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'Two Moon Junction' (R)

By Rita Kempley
Washington Post Staff Writer
May 03, 1988

"Two Moon Junction" is a soft-porn boudoir thriller with the look of a perfume ad and a spaghetti-strap-thin wisp of a plot. If you've ever dreamed of ripping a man right out of his T-shirt, this is your movie.

There's nothing kinky, just a lot of stroking and panting somewhere in the Deep South, where folks just sit around repressed -- smoldering in white dresses and itching to tarnish the family name. With his hat off to Tennessee Williams, no doubt, Zalman King, who wrote and produced "9 1/2 Weeks," writes and directs this incredibly silly Harlequinesque romance: Forever, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Be Mine. It's all about April, a Southern belle who has a fling with carnival roustabout Perry only two weeks before wedding her aristocratic beau.

April has everything -- plantation, sorority pin, petticoats -- but passion and a Southern accent. Perry has nothing but a truck, a puppy, a motorcycle and a way with women. The two are immediately attracted and spend the next two hours having sex and taking showers. Her family, the Delongpres, finds out about it and urges the sheriff (Big Daddy Burl Ives) to run Perry across the state line.

In scenarios the likes of this one, it doesn't really matter whether the actors can act -- and who could tell, given this poppycock? -- it's whether they have done their sit-ups. Richard Tyson (Perry), who's had lots of minor parts in lots of minor movies, has a friend in Nautilus and a revolting heavy-metal hairdo. And he manages to play this steroidal cupcake with menace, mystery and maybe even latent intelligence. Sherilyn Fenn (April), also from the movie minors, looks stunning as the sex-craved flibbertigibbet. She has a face as elegant as Grace Kelly's and the silky, platinum-blond demeanor of Kim Novak. But she is boring.

Both she and Tyson are exploited. The way the camera zooms all over her nude body, you get the feeling the cinematographer was wearing a trench coat. Poor Tyson is greased like a spitted pig, his pectorals plumped up like Popeye's cheeks full of spinach.

There's nothing really hot about "Two Moon Junction," because there's nothing really hot about Zalman King. As in the antiseptic "9 1/2 Weeks," there's smut, but no sweat. You get the feeling King would make love wearing not only his socks but a pair of surgical gloves.

"Two Moon Junction" is rated R for sex and profanity.

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