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DaveHoward Written by DaveHoward
Apr. 22, 2010 | 4:55 PM

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Does “In My Sleep” Mark The Return of the Erotic Thriller?

imageThere was a time from the late 80’s to the mid 90’s when being into indie flick meant something. It was a renaissance with folks like Spike Lee, Quentin Tarrantino, Robert Rodriguez and Doug Liman did some great work out of the grasp of the studios reach. Camp-itilizing on this were a slew of indie rip-offs that tried (and sometimes succeeded) in getting good sized names to participate in their “gems” with the glory of a snow capped multi-million dollar deal twinkling in their eyes. These were mostly schlock in the exploitation genre of “erotic thriller,” a dumbed down version of film noir. The king of the studio erotic thriller was probably the Sharon Stone thriller, “Sliver” one of her post “Basic Instinct” turns co-starring a then promising Billy Baldwin.
That was a formula that duplicated countless times on late night Cinemax.

“In My Sleep,” a new film by writer/director Allen Wolf, attempts to bring the erotic thriller up-to-date for the new millennium.  The story centers around a hunky (and usually shirtless) somnambulist Marcus (Philip Winchester) who keeps waking up near his father’s grave in his tighties with no knowledge of what happened to him the night before. In most cases, he was with yet another strange woman who then has to apologize to for not remembering what happened last night.

After a night out drinking on the town, screwing some gal in the Key Club’s bathroom and ending up for last call at The Powerhouse, he calls his best friend’s wife Ann (Kelly Overton) to pick him up. The next morning they wake up together. As usual, he doesn’t remember a thing. they are both shattered by their passionate indiscretion. A few days later, he awakes with his ripped (and I mean ripped) torso covered in blood, his scarlet stained knife on the floor. Ann is missing and Marcus thinks he killed her in his sleep. As he rushes to find the truth, he joins Sex Addicts Anonymous, strikes up a “can you handcuff me to me my bed” type relationship with neighbor and all around good girl Becky (Lacey Chabert) and battles the nightmare demons of his father’s death.

imageThe movie really isn’t as good as it sounds. I say this with regret because I thought the killer sleepwalker premise is a pretty rich one.  I do have to admit that there are many good set ups in “In My Sleep” but none of them ever pay off and several of just go unexplained. Also, if you are going to update the erotic thriller genre, there needs to be at least one gratuitous erotic wham bam fest. Perhaps as a straight guy, I just missed it. There is an unbilled secondary star to this movie and it is Phillip Westchester’s abs.  Westchester comes close to breaking the record for “most screen time for chiseled abs” set by “300.” And this ain’t no CGI. He can act too and will surely land an episode arc of “Desperate Housewives” sometime soon

So yep, you can nap through “In My Sleep.”

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