It’s been awhile since I wrote a review of a feature film. Let’s see if I can still get through one of these. How hard can it be? It’s a Dean McKendrick movie.
The movie begins, and we see what looks like an amplifier with two voltage gauges, a pressure gauge stuck on top, and something that shoots a beam out of it, which I’m sure comes from another one of McKendrick’s films.
Much like this set, which is where Sarah Hunter’s character from Model For Murder was killed.
In this film, Carter Cruise is playing Bair. She is in a session with psychologist, Dr. Stephanie Bradshaw (Jennifer Korbin). Bradshaw asks her what she does when she sees an attractive man. She wants to know what her first thoughts are. Those first thoughts are of stock footage from The Deadly Pickup.
The opening kill.
You remember Rick, right? He’s the guy who got pricked with her poisonousness ring, yet still managed to stumble from the car where they had sex…
so that he could die somewhere else.
Then he came back in Model For Murder as a photographer.
There’s also a flashback to Charlie who had to be rescued from Cruise by Deputy Randall.
Don’t worry, Deputy Randall, who was promoted to detective in Model For Murder, makes a return in this film. Like Cruise, he is playing a different character. However, unlike Cruise, he is played by Billy Snow via the pseudonym of Alan Long. Makes sense to use the name of an actor from 1975’s Pick-up.
After the reused footage, the doctor turns up the dial on the machine, then asks her again what she wants to do with the attractive man.
Perfect! I can’t say the same about these opening credits though. This dance number with Erika Jordan goes on just short of forever.
It only exists so she can give a lap dance to one of our main characters, Don (Justin Berti), in order to introduce us to him.
It also gives me an excuse to wonder what led her from working as a detective to dancing at this club.
Also, Don has gone from managing models to sadly having to visit this strip club.
After a shot of a street somewhere, we cut to the bedroom where Erika Jordan and Billy Snow had sex in Model For Murder.
This is where we meet Don’s wife, Jane (Alice Haig). They are having trouble with their marriage. He wants to try couples therapy, but she is reluctant, so he leaves to sleep on the couch, which judging by the paint on the walls, is probably in the same building as the room from earlier.
Meanwhile, at the $20 Oil Change…
Don strikes up a conversation with his friend John (Michael Hopkins) concerning his marriage problems.
I know I said something similar when I talked about Model For Murder, but welcome back to the world of the living, Josh. You might remember Michael Hopkins as Carter Cruise’s first victim in The Deadly Pickup. Or you don’t, because you have a life, haven’t seen all three movies, and certainly haven’t paid this much attention to them.
We also get the return of Sheriff Bates…
except this time Michael Gaglio owns this $20 Oil Change.
And I got this humorous shot of Justin Berti.
It doesn’t have to do with anything. I just thought I’d share it with you.
John suggests a therapist that worked for him and his wife, Angie.
Then we get what looks like a new set.
Sure, it appears to have been decorated by the same people who did the police station in The Deadly Pickup, but I couldn’t find it anywhere else.
Inside, the doctor gets the story from Don and Jane about their troubles while they sit on the couch that Rick had sex on in Model For Murder.
Of course she’s an ideal candidate to be zapped by that machine. The questions ultimately lead the doctor to asking Jane about her sexual fantasies. This time we don’t get stock footage. It’s just another reused set. She dreams of sunbathing on the set of the sexual encounter with a murder victim her husband told police about in Model For Murder.
And of course there’s a pool boy (Robbie Caroll). You may remember him as the police officer who arrested Katie Morgan at the beginning of Vixens From Venus (2016).
Much like Jordan, his career seems to be on the downswing. He was once a police officer, and now he’s been reduced to being a pool boy.
This is the first sex scene of the movie. I would love to have heard the conversation on the other end of this that Jane was having with the doctor.
While this scene happens, we are treated to a few minutes of a soundalike of Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet.
The session went well, and a follow-up appointment is set.
Now we get to find out what the outcome of these treatments is when we get to meet John’s wife, Angie (Pepper XO).
A call comes in from the therapist who tells Angie that “it’s time.” That means it’s time to have sex on Brian and Traci’s bed from The Deadly Pickup.
It also means that it’s time for John to die from a corkscrew to the chest.
The next morning, Jane tells Don that she thinks the treatments are going well, and Don goes off to work to have the bad news broken to him about his friend being killed. But before Don receives the bad news, we get to see that the $20 Oil Change has an SBC payphone in 2016.
Gaglio breaks the news to Don, which leads the film to immediately cut to two people having sex on a leopard-print bed. I have no idea who they are.
She gets a call from the doctor, and he’s dead.
Now Jane meets Jeff (Billy Snow). If he looks worried here…
it’s because of who his wife is.
Jane goes in for another treatment. While she is under the control of the machine, the doctor forces herself upon Jane. No joke. They really could have left this scene out–no matter how short it is.
Don now breaks the news to Jane about John’s death so that we know the two of them have a reason to start being suspicious of the doctor. That’s not important though, because the scene that I was waiting for, finally happens.
Breezy finally gets her revenge on Deputy Randall. Does the rest of the film really matter now?
Okay, fine. Jane is lying in bed when she has a dream of Christine Nguyen doing a shower scene. I’m not kidding. They randomly inserted a shower scene by having Jane dream about one out of the blue for no apparent reason.
With the death of Billy Snow, Don is convinced things are fishy with the doctor, and he tries to talk Jane out of seeing her. It doesn’t work.
Then they have another shower scene. I have to give them some credit. They do end it with pertinent information to the plot. Jane remembers the doctor’s “Kill him” line.
Don does some intense research online about the doctor.
Long story short, something bad happened to her, so she’s taking revenge on other people.
Don now races to save his wife from this monster. Unfortunately, Don’s an idiot, and Jane zaps him with the machine, leading to a sex scene. However, since we are at the end of the film, when Jane pulls a gun to shoot him, he takes it away from her.
The doctor comes in, and I kind of love Don because he doesn’t hesitate for second. She pulls a knife, and he shoots her.
A quick shot at the machine, and Jane is free from its power. A couple lines of dialog are exchanged, then the movie abruptly ends.
So, that’s The Love Machine.
For the people watching for entertainment value, it doesn’t have much to offer other than getting to see Carter Cruise do in Billy Snow.
For people watching for the sex, it doesn’t have much either. There are a couple of sex scenes, and two shower scenes shoehorned into the movie. The one scene of girl-on-girl is kind of disturbing seeing as the doctor does sexually assault her. Then the movie adds confusion since that encounter is what appears to trigger her to have a dream about a woman taking a shower. Yet, it’s never followed up on.
I almost would have preferred the doctor to win in the end by taking Jane away with her. Sure, it would have been dark, but it would have been something memorable about this movie.
I can’t recommend this one.