Director: Jag Mundhra
Scorpion Releasing

The Los Angeles real estate market gets even more cutthroat in Jag Mundhra’s erotic thriller IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE, out on DVD courtesy of Scorpion Releasing.

Real estate “closer” Richard Lovejoy (Doug Jeffery, CONFESSIONS OF A LAP DANCER) has hit a bit of a dry spell – real estate-wise, since he sleeps with potential sellers (all of whom seem to be young and hot) – and his luck has just gotten worse: his ex-wife Tina (Playboy Playmate Kathy Shower) is going to have him arrested unless he pays her back $5000 in forged checks from a joint account, and he owes a further $25,000 to loan shark Armand Kabakian (Jay Richardson, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS) who sends his thugs after Lovejoy when he doesn’t return his calls. Lovejoy’s boss (Richard Matthews) still has faith in him and puts him onto a killer lead swiped from younger protégé Simon (Christopher James). Lovejoy visits wealthy widow Caroline Weatherby (Wendy MacDonald, WILD CACTUS) in hopes of inking a $50 million deal to buy some development property (which will include a $50,000 commission for him). The widow requires little convincing since she has already researched the project and is more interested in getting Lovejoy in the sack before she signs the check.

Afterward, he leaves to freshen up only to come back and discover the woman has died. A desperate Lovejoy forges the woman’s signature on the check and high-tails it out of there. He then gets the shock of his life when another woman turns up at the office claiming to be Caroline Weatherby and wanting to back out of the deal. The woman in question is actually her personal assistant Jeannine (Lee Anne Beaman, TROPICAL HEAT) who has video surveillance of Lovejoy’s assignation with the dead woman (and forging the check) that she plans to use to blackmail him into helping her empty Weatherby’s bank accounts before the body is discovered. When the plan runs into stumbling blocks, Lovejoy is reluctant to get more deeply involved; but Kabakian demands more money and Jeannine wants him to get rid of the body when the police start investigating.

One-hundred-and-eleven minutes seems a bit excessive for a direct-to-video erotic thriller, but IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE nicely punctuates its derivative noir plot with fleshy sex scenes – including a FROM HERE TO ETERNITY homage that borders on parody as the naked actors roll around the sand while dodging a flock of seagulls in what the filmmakers probably thought was a poetic image – before taking a surprisingly diverting series of contrived but nevertheless satisfying turns in the third act. Patrick Swayze-lookalike Jeffery – whose filmography is almost totally composed of DTV erotica – is a bit wooden but that isn’t really a bad thing when going up against Beaman’s “Sharon Stone” act and Richardson’s bellowing (he’s better in his Fred Olen Ray films). The cinematography of Howard Wexler – a regular collaborator with directors David DeCoteau and Fred Olen Ray – is consistently interesting if a little cliché (almost every interior is lit through Venetian blinds) and takes full advantage of the visual possibilities of the handful of luxurious authentic Hollywood mansions. The scoring by Alan DerMarderosian (VICE ACADEMY), on the other hand, is your usual synth-and-sax noodling apart from the rock main title theme.

Released straight to VHS by York Entertainment in 1996, IRRESISTIBLE IMPULSE comes to DVD in a single-layer, progressive, fullscreen transfer (the original aspect ratio) of the film’s unrated version. The source appears to be the original video master, but the image is clean and reasonably sharp despite the expected edge enhancement and chroma noise. No complaints about the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. The film’s trailer (2:17) is the sole extra. (Eric Cotenas)