Unlawful Passage (1994)

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Unlawful Passage (1994) Poster

Erotic thriller about a rich couple who hires a new sailboat captain who's unbeknown to them also a drug smuggler.


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18 July 2008 | BloodTheTelepathicDog
| 3-Minute Climax thriller
As an erotic thriller, this film fails to deliver in both the "thriller" department and the "erotic" department. The film's plot centers on a yuppie couple, architect Lee Horsley and his daytime t.v. actress wife Felicity Waterman (no relation to 1940's baseball star Scrapiron Jake Whattaman), who hire a shady Texan (Leslie Ming) to help them sail their boat back to New York. Things get complicated when Ming brings aboard his buddy Howie (Karate Kid's William Zabka) who also brings aboard a load of cocaine. Ming and Zabka intend to use the yuppie's boat to transport their cocaine.

This film is quite weak but that has little to do with the acting and more to do with pacing and a weak script. There is far too much talking and far too little action. And there is far too much filler - many scenes of sailboats in action, the sun rising and falling and Felicity swimming with the fishes. When the climax comes, the short duration of excitement doesn't make up for 80 minutes of boredom.

VIOLENCE: $$ (Action/thriller fans will be letdown. There are numerous opportunities for Horsley or Waterman to arm themselves and make an attempt to free themselves from the drug runners, but they never act. Instead, they talk - and talk - and talk. We do get an occasional gun blast and a poor Mexican chap cuts Ming with a machete, but that is about it. Horsley at one point arms himself with a harpoon, but doesn't use the device accordingly).

STORY: $$ (We've seen this premise a hundred times over - innocent people terrorized by psychos. Hollywood has a fascination with drug runners - using them more often than not to depict unsavory human character. The screenplay was poor, like I mentioned, failing to arouse any sort of fighting instinct in Horsley or Waterman's characters).

ACTING: $$$ (The acting wasn't bad. William Zabka does the best jib as Howie, a naive and starry-eyed drug smuggler. He is quick to act on impulse while his partner Ming uses better judgment - although his desire to make every occurrence in life a betting game, plays against a lot. Horsley is fine as the husband and he and Waterman make a convincing couple. Felicity does a fine job portraying the damsel in distress who realizes she must ply her feminine wiles in order to pit the two drug runners against one another).

NUDITY: $$$ (As an erotic thriller, this falls short also. Waterman does display some nudity, in a love scene and a bathing scene, but the thriller aspect is lacking. These two drug pushers never get too close to Felicity - I'm sorry, but the characters are depicted as obsessed with her from the very get-go and neither makes a convincing pass at her. All in all, this thriller is a letdown).

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Plot Summary




Release Date:

21 June 1996



Country of Origin

USA, Canada

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