Doherty's 'Blindfold' is better left unseen

May 20, 1994|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic

I never thought I'd miss Brenda and Dylan.

Then I saw Shannen Doherty and Judd Nelson in "Blindfold: Acts of Obsession," a USA cable movie that premieres at 9 tonight.

The film features some of the worst acting, sloppiest editing and most atrocious dialogue of the entire TV season. And that's not the half of it. There's lots of titillation, with Doherty shown at several points blindfolded and tied up -- immobile, vulnerable, sexual. To those with healthier inclinations, "Blindfold" appeals not a whit. In fact, it may not even appeal to half-wits.

Doherty plays Madeleine Dalton, whose husband, after two years of marriage, has become sexually "uninterested" in her. The script is such a muddle that it's not until almost an hour into the film that we learn "uninterested" here means impotent.

Dalton's psychiatrist, played by Nelson, suggests that Doherty and her husband start playing games in the bedroom. And he's not talking about Nintendo.

VTC There's also supposed to be a parallel tale of terror and suspense, as women in the San Francisco Bay area are getting mutilated and killed.

Madeleine's sister, it just so happens, is a rookie cop who, it just so happens, is given the job of stopping the serial killer. Right.

Kristin Alfonso, as Madeleine's sister, gives the most laughable TV performance of the year, overplaying every line. So theatrical is her delivery, she destroys every scene she's in -- mutilating pace, character, nuance, credibility, whatever.

Right behind in her in the category of bad performances is Nelson, the only actor in this dog who's supposed to have some talent. The psychiatrist he plays is supposed to have the hots for Madeleine. But in their scenes together Nelson is either a statue or so far over the top that he seems like someone who's awkward in front of a camera.

This is a movie in which almost nothing works. There is so much dubbing going on that you actually find yourself looking away during the emotional scenes, because the words you're hearing don't come close to matching the movements of the actors' mouths.

One last point about the kind of titillation the film revels in. The big scene features a blindfolded woman with a knife at her throat. If that turns you on, this film is for you.

If it doesn't, stick with Doherty in her swan song as Brenda on Wednesday in the season finale of "Beverly Hills, 90210."

As for "Blindfold," it should hit the bargain basement section of your video store in about a week. In two weeks, they will probably pay you to carry it out.

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