By Pete Vonder Haar | December 2, 2002

Can anyone explain to me the concept behind the “erotic thriller?” Are they popular because guys are too embarrassed to go into the local adult video store and rent an actual porno? If that’s the case, doesn’t it seem like it would be even *more* uncomfortable to pull down a copy of “Night Eyes” – with Shannon Tweed lingerie cover in full effect – in front of little Susie and her parents at the local Blockbuster? Or are people usually content to wait around until after midnight on Showtime and Cinemax?
At least in an X-rated video joint you’re with like-minded individuals, all going about their business in the Rimjob aisle and averting eye contact. 
“The Stalker” is an erotic thriller that wants to be a porno film. In fact, I suspect it started as one. The movie’s only 70 minutes long, yet has eight soft-core sex scenes, all of which have been clumsily edited so as to avoid showing any pelvises. Even better, the role of Naomi, the conniving personal assistant, is played by adult film star Tera Patrick, she of “Nice Rack 4” and “Foot Lovers Only 2.” 
And she’s actually the best actor in the film. 
Maxine Strickland (Stacy Noel) is an actress coming to grips with her newfound stardom (she must be famous; she’s got Nagel prints in her house). Unfortunately, someone is sending her threatening letters and scrawling scary graffiti on her vanity mirror. All this plot has to wait until after the first sex scene however, between Maxine’s co-star and her make-up girl. 
Meanwhile, ex-bodyguard Jack Howard (Paul Logan) is having nightmares about the time he took a bullet for The Governor (this is never expounded upon, he got shot and that’s apparently that). Then we cut to our next sex scene, between Maxine’s maid and chauffeur. Another threatening letter arrives (in that cut-out letter format so popular with stalkers and punk rock bands), and Maxine’s boyfriend/agent Riley (Kyle Kleefield) comforts her…with another sex scene. 
Jack comes to interview for a bodyguard position for Maxine, and sparks fly! Meanwhile, Riley and Maxine’s assistant Naomi (Patrick) are plotting against Maxine. Then they have sex. Jack is hired. He and Maxine clash, then make up, all against the backdrop of a gratuitous magazine shoot meant to showcase Maxine’s breasts (I’m sure Reese Witherspoon has tons of topless photo sessions lined up). Meanwhile, Naomi seduces Jack and, just to be different, has sex with him. 
You get the picture, the plot lurches along (between sex scenes) to its exceedingly abrupt conclusion. I think director Madison Monroe (“Erotic Confessions”) shot too much hot sexy action (I was only able to finish this film by imagining all the characters were talking like Zapp Brannigan from “Futurama”) to give us a proper suspenseful ending. Then I guess the producers decided the plot was too complicated for a porno, and had her butcher all the scenes. That’s my theory, anyway.
“The Stalker” feels kind of like an Andy Sidaris movie – it even has Paul Logan (“L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies: Return to Savage Beach”) in it – but there’s none of the exotic locales or trademark lowbrow humor that makes Sidaris’ movies true guilty pleasures. Tera Patrick doesn’t even include this on her current filmography (meanwhile “Up & Cummers #80” is accorded a place of high honor). It fails spectacularly as both an “erotic” thriller and as a regular thriller, and I have a feeling that were it if left as a porno, with all the scenes intact, “The Stalker” would still be a piece of crap. And that’s perhaps the most derogatory thing I can say about it.

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