Sunday, March 8, 2009

Touched By Evil

Rape is usually a very tricky thing to write about. This is especially true when you try writing about rape on a blog that's supposed to be funny. But Paula Abdul could be in a movie about the Holocaust and it would make me laugh because, hey!, look!, it's Paula Abdul. If you think Paula Abdul crying about being raped for 45 minutes is a good time, you will adore Touched By Evil. If you were raped in the middle of the night in your own bed by a masked assailant, then, eh, not so much.

Of course, when you're watching a movie starring Paula Abdul revolving around a horrible rape, it also leads to opportunities to add rapey lyrics to her hit single "Opposites Attract."

Abdul: I believe in consent.
MC Skat Cat: I like to raaaape
Abdul: You know "no means no"
MC Skat Cat: Shut the fuck up or I'll kill you

If anyone can do better, and of course you can, please leave your version in the comments.

Paula Abdul plays Ellen, an art buyer who is retiring from the business to invest her savings into an up and coming business to be determined later. Ellen is creepily asked out by her old boss, but she declines. I guess this happens so we have an inkling of suspicion that this is our rapist, but we don't really hear from him much after this, so, no.

Ellen goes to sleep one night and a dude in a ski mask breaks in. He bribes Ellen's dog into not barking by feeding him some Puppy Chow. What a shitty dog. The would-be rapist breaks in, marches up the stairs, opens Ellen's bedroom door, goes through her drawers, caresses her and takes off her blankets, and....Ellen still hasn't woken up. I guess we can assume Paula Abdul has already started her fruitful relationship with painkillers if all of this isn't rousing her.

Then, there's a rape. The masked man makes some weird comment about women never enjoying the first time they're ravished. Then he leaves and Ellen calls the police.

It turns out this all fits the M.O. of a serial rapist that the press have helpfully dubbed "The North Side Rapist." Ellen is obviously traumatized and spends the next few months barricading her house and sobbing.

Then, one fateful day, Ellen meets two people while doing laundry that will change her life forever. One, a lady, becomes her bff. The other, Jerry, becomes her boyfriend and her business partner when she invests in his car detailing business.

The thing about Jerry is, he's kind of creepy. He's an ex-con who is weirdly defensive about his business's paper work. And he says the word "ravished." And he has the same brown eyes as the rapist. And he has the same bad smell. Obviously Jerry is the North Side Rapist.

This is obvious to the viewer, but not obvious to Ellen. What's the opposite of women's intuition?

My favorite case of Ellen's naivete is the first night that Jerry sleeps over. She wakes up in the middle of the night and he's gone. But then Jerry just appears in her doorway covered in sweat. He says he's been jogging. What the fuck, Paula Abdul? Jogging in street clothes in the middle of the night? Even if Jerry wasn't a raper, he is clearly not telling you the truth. Come on.

Shit like this happens for a while and Ellen defends Jerry to every sensible person who raises questions. It takes a good long while before Ellen pieces this all together. When she does, her response is a little strange. She wears her "sexiest" nightie and lights a bunch of candles. Then she tells Jerry to ravish her.

Wait. Did Lifetime produce a movie where the protagonist falls in love with her rapist because of some sick thrill? That would be... different.

Well, don't worry, because that's clearly not the case. We find out why Ellen boned him the next day when she is interviewed by the police. She matter of factly asks the lead detective if they need Jerry's semen. Then she whips out a container of splooge.

That is awesome. And also moot because that night Jerry shows up for another raping, this time in his ski mask outfit. Why rape the cow when you're getting the milk for free? But, there's an attempted rape and Ellen knocks Jerry on his head and grabs his gun. They treat the unmasking as a big reveal, but Jesus Christ, Lifetime. Give us some credit.

Jerry tries to escape but the police are waiting even though no one called them. Jerry confesses and gets life behind bars.


All these points are for Paula Abdul's attempts at sobbing and for semen retrieval. Those were the peaks. The rest of the movie is valley after valley after valley. Like a plateau, but below sea level.


The two leads both have their own hit shows. Paula Abdul's needs no mention. But Jerry is played by Adrian Pasdar, aka one of the many Petrellis on that terrible show Heroes. If I remember correctly, he's the one who can fly. And, yes, I know Pasdar was the star of Profit which is apparently some cult hit for those in the know. But Profit fans should note that Pasdar made this movie while he was starring in the series. That's kind of sad. What agent would allow that?

By the way, I saw Paula Abdul live, sort of. In first grade my mom took me to a Beach Boys concert back when Uncle Jesse Stamos was their percussionist. He was dating Abdul at the time (at the peak of her powers) and they brought her out to slow dance to Surfer Girl. That is my Paula Abdul story.


There is really only one male character and he's a horrible criminal who rapes and lies and cheats and steals and rapes some more.

Lots of demerits for the women's intuition thing though. Jerry better hope there isn't an extra penalty for raping someone who is clearly mentally retarded.


Certainly an interesting film. It really only works in theory. Paula Abdul gets raped, lol! Now look at her cry and sob! Awesome! And then after that it gets kind of boring. If you catch this in the first few minutes though, you should reserve an hour of your time.