Late Night Cable Movie Review: The Love Machine (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)


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.

If you’re gonna watch this, then I hope you have seen McKendrick’s The Deadly Pickup (2016) and Model For Murder (2016) since this is basically a third film in what could be an unofficial trilogy.

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.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

And Rick!

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…

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

so that he could die somewhere else.

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

Then he came back in Model For Murder as a photographer.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

There’s also a flashback to Charlie who had to be rescued from Cruise by Deputy Randall.

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

Also, Don has gone from managing models to sadly having to visit this strip club.

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

After a shot of a street somewhere, we cut to the bedroom where Erika Jordan and Billy Snow had sex in Model For Murder.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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…

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

Model For Murder (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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).

Vixens From Venus (2016, dir. Sal V. Miers)

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.

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

The Deadly Pickup (2016, dir. Dean McKendrick)

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.

Late Night Cable Sci-Fi Review: Vixens From Venus (2016, dir. Sal V. Miers)


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Finally, I’ve reached the last one of the Sal V. Miers late night cable movies currently available. This is the second best one after Bikini Model Mayhem (2016). Again, Miers politics are all over this one like they were in Bikini Model Mayhem. He also added some of his love for Old Hollywood into the mix. Let’s dig in.

After another one of those annoying title cards that I had to black box, we are introduced to one of our main characters and a guy who will disappear as fast as he did Bikini Model Mayhem.

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That’s Officer Supansky on the right. He’s played by Robbie Carroll who needed to be convinced to support G.W. Bushwacker in Bikini Model Mayhem. On the left is Felicity who is played by Katie Morgan. You may remember her as playing the first robot we were introduced to in Bikini Model Mayhem and the warden in Bad Girls Behind Bars (2016). This film is much more of an ensemble cast movie than Bikini Model Mayhem or Bad Girls Behind Bars. He is not actually revealed to be a cop quite yet. He is here to hire her for a whopping $50. She doesn’t think that’s enough. I’m pretty sure what he does next would be considered entrapment. He strips butt naked. That apparently makes things totally different for her. Of course we can’t see that for no good reason except this is late night cable. In fact, just after she goes in with her mouth, it cuts to the outside of the building. Then it goes back inside for the standard game of hide the penis while the guy stays in a Zen like trance and either the girl goes over the top or tries to match his intensity. I believe this is the only time I’ve seen the male actors sweat, or at least appear to sweat. Once that business is over with he proves himself to be the dick they can show.

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No seriously, his full name is Dick Supansky. Then I learn another interesting phrase from a Miers’ movie. According to her, he “got his ashes hauled.” I still prefer the burping of the worm joke from Bad Girls Behind Bars. He offers her an alternative to going to jail. She can go participate in a ridiculous plot so the movie can make a political statement instead of having to serve time. She of course takes his offer instead of jail because we already had that movie.

Before we get to find out what she is going to have to do, we are introduced to a character that honestly had me worried. I know having a character who has “cognitive disabilities” didn’t stop the movie Forrest Gump (1994) from him having sex. Regardless, it had me worried, but there’s a payoff to this.

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That’s Charlie played by Brandon C. Greene. He works as the janitor at a science facility. In the end, it’s his film as he slowly but surely emerges from the background.

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From right to left that’s easy to manipulate (Otto Bauer), harder to manipulate (Pristine Edge), and hardest to manipulate (Ryan McLane). Pristine Edge. I like that one. I also like that if you change Otto and Ryan to Jack and John, then you get Jack Bauer and John McLane.

Next we meet the two ladies who will be joining Felicity.

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That’s Piper on the left played by Erika Jordan and Violet in the middle played by Dillion Harper. We find out that 18 months prior, the scientists made contact with aliens from Venus because of course they did. Also because of course they did, they want to use a mind transfer device to put three people from Venus in their bodies. Felicity is a little confused. Not as confused as Violet though since she thought the scientists meant they would baking cookies to host a party for the people from Venus. Felicity wonders why the three of them are ideal candidates. I mean she’s a hooker, Piper is a drug runner, and Violet jaywalked after she robbed a liquor store. The scientists explain the deal. First, they don’t have much choice. Two, the people from Venus insisted on attractive women. Felicity still thinks this is weird, but I know this would seal the deal for me.

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That’s a face you can trust. However, they aren’t convinced yet. That’s when they leave the lab set of Bikini Model Mayhem to talk outside of what looks like a house painted blue. Let’s get the political commentary in here now. Felicity says it sounds scary, Violet says “they are scientists”, Felicity says “What does that have to do with anything?”, and Piper asks her if she is a Republican.

Time for Old Hollywood. Felicity says it all seems a little too Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Violet says Freaky Friday. I think we can safely say she is referring to the Lindsay Lohan version considering Felicity responds with “there’s no accounting for taste.” It’s sad, but I haven’t seen either version or Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. No, they don’t make the joke at the start of a sex scene about Who’s On First.

Anyhow, they decide to do it so Piper steps inside of a shower…

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and emerges as Zorax. Felicity becomes Zonondor. Violet becomes Zimbabwe. The movie is on auto-pilot now. The three visitors from Venus are here to drain the scientists of their smarts via an orgasm, or the “little death” as they call it. They aren’t really worried about the male ones, which is why they insisted on attractive women to be their hosts. They didn’t know that “one of the greatest minds on Earth” could be female based on their “survey of Earth’s popular culture.” Zorax says this, to which Zonondor corrects her that this was true “at least, not up until the 1960’s.” Very true. We didn’t even get Space Mutiny till 1988 and the MST3K episode on it till 1997.

David Ryder: Listen, lady!
Lea Jansen: Doctor!
David Ryder: Doctor!
Crow: Doctor Lady!

Also, harder to manipulate must have been bisexual as all women in late night cable movies are because it just takes Zorax saying she saw a spider for her to be all over her. They are also bisexual presumedly because that stuff is much easier than playing hide the sausage from the camera. The hardest to manipulate is that way because he and hard to manipulate are an item. He eventually caves in and is turned into a blabbering idiot like his colleagues.

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During all of this, Charlie has become more and more of a prominent character as he finds a pair of panties and notices these very smart people he works around are acting like children. He’s onto the visitors from Venus. He has a nice little conversation with the ladies. He explains that he knows he’s not the smartest person around. He knows he’s stuck taking care of the scientists since the universe of this movie stops at the edge of the set. They tell him smarts aren’t everything. He tells them that it’s still helpful. He’s also not 100% convinced that these visitors really are doing this for the greater good to prevent Earth from coming after Venus. He explains that the scientists could have done great things, but now they are helpless. Ultimately, he proposes that while he believes they could have focused their smarts on problems at home instead of space exploration, why not leave their smarts with him. The visitors had already made it clear that the smarts they got from the scientists were really of no use to them.

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Of course his argument is solid and so is another part of him because that’s the only way the transfer is going to work.

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With the ladies given their bodies back, they depart to leave Charlie to get to work. Oh, but before Felicity leaves, she actually offers her services to Charlie who says he already had that while she was out. Charlie decides to roll up his sleeves and get to work.

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So, let’s say you strip out all of the sex from this movie. You have three white scientists who are interested in exploring space. Three women are given a chance to be a plot device instead of going to jail. One of which was arrested by a cop who took advantage of her because according to him: “I can.” Three visitors from Venus come to Earth because they believe these three white scientists are going to use their intelligence to ultimately attack them. They deliberately insist on attractive female bodies because they are convinced by Earth’s popular culture that the scientists can only be straight men. They drain the three scientists of their smarts. A lightly mentally handicapped black man figures them out. He convinces them to give him their smarts with the concession that he’ll focus on problems here on Earth. Interesting.

Then just like Bad Girls Behind Bars, we get a blooper reel. It’s far more complete though. The only part of it that is noteworthy is when you can hear Miers speaking. Miers says, “I’m rolling sound…unlike when I started in this business. Buster Keaton, he was, he was great.”

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I couldn’t find that explicit quote doing a cursory Google search, but it certainly fits Keaton.

Here is how I rank the three Sal V. Miers movies currently available through the Cinemax/HBO apps:

  1. Bikini Model Mayhem (2016)
  2. Vixens From Venus (2016)
  3. Bad Girls Behind Bars (2016)