Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Flight of the Dove (1994)

Theresa Russell, intimidating.

Concerning the crossed paths of a high class dominatrix with too many government secrets (Theresa Russell) and a demolition expert with a homeless family's blood on his hands (Scott Glenn), The Flight of the Dove is a surprisingly eccentric thriller. Scenes of the most overwrought dialogue outside of a method acting workshop are interspersed between bar brawls, car wrecks, and exploding miniatures. This bizarre mix would collapse if not for the presence of Russell as "The Dove," a neurotic spy/dominatrix who is writing her life story as a therapeutic measure prescribed by her psychiatrist. An unlikely character for sure, Russell alternates between viciousness in her dealings with clients to blubbering mess in her shrink sessions (it's hard not to recoil as she vomits out the words "a fucking whore" to describe herself). It's really a braver performance than the material deserves.

Theresa Russell, radiating.

Released to video as The Spy Within, this New Concorde production is the sole directorial effort from character actor Steve Railsback. It's an oddity---a straight to video thriller that leaves a lasting impression.

The Flight of the Dove does not disappoint in the exploding miniature department.

Having a fixation on a particular actor can lead a film viewer down some strange paths. My yen for the lusty enthusiasm of Theresa Russell has led me down an especially bumpy road paved with low budget thrillers, one that I intend to document here in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

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