February 13, 2014

Lady Beware (1987)

Let's talk about a great movie that I don't think many people are aware of.

The recipe for it is really quite simple: Take a heaping spoonful of Fatal Attraction (which was actually released a month LATER), a few dollops of The Collector, sprinkles of Mannequin and wrap it up in a nice, cozy layer of "Skinemax". Bake at a million degrees, and you have:

Lady Beware.

I won't bore you with a synopsis. You can always look that up yourself....and, actually, the less you know about it, the better. Lady Beware is a lot of fun and Diane Lane really gets into her role. She's not always great, and at times, she's pretty terrible (her smoking is TOO obvious) but she has some great freak-out moments (the mirror scene) and she reaches a point of defiance that is really quite impressive - why aren't more drag queens inspired by this film?

Visually, everything is perfect - from the atmospheric Pittsburgh locations to the memorable production design. Diane Lane's loft apartment is pretty enviable, so you might just find yourself running out to purchase reams of Christmas lights and dozens of mannequins to decorate your home. I'm sure someone has a Lady Beware-inspired home somewhere in the world...right?

Trivia: It's important to note that Lady Beware was one of the first (if not the first) films of the legendary costume designer, Pat Field, who went on to fame and fortune with Sex and the City...although, it makes me laugh that her next project after this was He's My Girl.

I don't want to ruin anything for first time viewers, but here are a few other things to think about:
  • The moody, "erotic thriller"-style soundtrack. There is actually an official LP available. I have it, so why don't you go ahead and get one, too. They are always available on eBay. Great background music for crying in the bathtub.
  • The stereotypical, secondary gay character. Inspired by Mannequin? I had some problems with that guy.
  • Why does Diane Lane sometimes remind me of a young Kathleen Turner?
  • For Creepshow fans, the guy playing the grouchy curmudgeon who criticizes Diane's window display is famed Pittsburgh actor, Bingo O'Malley -  he played multiple roles in the Stephen King/"Jordy Verrill" segment. I thought that was pretty neat.
  • Come to think of it...a mash-up of Lady Beware and Mannequin would be pretty incredible. Emmy (Kim Cattrall) could have come to life and helped Katya (yes, Diane's character is named KATYA YARNO) during the climactic showdown.
  • I want to know why some sources say that Viveca Lindfors is in this movie? Yes, I care about these kind of things. I wonder who she would have played?
From Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide