Dave gets into a lather over this soap-sudded stalker film from the folks at Royal Oaks.
Imagine cherry-picking half a dozen actors from that wholesome stalwart of afternoon programming, The Bold and the Beautiful, and casting them in a racy tale of internet sex and obsessive behaviour.
Well, it happened.
And INTERLOCKED: THRILLED TO DEATH is the end result, and it’s everything that you’d hope it to be.
Michael Anderson (Jeff Trachta) is a high-powered executive in the prime of his career. He’s also expecting a baby with his wife Emily (Sandra Dee Robinson), which, after the trauma of a recent miscarriage, means that the pregnancy is the core focus of their relationship. It’s perhaps only natural then that during a few late nights at work, some cyberspace flirtation stirs his loins and he becomes the online object of affection for blonde-haired browser Eva (Schae Harrison).
This was the ‘90s, far removed from today’s GPS-led bump and grind of a cock pic and monosyllabic grunt, and Eva’s single-spaced email seduction drives Michael into a libido-quenching frenzy of office desk daydreams. However, before he can disconnect his dial-up connection, Eva’s desire breaches the safety of a CRT monitor, and it’s not long before she’s staking out his home and sneaking into his workplace, which places his perfect picket fence existence under serious threat.
If you’ve been wondering where the elusive Jeff Trachta has been over the past two decades, then the sight of him auditioning (quite brilliantly, I might add) for America’s Got Talent in 2017 as ‘The Singing Trump’ probably raised a few eyebrows. After a seven-year stint on The Bold and the Beautiful ended in 1996, his transition into the movie business showed great promise, but it was frustratingly all too brief. Rodney McDonald’s Night Eyes Four: Fatal Passion (1996) proved that he had the makings of a captivating leading man, and it seems that Interlocked stemmed from his induction into the Royal Oaks fold. Here, Trachta serves as co-producer and he must have surely been the instigating force who rounded up the film’s soap star-laden cast.
The film offers an occasionally unfulfilling blend of tropes, whereby there’s not enough sex to slap it with a softcore tag, and the thrills have a propensity to leave you wanting more. Having said that, Interlocked has some deliciously sinister flourishes which are teed up superbly by director Rick Jacobson, who shot it between his Royal Oaks action/military hardware twofer of Strategic Command (1997) and Black Thunder (1998). The final reel alone is a veritable orgy of camp hysteria: edited at a dizzying pace by Jeffrey Schwarz (Leather Jacket Love Story (1997)), it’s an absolute delight and responsible for turning the ordinary into the memorable.
Issued as the more generic-sounding ‘A Bold Affair’ over the border in Canada, Interlocked was released on home video by A-Pix Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Robert E. Baruc-headed Unapix. The eagle-eyed among you should look out for a cool cameo from legendary Assistant Director Franklin Vallette (Counter Measures (1998), U.S Seals II (2001)) as a pizza delivery guy – and if you stay for the credits, you’ll see that Schlock Pit icon Gary Graver supplied a portion of the production equipment.
USA ● 1998 ● Erotic Thriller ● 90mins
Jeff Trachta, Schae Harrison, Sandra Dee Robinson, Maitland Ward, George Alvarez ● Dir. Rick Jacobson ● Wri. Al Sophianopuolos