Strike a Pose (1993): Booby Trap

Dave finds a lot to like about Dean Hamilton’s erotic thriller, but thinks it gets bogged down by some dead air.

“It’s refreshing to find a good old-fashioned exploitation picture that makes no bones about it,” wrote ‘#MutantFam’ bigwig Joe Bob Briggs in his syndicated Drive-In column at the time of STRIKE A POSE’s release [1] – but it would be wise to lower your expectations. Dean Hamilton’s film doesn’t fulfil its potential.

It has the makings of something good too, beginning with a finely crafted black and white flashback that sees ace detective Nick Carter (Robert Eastwick) wounded during a robbery and suspended by internal affairs after shooting the robber. For a cop who has more citations for bravery than anyone else in his rank, Carter’s urge to rekindle his mojo is paramount – especially since there’s also a vicious killer on the loose. Thankfully, offering assistance is Carter’s lover, Miranda (Michele Brin): a fashion photographer by day, and hoodlum hunter by night…

Co-scripted by Mike Snyder, T&A probably wasn’t on his agenda back when he was studying at San Diego State University under the tutelage of folk like Norman Corwin. Having said that, the former Hart to Hart staffer’s [2] second stab at softcore, Shannon Tweed sequel Indecent Behavior II (1994), comes with a hearty recommendation. Indeed, Snyder’s work there is the perfect remedy to counter the inconsistency of Strike a Pose.

Eastwick’s sole feature, the actor nails the role of Carter. Clean cut, tall, and boasting the kind of buff build that doesn’t trigger personal inadequacy, he’s a welcome change from the charisma vacuums that generally inhabit the male parts of ‘90s erotica. For subgenre die-hards, Brin has previous, coming into this off the back of two Gregory Dark flicks (Secret Games (1992) and Sins of the Night (1993)) and Kurt MacCarley’s fun frolic, Sexual Intent (1993). Her personality matches her poise.

Sadly, the good fostered by Strike a Pose‘s leads is rendered moot by the meaningless minutiae that disrupts the narrative, not to mention shoddily staged photo shoot vignettes that go on forever, and a shoehorned-in lesbian sex scene that’ll test the endurance of even the most compulsive masturbator.

Of greater interest are the various guises that the movie has in the territories that picked it up. Strike a Pose debuted on Cinemax in early June ’93 – and by all accounts it was a fixture on the channel over the course of the next decade. Video followed shortly before Christmas of the same year, whereupon distributor PM Entertainment issued both R-rated and unrated versions. Here in the U.K. Strike a Pose was released by Columbia-TriStar under the title ‘Lethal Obsession’, while continental Europe saw the film hit shelves as ‘Dark Secret’.

USA ● 1993 ● Erotic Thriller ● 86mins

Robert Eastwick, Michele Brin, Margie Peterson, Leslie Ryan, David Proval ● Dir. Dean Hamilton ● Wri. Riley Hays, Mike Snyder

[1] Drive-In Fu by Joe Bob Briggs, 26th November 1993.
[2] Incidentally, one specific episode of the fabled show, 1983’s The Wayward Hart, found Snyder co-writing with novelist Sidney Sheldon.

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