What Lisa Watched Last Night #178: Evil Doctor (dir by Brian Skiba)


On Sunday night, immediately after watching Twin Betrayal, I watched and, working with TSL contributor Case Wright, live tweeted a film called Evil Doctor!

Why Was I Watching It?

The first reason was an obvious one.  It was a Lifetime movie and, as our regular readers know, there’s no way that I would ever miss the chance to watch a Lifetime film.

The other reason was that the film was named Evil Doctor, which made it sound like the origin story of perhaps the greatest MCU villain of all time.  As a general rule, any Lifetime film that has the word “evil” in the title is going to turn out to be good.  Evil is right up there with “Bad,” “Confessions,” and “…at 17” as far as words in Lifetime movie titles are concerned.

What Was It About?

Everyone wants something.

Aubrey Lewis (Jen Lilley) just wants to have her baby in peace.

Aubrey’s husband, Matt (Corin Nemec), wants to be a respected television writer, even if he is stuck writing for a sitcom called Family Phun.

And what does Dr. Natalie Barnes (Dina Meyer) want?  She wants to have a baby and she wants a baby now!  She also wants to deal with all of the unresolved issues that she had with her dead father, who happened to look just like Matt!  What better solution to Natalie’s problems than seduce Matt, steal Aubrey’s baby, and kill anyone who gets in her way?

Seriously, she’s not called an evil doctor for nothing.

What Worked?

Obviously, with a film like this, success is going to depend on how effectively the title character is played.  Fortunately, Dina Meyer really threw herself into the role of the evil doctor, kidnapping babies, seducing starlets, and murdering anyone who looked at her the wrong way.  Dina Meyer has always done a good job when she’s been cast as a Lifetime movie psycho and Evil Doctor was no different.  As well, Corin Nemec and Jen Lilley were likable as the objects of her obsession.

Evil Doctor was one of those Lifetime films that showed no hesitation about going totally and completely over-the-top.  Between the evil doctor plotting and the wayward husband trying not to get caught and the poor wife just trying to have her baby in peace, there was not one ounce of drama that this film did not explore.  It was outlandish, flamboyant, silly, and a hell of a lot fun!

What Did Not Work?

I think that the film missed a huge opportunity by not recruiting Eric Roberts to reprise his character from Stalked By My Doctor in a cameo appearance.  I would have ended the film with Matt and Aubrey going to see their new doctor and discovering Dr. Beck waiting for them in his office.  That would have been a legendary ending!

(For the record, according to the imdb, Eric Roberts currently has 57 films that are either currently filming or in post-production.  That has nothing to do with Evil Doctor but it is a fun piece of trivia.)

Other than the glaring lack of Eric Roberts, everything worked in Evil Doctor.  I mean, let’s be honest.  When you watch a film with a title like Evil Doctor, you know what you’re going to get.  You watch a film like this because you want to embrace the melodrama and you’re looking forward to trying to predict every outlandish twist.  Evil Doctor delivered exactly what it promised.

“Oh my God!  Just Like Me!” Moments

I totally related to Janelle (Kelsey Griswold), who was Aubrey’s sister and who moved in to help around the house while Aubrey was pregnant.  Janelle had this wonderfully sarcastic, no-bullshit approach to life, to which I totally related.  Janelle disliked almost everyone who came by the house and never made any attempt to hide that fact.

Lessons Learned

Always trust your sister’s instincts.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #177: Twin Betrayal (dir by Nadeem Soumah)


On Sunday night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere, Twin Betrayal!

Why Was I Watching It?

The obvious answer is that it was on Lifetime.  However, I also have a weakness for films about evil twins.  Don’t ask me why, I just do.

What Was It About?

Poor Jessica Klint (Jen Lilley)!  Not only is she struggling financially but her estranged husband (Peter Douglas) wants custody of their daughter.  We know her husband is a bad guy because he wears a suit even when he’s at home and his name is Lars.  Never in a Lifetime film has anyone good been named Lars.  (Before anyone mentions Lars and the Real Girl, allow me to point out that 1) that’s not a Lifetime film and 2) even if it was, it would be the exception to the rule.)

However, following a business trip to Dallas, Jessica’s problems get even worse!  After having a one-night stand with a cowboy named Henry (Nick Ballard), Jessica finds herself being blackmailed!  Where can she get the money?  Her wealthy father isn’t going to be much help.  How about from her twin sister, Alessandra (Jen Lilley)?  Sure, Jessica and Alessandra have a strained relationship and haven’t spoken in years but surely one twin will help the other, right?

And surely, no matter what personal issues there may be, one twin would definitely never try to frame the other for murder, right?

Right?

Watch the film to find out!

What Worked?

I enjoyed this one because, as any film about a twin betrayal should be, it was totally melodramatic, over-the-top, and very self-aware.  Whenever I give a film like this a good review, I always seem to get at least one comment from someone complaining that the film was too silly or implausible but I think those people are missing the point.  You don’t watch a film like Twin Betrayal because you want to see a serious exploration of what it’s like to be a twin.  You watch a movie like this because you want to have fun!  Twin Betrayal promised twisty entertainment and it delivered and, in the end, that’s all that really matters.

Jen Lilley obviously had a blast playing the twins, especially the wonderfully decadent Alessandra.  Alessandra had obviously been waiting for years for the chance to make her sister uncomfortable and she did not let the opportunity pass her by.

What Did Not Work?

On the one hand, I was really happy that part of the film took place in Dallas.  I don’t know if they actually filmed in Dallas but, at the very least, they at least included a shot of the Dallas skyline.  (Whenever a movie spends any time in Dallas, you always know that you’re going to get at least one shot of Reunion Tower and one shot of Bank of America Plaza.)  However, in reality, it’s doubtful that Jessica would have met any cowboys in Dallas.  Football aside, cowboys are really more of a Fort Worth thing.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Much like Jessica Klint, I have a weakness for cowboys.  Seriously, who doesn’t?  I’m also close to my sisters but, fortunately, none of us are twins.  If there’s anything that I’ve learned from watching Lifetime films, it’s that you can always depend on your sister unless she’s your twin sister.  Sadly, there’s always one evil twin and it seems like the good twin always ends up getting framed.  Hopefully, Lifetime will continue to explore this theme whenever they get around to making the inevitable Mary-Kate and Ashley biopic.

Actually, I guess if I was a twin, I probably would end up being the evil one.  Seriously, it just seems like it would be too much of a temptation to resist…

Lessons Learned

As I stated above, one twin will always be evil.  The trick is figuring out which one.

Cleaning Out The DVR: One Small Indiscretion (dir by Lauro Chartrand)


(Lisa is not just watching horror movies!  She is also trying to clean out her DVR!  She has got over 200 movies that she needs to watch before January 1st!  Will she make it?  Keep checking here to find out!  She recorded One Small Indiscretion off of Lifetime Movie Network on September 2nd!)

I learned a few things from watching One Small Indiscretion.

First off, and most importantly, I learned that there is no such thing as a “small” indiscretion.  In this film, Caroline (Ashley Winters) has a brief affair while separated from her husband, Sam (Cru Ennis).  When Caroline and Sam get back together, she tries to forget that the whole thing even happened.  Six years later, Caroline tells her best friend that she isn’t even sure what eventually became of her former lover.  However, we know that he ended up killing both himself and his alcoholic wife.  For Caroline, it was a small indiscretion but, for a little girl named Elle, it was a tragedy that took away her parents.

Secondly, if you work hard and marry well, you can eventually live in a really big house that has a pool, a jacuzzi, and a guest house.  However, if you work too hard, all of the romance will go out of your marriage and soon, you won’t even be using the pool after a couple of years.

Third, if you own a guest house, you are required by the laws of plot contrivance to rent it out.

Fourth, if you do rent out your guest house, there’s a good chance that it will lead to someone from the past tracking you down.  In this case, it’s Elle (Tiera Skovbye).  Elle is now 21 years old and eager to avenge the death of her parents but destroying Caroline’s life.  Though she may be young, Elle is already an evil genius.

Actually, I guess it’s debatable as to whether or not Elle is that smart.  It’s entirely possible that Elle only seems smart because everyone else in the movie is incredibly stupid.  From the minute Elle moves into that guest house, she’s manipulating and seducing.  She’s taking naked midnight swims.  She’s encouraging Caroline and Sam’s son, Logan (Johnny Visotcky), to skip college.  She doesn’t make much of an effort to hide what she’s trying to do and yet, Caroline soon decides that Elle is going to be her new BFF.  It’s actually kind of hard not to be on Elle’s side.  Elle’s methods may be extreme and she does get more and more psycho as the movie unfolds but Caroline and Sam are so bourgeois that it’s difficult to have much sympathy for them.  Add to that, Elle’s an artist.  She draws.  If you side with the non-artists over the the artist, that means you’re doing life wrong.

But back to what I learned from One Small Indiscretion:

Fifth, it’s not that difficult to bug a house.

Sixth, search engines are like magic.

Seventh, it’s easy to knock people out.

Eighth, Canada is a beautiful country.

Anyway, One Small Indiscretion is a thoroughly predictable Lifetime film.  The best role in these films is always the psycho and Tiera Skovbye plays Elle as if even she can’t believe how stupid everyone else in the film is.  Elle is having so much fun being evil that you can’t help but be happy that she received the opportunity.  She may be the villain but you’ll totally be Team Elle when you watch One Small Indiscretion.

Cleaning Out The DVR: Give Me My Baby (dir by Danny J. Boyle)


(Lisa is not only watching horror films this month!  She is also busy trying to clean out her DVR.  She has got over 170 movies recorded and waiting to be watched.  Can she view all of them by January 1st?  Keep checking here to find out!  Lisa recorded Give Me My Baby off of the Lifetime Movie Network on May 13th!)

“Layla, are you okay?  Where is Dad going?”

“To Hell.”

That right there is the type of melodramatic and over the top dialogue that runs through every minute of Give Me My Baby, which is quite possibly one of the funniest films that I’ve ever seen on the Lifetime Movie Network.

Give Me My Baby tells the story of Layla (Kelly Sullivan), who spends her days creating new scents for perfume and who has a lot to deal with.  For instance, she’s just entered into a partnership with a self-centered reality TV star named Shannon (Brooke Hogan).  Shannon wants to sell a perfume called Scorched but Layla talks her into calling it Sizzle instead.  Her second husband, Nate (Gabriel Hogan), is a former pro golfer who blew out his knee when he fell out of a golf cart and who still occasionally struggles to maintain his sobriety.  Her stepdaughter, Allison (Laura Hand), has just dropped out of college and has moved back into her old room.  However, the majority of Layla’s stress has to do with her desire to have a baby, despite the fact that, as Allison puts it, “You guys are old.”

Fortunately, Layla and Nate are clients of one of the best fertility doctors around.  Dr. Hartlin (Sofia Milos) may not be cheap (and the film’s script makes a very specific point of saying that her treatment is not covered by insurance) but she seems to sincerely care about her patients.  In fact, she might care too much.  When Layla goes shopping, she just happens to run into Dr. Hartlin.  When Nate is giving golf lessons, Dr. Hartlin just happens to show up.  When Layla wonders why she’s so emotional and temperamental when she isn’t even pregnant yet, Dr. Hartlin tells her that it’s nothing to worry about.  But one day, Nate arrives home and Layla not only smells the scent of booze on his breath.  She also smells the scent of Dr. Hartlin on all of Nate’s clothes…

It turns out that, long ago, Dr. Hartlin used to know Nate.  In fact, she and Nate even had a date or two.  Nate is shocked to discover that Dr. Hartlin is the same girl that he used to know as “Cee Cee.”  Dr. Hartlin explains she had a good deal of plastic surgery after a car accident, the same accident that caused her to have a miscarriage many years ago…

“I’m not going to hurt you.  I just want my baby.”

“It’s my baby.”

“No, it’s my baby.”

“BACK OFF OR THERE WON’T BE ANY BABY!” 

*Layla points a knife at her own stomach*

That’s just another example of the dialogue in Give Me My Baby.  Seriously, this is one of the most batshit insane films that I’ve ever seen on Lifetime.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it good but it’s so crazy that you’ll never forget it.  Sofia Milos goes so over the top as Dr. Hartlin that there’s a chance she might never return to Earth.

That said, my favorite character was Allison. As played by Laura Hand, Allison had a sarcastic attitude about everything.  Even when she was being helpful and trying to protect her stepmother, she still came across like she was annoyed about having to make the effort.  I totally saw myself in Allison.  Someone needs to give Allison a show of her own.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #168: A Lover Betrayed (dir by Jeff Hare)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere movie, A Lover Betrayed!

Why Was I Watching It?

Ennui, baby!

Seriously, ennui is the best explanation that I can give you.  For the past two and a half months, my weekend has been about watching the latest episode of Twin Peaks and then trying to figure out what it all meant.  Well, Twin Peaks is over now.  Game of Thrones is over.  The Walking Dead isn’t going to be back for another week or so.   Big Brother is still on but all the other TSL writers got together, took a vote, and banned me from discussing it on this site.

ENNUI!

Plus, A Lover Betrayed was on the Lifetime Movie Network and you know that i can never resist a good Lifetime film.

What Was It About?

It was about a lover who was betrayed.

Oh, you already figured that out just from reading the title?

Okay, more specifically, the lover is Tess (Jamie Luner).  Tess used to be a guidance counselor but then she found out that the principal at her school was a perv.  She got him fired so, of course, he showed up at her house with a gun.  He committed suicide but first, he fired the gun randomly at the ceiling, which led to Tess’s son, Mason, getting killed.

Years later, Tess is an internationally renowned blogger and author, who helps grieving parents deal with the loss of their children.  She is separated from Rodger, who has never emotionally recovered from the death of their son.  At a reading, she meets Conall, a handsome young soldier who says that her blog helped him recover after the death of his father.  Conall and Tess end up sharing one night of passion but, because this is a Lifetime movie, Rodger shows up the very next morning and says that he wants to fix their relationship.

Not surprisingly, Conall turns out to be a bit obsessive but there’s more to it than just the typical Lifetime stalking movie.  There’s all sorts of twists and turns, which I won’t spoil here…

What Worked

I was so proud of myself because, last night, I figured out the movie’s big twist after watching for about 30 minutes.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good twist.  It just means that I got lucky.  In fact, I thought it was actually a pretty clever twist and I appreciated the fact that the movie didn’t spring it of nowhere.  The clues were there and, for once, I actually managed to pick up on them.

Lifetime regular Jamie Luner did a good job as Tess.  She’s been in a lot of these movies and obviously knows how to sincerely deliver even the most melodramatic lines of dialogue.

What Did Not Work

Oh my God, this was a dark movie.  For a Lifetime movie, I would actually say that it was a little bit too dark.  Lifetime movies are supposed to be fun but, at times, this one was actually rather depressing.  Even when the movie reached a standard Lifetime conclusion, I was still like, “Damn …. Tess is going to be messed up for a long time….”

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Tess’s sister was a gun-toting badass.  My sister is a gun-toting badass.  Woo hoo!

Lessons Learned

Trust no one!

Lisa Cleans Out Her DVR: Nanny Seduction (dir by Emily Moss Wilson)


(Hi, everyone!  I’ve been cleaning out my DVR over the past week and, today, I’ve been sharing reviews of the film’s that I watched!  I recorded Nanny Seduction off of the Lifetime Movie Network on February 26th!)

Before I talk too much about Nanny Seduction, I want to engage in a little speculation.

First off, looking at the credits, I noticed that several crew members of Nanny Seduction have also been involved with some of the shark films that usually show up on SyFy in the week before the premiere of the latest Sharknado.  That wasn’t a shock.  SyFy and Lifetime movies often tend to be produced by the same companies.  But what I loved about Nanny Seduction is that, in the very first scene, a child is seen receiving a book about sharks for her birthday!  I’m assuming that was an inside joke and I absolutely loved it.

Secondly, I’m going to guess that Nanny Seduction and A Deadly Affair were both filmed at roughly the same time.  Not only do the two films share several actors in common but I’m also pretty sure that the main house in A Deadly Affair was also the main house in Nanny Seduction.  And again, I found that to be very charming.  One of the fun things about watching both Lifetime and SyFy movies is making the connections between them.  It’s actually rather fun to see a familiar face pop up and wonder what their role is going to be this time.  It’s kind of like when Dick Miller shows up in a Roger Corman film or Giovanni Lombardo Radice pops up in one of Michele Soavi’s movies.

As for the film itself, Nanny Seduction pretty much takes the standard Lifetime nanny film to its logical extreme.  Lifetime has a long history of nanny paranoia.  It makes sense, of course.  By hiring a nanny, you’re not only trusting your child with a stranger but, in a way, you’re also admitting that you can’t be two places at once.  You’re admitting that your powers are limited.  Of course, by hiring a nanny — who is inevitably always younger, prettier and more exciting than boring old mommy — you’re running the risk that the nanny will either try to run off with your child or your husband.  Nanny Seduction is one of the first films to suggest that the nanny might do both.

Of course, that’s not all that Kara (Austin Highsmith) has to worry about.  She also has to worry about the fact that her daughter, Erin (Lauren Gobuzzi), is adopted and that Erin’s birth mother (Erin Cahill) is apparently stalking her.  And then there’s the fact that Kara’s husband, Ben (Wes Brown), has a history of cheating.  Even more than the typical Lifetime protagonist, Kara has good reason to be worried when the new nanny, Alyssa (Valerie Azlynn), keeps hitting on her husband.

Speaking of Alyssa, she’s one of my favorite Lifetime nannies.  It’s not that she’s any more evil than the typical Lifetime nanny.  Instead, it’s just that she’s so unapologetic about it.  Most evil nannies at least try to be subtle but Alyssa never even pretends to be Kara’s friend.  She pretty much steps into the house and announces, “I’m going to kidnap your child and run off with your husband.  Deal with it!”  Alyssa is so joyfully and unapologetically evil and Valeria Azlynn is clearly having such a blast playing her that she elevates the entire film.

Nanny Seduction is a lot of fun.  It embraces the melodrama and thank goodness for that!

 

Lisa Cleans Out Her DVR: Mommy’s Prison Secret (dir by John L’Ecuyer)


(Hi!  I am currently in the process of cleaning out the DVR.  I recorded Mommy’s Prison Secret off of Lifetime on May 6th.)

Taylor Reynolds (Kelli Williams) has a secret and, believe it or not, the secret is not that she served time in prison.  Everyone knows that Taylor has a record and, as opposed to what would happen in the real world, everyone seems to be okay with it.  She’s got a nice house in the suburbs, a handsome husband (Justin Reynolds), and a good relationship with her teenage daughter, Bianca (Niamh Wilson).  She’s even best friends with her probation officer!

Of course, it’s not like Taylor killed anyone or anything like that.  She went to prison because she was arrested for DUI and the cops found weed in her car.  She was a model prisoner and apparently, something of a protegé of the warden’s.  She secured an early release from prison and she got her life back on track.

So, what’s Mommy’s prison secret?  Could it be that the weed actually belonged to husband and she basically took the fall for him?  Or could it have something to do with her former cellmate, Meghan (Sarain Boylan)?  Meghan has just been released from prison and of course, she promptly turns up in Taylor’s hometown.  When Taylor is at the supermarket and she realizes that she’s forgotten her wallet, Meagan pops up, pays for her groceries, and tells off the cashier.

Taylor can’t wait to get away from Meghan, who is tough, crude, and has a blonde mullet sorta thing going on.  However, Meghan has other plans,  That night, she shows up at Taylor’s house.  Her car has broken down.  It’s raining.  Taylor’s like, “Go away,” and Taylor’s husband is like, “We can’t kick out a guest!”

Needless to say, that’s a big mistake.  Not only is Meghan soon pressuring Taylor to sneak drugs into the prison but she’s also proving to be a bad influence on Bianca.  Taylor would love to tell Meghan to leave or maybe even call the police but, if she does that, Meghan will reveal Mommy’s prison secret!

What is Mommy’s prison secret?  Well, it’s probably not what you think it’s going to be.  I thought that it was going to turn out that Meghan and Taylor had been more than just cellmates (and there are hints of that being the case) but the secret itself is something totally different and, to be honest, a lot less interesting.

Anyway, the best thing about Mommy’s Prison Secret is Sarain Boylan’s performance as Meghan.  Boylan dominates every scene in which she appears.  Meghan speaks her mind and has literally no secrets and, in an odd way, you actually end up liking her a lot more than you like the duplicitous Taylor.  Even if she is a bad influence who blackmails Taylor into becoming a drug smuggler, it’s hard not to occasionally say, “Go Meghan!”

One final note: Was Taylor named after Orange Is The New Black‘s Taylor Schilling?  I’m going to assume that she was.