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Václav Havel Biopic

    Viktor Dvorak has been cast in “Havel,” a biopic of Václav Havel, as the Czech playwright, dissident and national leader. Anna Geislerova, who starred in Oscar nominated “Zelary,” plays his wife, Olga Havlova. Jiri Bartoska, the president of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will appear in the film as “Professor,” inspired by Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. [...]

  • Daniel Craig

    'Bond 25' First Footage Sees Daniel Craig Back as 007

    After suffering a series of setbacks, including finding a new director and Daniel Craig’s on-set injury, “Bond 25” production is officially underway. A new behind-the-scenes clip of the upcoming James Bond film features Craig and helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga at work in the Caribbean. The minute-long footage didn’t reveal much about the still-untitled movie, though [...]

  • (L to R) Marco Graf as

    ‘Roma,’ ‘The Good Girls’ Top Mexico’s Ariel Academy Awards

    The Mexican Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences hosted the 61st edition of their Ariel Awards on Monday evening, where Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” and Alejandra Márquez Abella’s “The Good Girls” stood out among the winners. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Cuarón’s “Roma” scooping best picture is that it’s only the second of his films to [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Already Pulled From Shanghai Festival, 'The Eight Hundred' Cancels Its China Release

    Already pulled from its prestigious spot as the opener of the Shanghai International Film Festival, war epic “The Eight Hundred” has been dealt a further below with the cancellation of its scheduled release in China next week. In a terse announcement on its official Weibo account, the film said late Tuesday that, “after consultation between [...]

  • Méndez Esparza, Fernando Franco, Villaronga Projects

    Projects By Mendez Esparza, Fernando Franco and Villaronga at Small Is Biutiful

    Antonio Méndez Esparza’s “Que nadie duerma,” Fernando Franco’s “La consagración de la primavera” and Agustí Villaronga’s “3.000 obstáculos” figure among the seven projects to be pitched at Paris’ Small Is Biutiful forum. The closing event for the alternative Spanish film festival Dífferent 12!, Small Is Biutiful takes place June 26, bringing together French distributors and [...]

  • Judi Dench

    Judi Dench Says Works by Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey Should Be Respected

    Veteran British star Judi Dench has said that the work produced by Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey should be separated from the offenses they are alleged to have committed. Both Weinstein and Spacey face charges of sexual assault in the U.S., which they deny, and have been investigated in other jurisdictions as well, including Britain. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content