Dr. Tom Redding (Marc Singer) is a sex researcher, which in this film means that his workday consists of showing people clips from porn films, mixed in with educational films and pictures of Ronald Reagan. Tom has a great career, a beautiful wife (Mary Crosby), and a funny best friend (David Kagan). But everything changes when his research firm receives a contract from Dr. Claire Archer (Lisa Pescia). Tom and Claire end up having a torrid affair but when Tom tries to break it off, Claire is not ready to give him up. At first, Claire’s just sending him a box full of dead lobsters and a VHS porn tape but soon she’s using one overturned tiki porch and a tank of propane to blow up his house.
Back when Cinemax was still known as Skinemax, Body Chemistry was one of the channel’s mainstays. Though the film was clearly designed to be a rip-off on Fatal Attraction, the sociopathic and manipulative Dr. Claire Archer actually has much more in common with Basic Instinct‘s Catherine Trammell than Fatal Attraction‘s Alex Forrest. (Interestingly, Body Chemistry predates Basic Instinct by two years.) Though the plot will never surprise you and the sex scenes are almost as uninspired as the saxophone that often accompanies them on the soundtrack, Body Chemistry is an enjoyably stupid “erotic” thriller. Much as Anne Archer, as the betrayed wife, was the only sympathetic character in Fatal Attraction, Mary Crosby plays the only sympathetic character in Body Chemistry. If possible, Marc Singer’s adulterous husband is even less sympathetic than the one Michael Douglas played in Fatal Attraction but Lisa Pescia does a good job vamping it up as Claire Archer.
Body Chemistry led to not one but three sequels. Tomorrow’s movie a day will be Body Chemistry 2.