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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Forbidden Sins/Human Desires (1998/1996)

"I don't think this is such a good idea."
- Maureen Doherty (Shannon Tweed)

Review By: Jeff Ulmer   
Published: February 21, 2002

Stars: Shannon Tweed
Other Stars: Corby Timbrook, Timothy Vahle, Myles O'Brien, Amy Lindsay, Ron Geren, Kirstine Carlstrand, Christian Noble, Dawn Ann Billings, Ashby Adams, Peggy Trentini, Duke Stroud, G.W. Stevens, Lisa Nohea, Stack Pierce, Victor Campos, Stoney Jackson
Director: Robert Angelo, Ellen Earnshaw

Manufacturer: IFPI
MPAA Rating: R for (strong sexuality, language/strong sexuality language, violence and drug use)
Run Time: 01h:26m:17s/01h:26m:18s
Release Date: February 19, 2002
UPC: 043396052871
Genre: late night


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C-C+B+ D-

DVD Review

Six foot tall, Canadian-born Shannon Tweed is the undisputed queen of late night erotic thrillers. She got her break as a Playboy bunny, becoming playmate of the year in 1983. She held roles on Falcon Crest and Days of Our Lives before turning to a long string of low-budget features, including the Night Eyes and Indecent Behavior series. They all follow a standard formula, intertwining some form of crime drama with numerous soft core sex scenes, which have nothing to do with the plot. The stories aren't entirely bad, and usually pack a twist at the end, but they also aren't much beyond any stock TV script, juiced with some titillating sequences. Columbia offers a double feature here with Forbidden Sins and Human Desires, also marketed as Indecent Behavior 4.Forbidden Sins (1998)Directed by Robert AngeloWhen the girlfriend of strip club owner and multi-millionaire David Mulholland (Corby Timbrook) turns up dead—presumedly the result of kinky sex games—attorney Maureen Doherty (Shannon Tweed) takes up his defense when she learns her former husband, John (Myles O'Brien), is the investigating officer. She knows John has a vendetta against Mulholland as a suspect in the murder of his niece. Complicating matters are the circumstances surrounding the death: there are signs of forced entry to the premise, which fit the M.O. of a string of recent breakins, and the body shows evidence the woman was tied up prior to her death. Mulholland is adamant that Maureen believe in his innocence and that he has been set up by her ex-husband, and a key may be the dead girl's friend, another stripper, Molly Malone (Amy Lindsay) who Maureen assigns to her investigative partner to uncover the truth. Believing that the crucial evidence may in fact be planted, Maureen becomes attracted to her client, especially when further information points the guilty finger at another party. Is there more to be discovered that will change Maureen's defense of her client before she gets him off the hook?Presented here in its shorter US cut (which is obvious by the jarring audio edits during the sex scenes), this is a typical Shannon Tweed thriller: a murder investigation, lots of deception, and plenty of gratuitous sex. The plot is fairly well developed, with a number of decent twists thrown in throughout. The acting is fair and not overly dramatic, and there weren't any real standouts in the way of awkwardness in the performances. The story was quite passable, but is broken up by the sexual interludes which bookmark the film—either a good or bad thing depending on your perspective. Human Desires (1996)Directed by Ellen EarnshawDean Thomas (Christian Noble) is a former police officer, who now runs a private investigative firm specializing in catching cheating husbands in the act. He is invited by an old buddy from the force (Stoney Jackson as Vic), who is now working security for a shindig at the home of Alicia and Miles Royale (Shannon Tweed, Ashby Adams), the principles of an elite modelling agency. The Royales are about to sign a huge contract with a world-renowned fashion designer, who is interested in their clients. When the front-runner in the contest winds up floating dead in their pool during the party, the police chalk it up to suicide, but the girl's running mate, Zoe Taylor (Dawn Ann Billings) believes foul play is involved. Thomas is reluctant to take the job at first, but there does seem to be something suspicious. He begins to investigate, which uncovers a lot of angles pointing to a killer, but the deeper he digs, the more suspects he finds. Tweed, who was an executive producer on the film, this time takes a secondary role, with the male lead carrying most of the story. Acting here is a bit weaker, with a more of a soap feel, and the storyline is helped along by some pretty glaring coincidences. There is a reasonable amount of suspense and drama, spiced up by the clockwork sex scenes in case the plot gets boring. The resolution to this one had me questioning why the Thomas character was involved in the first place, as there are some major motivational issues left without explanation. The lighting on this one was pretty bad, which wasn't helped by the transfer; meaning, the majority of the film was in the dark. While that may have a purpose elsewhere, it doesn't work here. Both films are true to Tweed's standards, allowing other actresses to take center stage before she gets her sex scene in the climax, but considering how many films of this type she has produced, Tweed must know her market. However, differences in the actresses aside, once you've seen one of these stories, you've seen them all, so the only real draw is whether you like watching Shannon and friends get naked, and can put up with the story that strings the nude scenes together. If you are looking for good mystery content, there are far better films available without the superfluous nudity.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Rationo
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Both films are presented in full frame, one on each side of the disc. Grain is visible, but not too overwhelming. Forbidden Sins contains a high degree of aliasing, and visible edge enhancement. Colors are generally strong, but contrast seems a bit high, leading to a lot of dark scenes with only the bright areas being clearly visible. Clarity is reasonable, though some areas are fairly unfocused. Human Desires is just plain dark throughout, with no shadow detail whatsoever, and overblown whites. Colors tend on the green side in many places. A lot of the problem lies in the lighting used during production, which is sparse, and much of the film is back or naturally lit. Aliasing is present here as well, but the overall look is fairly murky. I'm not that impressed with either transfer.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Stereo audio is mostly fine on both films, with no excess sibilance, some use of the stereo field, and no real technical issues aside from the obvious edits in the audio during the sex scenes on Forbidden Sins. Dialogue is clear and discernable, frequency coverage is as expected for a low budget film, while not being overly disappointing.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai with remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Aside from the 28 chapter stops in each film, any extras desired are forbidden.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

A pair of late night erotic thrillers featuring the tried and true Shannon Tweed formula. The stories are passable, the acting okay, and the girls attractive. The nudity is reasonably copious but serving little in the plot, and the transfers here don't really help in this regard. If you are looking for something new from Shannon, you won't find it, but I suppose the two-for-one value should earn some points. However, if I had missed these two my life would still be complete. For fans of the star only.

 


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