By Rory L. Aronsky | April 30, 2005

“Diamonds in the Rough” makes the “Wild Things” movies a full-fledged, yet unrelated trilogy, and with the credit, “based on characters by Stephen Peters”, it takes the next logical step courtesy of “Wild Things 2” writers Andy Hurst & Ross Helford: A rehash of the first movie, where Denise Richards and Neve Campbell got a sizzling chemistry going in the pool, no sparks of which exist between Sarah Laine and Sandra McCoy as the spoiled rich brat and the trailer trash, respectively. And if you’ve seen the first film, the money scheme should be obvious.

This time, the workings of these twisted minds focuses on diamonds. Two flawless sparking stars of beauty, which would have gone to rich bitch Marie (Laine) after her mother’s death, had her no good stepfather (Brad Johnson) not contested the will, motivated by a need for money because for some thankfully unexplained reason, dear old step-daddykins is under a lot of financial pressure with the threat of a loss of a few fingers if construction of his latest building does not happen. Or something like that. McCoy plays Elena, the trailer trash with an ankle tracking device, the wonders of juvenile detention in Blue Bay. Yes, Blue Bay, where you think this town would have learned from all this once before. The clichés are all stockpiled here, being fired at us constantly, such as the sexy plot twists now turned inane, that one guy who’s in on the entire deal who just happens to work for law enforcement (he’s in forensics), scenes that could be lifted from your average CSI episode, and of course, the T&A. Good, grand and glorious T&A.

“Diamonds in the Rough” is a positively shitty movie, but it goes down oh so easily. While anger would boil over at the maudlin antics in a Garry Marshall movie, complete indifference toward the machinations of the plot and some pleasure over ever-present skin exposure take control here. Even when the high school contains that right-on-the-spot number of sex-crazed students (the entire frickin’ auditorium) and the parties have that perfect timing in having girls fall into the pool, it’s just not possible to be completely ticked off at the time that went bye-bye. Director Jay Lowi, who graduated from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television and will most likely keep on doing these kinds of films (how can you ever stop once you’ve filmed pool scenes and hot, wet lesbian kisses?), goes through all the right motions until the girls speak of course. Towards the end, Marie tells Elena to get rid of a body and the car that came with it, as if she can do all that alone. From all of this, the performances are indeed complete crap as expected. In watching this, it’s remarkable how quickly works of trash like this are made, that these actors actually exist in this world. Even the natty, meek lawyer is worried about the consequences of whatever the heck’s going on, not to mention that he’s always there at just the right time. It’s immensely bad, but before “Wild Things 3” arrives at its third-act doom, it’s a fun type of bad.

Speaking of other things that are bad, Sony took a crack at this release and on the DVD, there are trailers for all three “Wild Things” productions, along with “The Cave” (weird creatures down below! Light that torch and watch out for the one right behind you!), “D.E.B.S.”, and “Vampires: The Turning”. The paper insert in the DVD case brings up something of more importance: What about the trailers for all three Cruel Intentions films? It’s a natural fit, considering both trilogies are in the same business what with exploitation for the sake of a quick profit, more badly-staged sex and eye-popping T&A for your dollar, and of course bad actors. That doesn’t entirely apply to the first “Cruel Intentions” or “Wild Things”, but obviously “The Cave” and “Vampires: The Turning” required that extra advertising kick. They’ll find their listless victims.

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