A ‘crazy lady’ movie co-written by director Jon Knautz (Jack Brooks – Monster Hunter,The Shrine) and star Alexis Kendra (formerly Alexis Peters, and familiar from Big Ass Spider!, Infected, Hammer of the Gods and other scruffy genre stuff).
In a fragmentary prologue, we see Venus (Kendra) as a ballet dancer getting vaguely neurotic and doing an odd bit of artwork by painting her naked body red and lying on a sheet of paper she crumples (the point is the reveal shot of her face half-scarlet) – then pick up later, after she’s become a stripper (though the film has very little nudity) and gets involved with Brian (Woody Naismith), a bearded Australian photographer she meets while giving him a lapdance. He’s haunted by his wife’s suicide and she rushes him into a relationship that’s at least half a fantasy on her part – the film is very good about the way she projects her own feelings onto the numbed guy – until she starts to suspect that his friend Christine (Elizabeth Sandy) is a rival for his affections and gets into a feud with the other woman that involves punches to the stomach, cat-murder and a car chase with a bloody finish in the desert.
As in a surprising number of this year’s FrightFest films – Sun Choke, Last Girl Standing, Suspension – it turns out that much of the action (though not all of it) is taking place in the female protagonist’s head, and we get a last reel what-really-happened montage that shows Venus ranting at no-one or imagining conflict (though the cat-killing is real). The corpse discovered in her apartment closet by her stripper pal (Monda Scott) isn’t who we or she think it is. We never do find out what sent Venus off the deep end, or even the details of what happened to her ballet career (which involved a trip to Paris and another dancer being crippled), but the point is the way her self-image as a love goddess, represented in high and low art terms by her dancing ballet and in booths, has locked her into impossible ideas of romance and the way she becomes jittery, stalkery and dangerous when thwarted.