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Damian Harris, USA, 2002
Rating: 2.9

Posted: November 24, 2002

If there are two greater words in the English language than "lesbian bondage," they have neither crossed my lips nor fallen upon my ears. The words "lottery winner" come close, but even if I won the lottery, a good percentage of my winnings would be spent on "lesbian bondage." Mercy is tricky in this regard. The trailers promise a sexual thriller with heavy lesbian overtones. This flick has "Cinemax after dark" written all over it, right? Maybe. There is a great "exploration" scene between Detective Palmer (Ellen Barkin) and Vickie Kittrie (Peta Wilson), a member of a covert lesbian S&M club. We need more of this, but it never comes. Yes, there is a plot, dealing with the murder of a series of women who all indulged in deviant sexual behavior, but this leads down a twisted road of cross-dressing therapists and off-putting sleaze. What's off-putting sleaze? One scene has Peta Wilson in a hotel room in a sheer frock of some sort and sporting a black wig. Sounds good, right? She pulls the blinds, lifts the frock, and grinds her body against the glass. Nothing wrong with that either, right? Enter a Vietnam-era sniper, standing in a room across the street, watching this dance of death through a rifle scope, pretending to shoot her. She even breaks open a fake blood pack and sprays it across the window. I'm pretty open-minded, but these cats are just freaks. Here's a word of advice to the director -- stick to lesbianism. It works. It has few moving parts. It's just a good idea. Not that corpses with their eyelids cut off or biting someone to death are ideas that lack intensity; it's just that if you promote lesbianism, then give me lesbianism. It seems simple, but I am a simple man, with simple values. Mercy is a good idea, but it's not taken as far as it should have gone. It scores fairly high only because attempted lesbianism is better than no lesbianism at all. Those words will one day adorn my tombstone.

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 Clemenza's Ratings Key:

 5.0: A drop of bliss

 4.0-4.9: Touchdown!
 3.0-3.9: Close, but...
 2.0-2.9: Box of Rocks
 1.1-1.9: Time bandit
 0.0-1.0: Soul scarring
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