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  • Cash Markman almost crafts a winner in this film noir feature for Penthouse Video. He manages to mess up enough to keep from achieving, after a thousand tries, an unqualified success.

    First mistake is casting Erik Everhard in the lead role, as the prolific porn peformer is not up to it. Sure, his sex scenes are presentable, but instead of creating a noir figure one can root for he largely walks through the role.

    Taking a riff off of Billy Wilder's "Double Indemnity" with its famous dead narrator (the William Holden character), Erik voices over most of the intriguing story line, as he investigates the disappearance of his brother, a character seen in flashback and played by Jack Venice.

    There's little doubt in Markman's screenplay what's going on, diluting the natural suspense, as lovely but sinister Diana Prince as Cassandra is a femme fatale preying on men, using sex to sap their life force in order to preserve her youth and immorality. I found the unfolding of this story quite interesting, so much so that it is disappointing that Cash didn't try harder to make it work.

    In particular, the climax of the movie with Erik literally running for his life (almost "The Dangerous Game" style) from the pursuit of Cassandra's beautiful femme sex slaves (Faith Leon and Katerina Kat) is poorly staged in chintzy fashion.

    So we're left with an interesting premise, a wonderful villainess and some invigorating sex scenes. Cash's favorite NonSex trouper Slick Rhodes gives a fine performance as Erik's predecessor under Cassandra's spell.