With “Dangerous Moves” (selected theaters) cinematographer-turned-writer-director Marty Brillstein came up with a solid premise for a timely suspense thriller but failed to follow through with it. His idea was to turn loose a psychopath in an L.A. video dating service, which certainly had the potential for working up some chills while commenting on the way in which young people, caught up in the soul-withering urban singles scene, create phony images for themselves in trying to impress the opposite sex. At the Dream Date Video Service Club, women come on like hookers while ordinary guys borrow fancy yachts and executive suites as settings for their videos.
Egged on by his suave pal Jay (Peter Marc), shy, pleasant-looking Gabe (Lawrence Monoson) tries to pretend that he’s a Robert Redford. Alas, the hard-luck Gabe not only suffers cruel rejection but also winds up as the key suspect in the serial murders that are striking down a number of beautiful women who belong to Dream Date. So far so good, but Brillstein lacks the ingenuity and energy to make “Dangerous Moves” work.
Brillstein has been fortunate in selecting a cast capable of making the best of an increasingly flat and strained situation. Monoson and Marc are both solid, as is Brenda Bakke as an undercover cop who finds herself believing in Gabe’s innocence in spite of herself.
Unfortunately, Brillstein hasn’t given two of the most reliable actors in films, Elliott Gould and Anthony Geary, very much to do. Gould manages to breath some individuality into his very standard cop role, but Geary has no opportunity to be anything more than cool and hard-headed as the owner of Dream Date. (By the way, billboard star Angelyne turns up in an amusing cameo as one of Geary’s clients.)
“Dangerous Moves” (rated R for routine exploitation-picture sex and violence) also looks good, thanks to Nicholas von Sternberg’s moody images. But the film is finally no more than a good idea wasted.