US-Canada Erotic thrillers were a dime a dozen in the 90s and video store shelves were flooded with movies that used various plot devices to tie together the nude scenes of the female lead. Shannon Tweed was the biggest player in the erotic thriller game and became well known to b-movie fans and young men looking for a thrill. Back in the day, I watched many of these flicks as there was plenty to look at and they were entertaining in their own way even though they all started to blend together in their structure.
There would be some plot, a sex scene, more plot, a shower scene, more plot, another sex scene, and then a finale with an intense confrontation sprinkled with a little violence. If you got the unrated version, the sex scenes would be a little longer and you may get an extra one for good measure. B-movie directors like Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray visited the genre regularly and you could usually count on one or two actors that had faded from the spotlight to show up from time to time.
Scorned is a flick that came out during the heyday of the erotic thriller and although the plot is tried and true, it is still fun to watch Tweed attempt to destroy an entire family with with a combination of manipulation and mammaries. Tweed stars as Patricia Langley, a loving wife to a douchebag husband named Truman who makes her trade a sexual favour with a client so that he can get a promotion.
When the job is given to a guy named Alex Weston Andrew Stevens , Truman commits suicide and Patricia is devastated so she decides to target the Weston family even though they were only indirectly responsible for Truman's demise. Patricia changes her name to Amanda, poses as a tutor, and begins her slow and methodical process of destroying the small, dysfunctional family.
Son Robey Michael D. Arenz is thrilled to have a sexy woman around the house and mom Marina Kim Morgan Greene is too messed up on prescription drugs to notice anything is amiss. Amanda doesn't waste any time and soon establishes a sexual relationship with Robey as his adolescent hormones push him right into her web.
Eventually, Amanda gets busy with all three of the Westons in a variety of positions, murders the maid, and silences the family pets. She then plays the family members against each other until one of them realizes what is going on and has to find a way to stop the madness.
It is pretty obvious that the main premise for this flick was borrowed from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle but the idea of an unstable woman infiltrating a family is nothing new in the erotic thriller genre. Tweed seems to relish her role and the scenes where she is seducing Robey are both sexy and believable. Similar to Sylvia Kristel's character in Private Lessons , this woman knows exactly how to exploit raging hormones and does so to the delight of the teenage boy in any male that is watching these scenes.
Tweed gets pretty raunchy when she punishes Robey for doing poorly on a test by making him wear a cock ring in one of the films more memorable scenes. She also has sex with him knowing the freshly killed maid is laid out in the basement. Stevens is good as the workaholic family man who loves his family deep down but is not above taking the bait when sexy Shannon wants to be bent over the pool table.
Tweed and Stevens had worked well together before in a couple of Night Eyes sequels and both knew the formula for the subgenre. Stevens also directs and does a good job with the story in a b-movie kind of way knowing that the main draw here is his leading lady rather than the deep plotline. This works for the viewer as the two of them camp it up making the movie entertaining even when Shannon's boobs are not on the screen.
The only thing I had trouble with is why her character was so hell bent on revenge after her husband ate a bullet. The scenes of Patricia and Truman together showed an unpleasant relationship and a man who cared way more about his career than his wife.
If I was in her shoes, I would probably have been looking at his untimely death as a blessing rather than a motivation for a hate-filled vendetta. Nevertheless, this is one of Tweed's best flicks and she proves that she can entrance the audience just as much as the Westons. Followed by a sequel.