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Review by Morbus Iff

Snapdragon was released almost a decade before CSI but it would have made a decent first season episode with juUUst a few trims. Pare down its 98 minutes by removing the priest and “doctor buddy” characters (though we’d mourn for Matt McCoy), the same impeding flower cart during a “wait, was that...” tail, slow-motion flying disc on the beach, a flashback and a sunset recapping, and any of the myriad “I know or remember nothink!” delay tactics and you just might have the beginnings of a good TV serial episode.

But that’s not going to happen: Snapdragon is a movie that relies on the ignorance of its characters. We must simply wait for them to get a clue or to trust the main character’s frantic suspicions enough to stop admonishing him to “Leave it alone!” Dramatic cues are trickled out through many of the scenes described above until we finally reach the one librarian who snootily gasps “You’ve researched the glyph but not the tongue?!” Dun-dun-duUUuwhatever.

The “glyph” is a snapdragon tattooed on the thighs of sold children to indicate they’re still a virgin and, given that the tattoo is never actually removed, one might wonder how many dirty old men overpaid for the privilege. The “tongue” is a razor hidden in the mouth and used to slit the throats of the slave owner’s enemies, a “last rights” of sorts to guys who “probably ejaculated after they died, while [Pamela Anderson] was still on top of them.”

Yes, yes, Pamela Anderson is “Felicity”, the amnesiac with the classic symptoms of watching her parents die and being sold into sex slavery by the lady who runs the Mahjong parlor, all nicely summed up as “deep-seated childhood experiences”. She wanders around having sex and killing people, dreaming about it, and sharing fortune cookies that say “true love is always much closer than you realize” with the ever-so-helpful main character psychologist Dr. David Hoogstraten.

Hoogstraten is something else entirely. Within this yawning 98 minutes of a film, his character actually, but subtly, develops. We first see him attempting sex with the bra’d Peckham, the vice cop who is leading the investigations into the sex murders. She’s put on a blonde wig for his enjoyment, then ruins everything by biting him and suggesting “every fantasy has to have a little pain.” Later, they attempt sex again, this time with her in a tank top, and he can’t even be bothered to get it up. His first encounter with Pamela Anderson, however, sees him staring dumbly at the power of the bared breast and following through with copious face hugging. When he encounters her again, he eagerly initiates the unveiling of the breast and, by the third time, our boy is feeding like a champ.

Even with Anderson, even with Hoogstraten’s amazing self-centeredness, and even with not one, but two, super-sekrit-didn’t-see-that-coming endings, Snapdragon is just too slow of a film to recommend. I might suggest fast-forwarding to the good parts but it’s quite likely most you have already seen Anderson nude a dozen times. It’s just more of the same.

Death and sleaze index

Death by: 1, 2: knife; 3, 4: razor blade; 5: razor blade (offscreen). Sleaze by: 1: sex, breasts; 2: sex (unfulfilled); 3: sex, breasts; 4: sex (unfulfilled); 5: sex, breasts; 6: lingerie, thongs, breasts; 7: sex, breasts, thongs.

Image gallery

Automatically generated and alphabetized; expect disorder, but automation preferred.