Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Fatal Trust

"Yep, she's dead."

When those are the first words in a Lifetime movie, you just may have caught a winner. And Fatal Trust is a winner. I don't know how it will score out (there weren't a lot of famous people in this), but, man, what a roller coaster ride.

We open with a woman stopping her SUV in traffic. There's a traffic accident blocking the road and the woman behind the wheel is pronounced dead of a heart attack. It turns out the woman behind the SUV is a hometown girl who had big city dreams. Her failures have relegated her back to townie status. The sheriff recognizes her and gives her one of the great backhanded compliments of all time: "A lot of people are moving out of town. You're the only one moving back in. Good for you."

Oh, and the reason she's moving back is to get her asthmatic son some fresh air. The son is too ugly for both words and television.

As Kate drives off they show the local doctor who pronounced the woman dead. We immediately get the impression that he is evil. Also on the scene is a firefighter, Tom. Tom is Kate's high school flame. In a flashback sequence set in high school, they promise to love each other forever and have some spirited intercourse. You can tell they're in high school since Kate has a french braid. I guess "forever" meant two weeks (tops) before she drank too much jungle juice and got finger banged by some anonymous frat guy in a basement (College! Woo!). Just another country girl who's learnin' that the pitfalls of the city are extremely real.

Kate's half-sister Jessica, is running a breakfast joint called Dad's Diner. Kate's lined up to work the kitchen but Jessica remembers how much she hated kitchen work and tells her to find a better job. But first, of course, Kate has to visit her mother's grave. Her mother committed suicide two years ago and, on account of her son's illness, she missed the funeral. She runs into the evil doctor, Dr. Lucas. Dr. Lucas agrees to give the son a physical and immediately asks Kate for a date. She refuses. So, naturally, because this is what people do, he offers her a job as his assistant. She accepts.

Then we get a crazy flashback where we learn an escaped patient from a psych ward pushed Kate's husband in front of a subway train. This woman can't catch a break.

Driving to her first day on the job, Kate's car breaks down. She catches a ride from a local kooky cab driver who reminds me of Crazy Ralph from Friday the 13th and its immediate sequel. The cab driver warns Kate that Dr. Lucas is an evil man. Kate does not believe him.

So the job is going great except for two problems. The first is that the office typewriter smudges lower case "h's." The second is a bit more mysterious. Dr. Lucas has a mystery closet that he asks Kate not to snoop through. Hmmmm. How peculiar.

Kate's life is finally turning around after the death of her mom and baby daddy. She asks both Dr. Lucas and Tom over to dinner. This is retarded since both men want to stick it in her. Kate feels the same towards Tom, but she's trying to set Dr. Lucas up with Jessica. This fails completely and Dr. Lucas finally starts acting crazy. He gets all stalkery and steals Kate's favorite scarf.

Oh. And Kate drunkenly kisses Tom and tells him that "a drunk girl's lips are a sober girl's desires." Thanks, Lifetime, for presenting me with the best defense of date rape that I have ever heard.

When the crazy cab driver keeps bugging Kate about Dr. Lucas, the crazy medicine man decides to take matters into his own hands. He gets the key to the mystery closet, opens it, and...

You will never, ever guess what's in the mystery closet. Seriously, think of the most ridiculous thing. I'll give you a couple of minutes to think it over.

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Hell yeah! A motherfucking rattlesnake!

Dr. Lucas extracts a bunch of snake venom and sneakily brushes it on to the cab driver's steering wheel. Apparently snake venom can penetrate human skin since the cab driver gets poisoned by the snake juice and dies behind the wheel.

Just like the lady in the beginning of the movie! And those drugs that he's been injecting into the town's old ladies. Not drugs! Venom!

Kate watches Dr. Lucas "try" to "resuscitate" the cab driver but, of course, he dies. Good thing this is Lifetime and Kate has extraordinary women's intuition. Kate immediately suspects the doctor of murder.

Kate goes on a date with Tom and starts kissing at him again. He asks his old flame, "Are you sure?" I whisper her response, "Yes, I'm sure," along with her. This disturbs me since this is the second line of dialogue that I've nailed in real time. Fucking Lifetime is messing with my conversation skills.

Dr. Lucas goes to the diner and Jessica moves in for the kill. She asks for a full body physical and mentions her hot flashes. Ewwwwwww. Jessica is the least effective cougar ever. Hilariously, Kate's son mentions his mom's "sleepover" and Dr. Lucas is clearly enraged. He mentions that he is going to give Tom a "flu shot." Haha, "flu shot" means "rattlesnake venom," lol.

Meanwhile, Kate is going through the medical records of all the old ladies and dudes who have been dropping like flies. Dr. Lucas says it's all heart disease and the medical files all corroborate his findings. But wait! The "h" in "heart disease" is smudged! Lucas has been altering the files!

Dr. Lucas storms into the office and sees Kate acting a little peculiar. She goes out to "get coffee." Instead, Kate visits the home of the doctor's last patient and finds a dead old lady. Kate calls the cops and convinces the sheriff to give her an autopsy. She calls in and says she has been having car trouble. But the Doctor doesn't believe her! Why!? BECAUSE THERE IS ALREADY COFFEE IN HIS PANTRY!!!

Kate arrives back at the office and is immediately bitch slapped by Dr. Lucas. He ties her up and prepares the venom but is interrupted by Tom. Tom stopped by to get his flu shot. Oh, so many people to kill and so little time! Tom immediately catches on that something weird is happening and a fight breaks out. Dr. Lucas escapes but Kate is rescued. They find the snake and a diary of all the people he's killed. And, yeah, he totally killed Jessica and Kate's mom.

(Incidentally, best press clipping headline ever: "Depressed Mother Commits Suicide." Can you imagine your local paper featuring that awesomely insensitive headline?)

So, there's a serial killer on the loose. He stabs a deputy with a scalpel and tries breaking into Kate's house. Tom gets shot in the back with a shotgun and everyone runs off into a corn field to heighten the drama. Dr. Lucas gets ahold of Kate's son but for some reason lets him go. Then Kate has a weird flashback to her baby daddy's bizarre death and starts shooting the shit out of the doctor.

Tom is somehow OK and he reunites with Kate. They discuss how Dr. Lucas had been killing people in towns across the country for years. That's right. Kate stopped the worst serial killer in North American history based on a hunch.

ACTUAL AWESOMENESS: 6

I'm taking away a hefty amount of points for the terrible visual effects. When Kate's boy toy gets nailed by a train, I want it to look realistic, God damn it!

IRONIC AWESOMENESS: 10

Please refer to the rattlesnake picture. That is all I need to say.

HEY! IT'S THAT GUY!: 7

Ok. The reason I was so excited to review this movie is because Kate is played by Dennis-Yarmouth High School's most famous graduate, Amy Jo Johnson. That's right. The Pink Ranger. Pterodactyl, bitches! Being from Yarmouth, I take enormous pride in the accomplishments of our local leading lady. Hell, she even had an album release party at the local indie record store.

And a big fuck you to IMDB for listing her hometown as "Cape Cod, Massachusetts." Cape Cod is a massive island that consists of 15 distinct towns (16 if you count Gosnold, but no one counts Gosnold). Amy Jo Johnson is from Cape Cod, but, more specifically, she is from Dennis.

(Ed Note: I just want to make it very clear that I did not attend D-Y High School. That school is public and I am better than that. I went here. Our most famous alumnus is Rich Cronin. Yeah, he likes girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch. What's it to you?)

The only other person in this who is sort of famous is Carol Alt, who played Jessica. Apparently, Alt was once a supermodel who appeared on the 1982 cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Which means that your dad rubbed one off while thinking about her. That's worth an extra point in my book.

LIFETIMENESS: 8

A super evil dude and a whole lot of women's intuition. Combine that with the sacred bond between half-sisters and dialogue so obvious that I kept correctly guessing what a character would say ahead of time and you have an obvious Lifetime template.

GRAND TOTAL: 31

Wow, we're on a roll here. That's the second straight movie to top 30 points.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Dad rubbed one off" in 1982?!?

I was busy passing along a gene pool so that Lifetime movis could be critiqued.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the song title for the love scene between Tom and Kate in Fatal Trust(2006) when they reunite as adults (not the teenager flashback)? Feel free to email me the info/link for the song (I loved it): specialgirl@rcn.com
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I just laughed my ASS of reading your review. Well done. I caught this movie while channel surfing years ago and, just like passing the scene of a train wreck or other bad accident, I just couldn't look away no matter how horrible it was.

Speaking of train wrecks, my favorite scene is the flashback of Kate's husband eating it in front of that subway train. The homeless/deranged guy that throws him onto the tracks actually says "Must... feed... the Beast!" just before he does it. As I recall that scene to write this, I am in TEARS from laughing so hard. That line became, for me, an instant classic. That scene and the predictable way that they led up to it by showing a little more of it with each flashback/nightmare was hilarious.

The rattlesnake in the closet thing was a close second as far as comedy goes. I mean, what safer, simpler and more discreet way could there be to kill people than to have your own LIVE RATTLESNAKE that you have to regularly feed, handle and milk for its venom, and then go running around under the cover of night like a Navy Seal to find surfaces to put that snake venom onto that ONLY your intended victims will touch? Yeah, I couldn't think of an easier way, either.

I have been telling people about this movie and it's awesomely bad LifeTime-y-ness ever since, and I've been trying to find clips of it online without any luck.

If ANYONE knows where I can get my hands on that movie (WITHOUT paying for it), or at least the "Must feed the BEAST" moment, I will be eternally grateful.

Hats off to LifeTime for constantly raising the bar on just how supremely bad movies can possibly be, and for making me wake up every day thanking God that I'm not a woman and will never have to worry about the everyday threats you all face like ingesting snake venom, having your husbands thrown in front of mass transit, getting your kidnapped babies back from the clutches of their fathers who have taken them to hostile Middle Eastern territories, finding long lost children that everyone else told you were dead but your motherly intuition told you otherwise (even though your insistence made you look super crazy), and so much, much more... my hats off to all of you unsung heroines out there.

-Pete
chestrockwell1975@yahoo.com
"Must...Feed ...the BEAST!"

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