By Daniel Bernardi | July 13, 2005

“Fishnet” is a little seen film that was filmed and set in Australia but made for the American straight-to-video market as it was never released in its native country. Director Mark Savage claims that “Fishnet was an experiment to make a personal film for an established market – the erotic thriller”. So taking those words into consideration, we can figure out that it is a gun-for-hire job and Mark Savage can only do what he can in a film that was clearly shot on the run.

This is probably Australia’s first (or of very few) soft-core, bottom shelf, erotic thrillers so in that regard it’s special in a way. The market “Fishnet” was aiming for was obviously of that mentioned above which leaves little room for strong acting and quality scripting.

Nadia (Helen Hopkins) is a bi-sexual woman who is searching for love but can only seem to muster up people who do not have her best interests at heart. Her best friend and former lover Lois (Susanne Hausschmid) appears to have tinges of jealous undertones as she still has feelings for her. Nadia goes on a sexual journey, searching for that special someone who can give her what she wants. The only problem is, every time she meets a new person they seem to mysteriously disappear from her life in suspicious fashion.

“Fishnet” is your standard, run of the mill erotic thriller so in that regard you cannot really ask for anything more than steaming hot sex, little dialog and a thin plot to tie the ample sex scenes into some kind of semi-comprehensible story structure. While I was watching the film, I honestly believed it could have worked better as a hardcore porn film because the set-ups are similar to that of a XXX film. On the whole there are a few lines of basic dialog followed by an extensive sex scene and that is the formula followed for the entire film which makes me believe that the script must have only weighed in at fewer than fifteen pages. If it were a hardcore film, it probably could have found more of an appropriate market as all the right elements are in place except for actual un-simulated sex. The acting is quite weak from some of the leads and the performers seem to struggle getting their tongues around some very basic lines.

I am probably being a little too over-critical of this film, because it doesn’t present itself in any other light aside from that intended. The film was shot quickly and for the straight-to-video market, so it is what it is. I understand that standard films shoot plenty of takes which is why the acting is improved because they simply use the best pieces from an over-abundance of stock footage. The coverage for this film is very thin further proving how fast and efficient this was shot, so I guess the actors had to get it right within only a few takes which could explain the second rate performances.

I am a huge fan of Mark Savage’s work, especially his first big film “Sensitive New-Age Killer” but I do not consider this a Mark Savage film, because his best work comes from his own creations and in this instance he sat in a director’s chair that someone else had already kept warm for him until he arrived. It is not easy to come in and try and save a standard film from mediocrity. If only the script were stronger, this little film could have been a decent erotic thriller but in the end it is soft porn and nothing more. The film is elegantly shot with soft sounds, a fitting score and great looking women, so as a stimulating piece of eye candy it definitely provokes the male libido.

Little work was put into the DVD, containing only a film trailer which serves more as a short film, throwing in all the best bits of T&A from the feature and stringing them together for nutshell version of what the film is all about.

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