A New York private eye searches for a socialite who supposedly drowned 10 years before.
Writer/director Lloyd Fonvielle’s often incoherent, film-noirish horror thriller-ghost story was originally made for Showtime cable-TV, and in some ways resembled Hitchcock’s Vertigo (1958).
The plot was about a rich and nervous husband Charlie Rand (Colin Bruce), who hired (for $10,000) down-on-his-luck NYC private detective Eddie Mallard (Tommy Lee Jones) to prevent his socialite ex-wife from harassing and tormenting him. He claimed that pretty femme fatale blonde Rachel Carlyle (pre-Oscar-winning actress Virginia Madsen, in a number of nude scenes) was stalking and haunting him and that he wanted to be left alone. Rachel claimed that he was a “scumbag” and a “thief.”
As it turned out, Rachel had been deceased for ten years, after drowning in the harbor. Widower Charlie had possibly killed Rachel, and then after she had been buried naked with her jewels (at her request), he plundered her gravesite. A note to Charlie read: “In return for my jewels, I promise to leave you alone, Charlie” – and the jewels were returned (although they were revealed later to be paste).
In the course of the case, the obsessed Mallard fell in love with the sultry specter himself, who told him: “Ghosts can’t lie.” During an intense night-time thunderstorm, she crashed through his bedroom window and cut her right hand (he wasn’t answering his phone or door) and demanded: “Make love to me!” – and he obliged. The next morning, she suggested: “I love f–king in the rain, don’t you?…I’d love to f–k you in the middle of Grand Central Station, stark naked in the middle of the floor. We could get away with it, too. Nobody would believe their eyes.”
She overtly warned Eddie about her supernatural identity and their inseparable love: “Whatever they tell you about me is true. I’m worse than you can imagine. But don’t ever say you didn’t know…You chose me. And you’ll go on choosing me as awful as it gets. You’ll go on choosing me…because you love me. Because YOU love me.” He realized that he was going crazy (“completely f–ked up” and “bonkers”) – in love with a ghostly female. He found her naked in a refrigerator, and carried her naked body to a bed where he covered her with a silky sheet and kissed her. Shortly later when he returned, he found her submerged in an overflowing bathtub. In the eerie scene, she opened her eyes – and mouthed Eddie’s name under the water.
In one of the last scenes, she met Eddie on the Rand yacht, and on the deck, she recalled the night of an elegant party 10 years earlier – and her drowning death in the harbor, when she fell off the boat and no one saved her. He had a vision of her submerged in the water in her black gown and elbow-high black gloves, and reaching out to be rescued.
In the end, Eddie took the real jewels for himself and donated them to the church, leaving Charlie and Rachel with only paste. He used his $10,000 fee to take an escapist island trip to Samoa with his friends, while Rachel continued to pester Charlie for her real jewels at a bar. She delivered the film’s final line to him: “What’s the matter, Charlie? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
Director: Lloyd Fonvielle