The 1994s updated definition of the French term femme fatale is "A Total Fucking Bitch," as Bridget Gregory a.k.a Wendy Kroy (Fiorentino) declares at one point while grinding poor Mike Swale (Peter Berg) into her '87 Jeep Cherokee upholstery, and she's right.
The Last Seduction is one of the Trade Center Neo Noirs (1968/69-2001) those smog haze, New York based films, where skyline shots pan across a city with the World Trade Towers standing like tombstones in an almost eerily haunting presence. My father worked on the foundation project. My earliest memory of the towers was of the bathtub with its temporary twin suspension bridges holding up the PATH tubes.
I left the chemically man made sometimes dayglow pink and sometimes fuchsia technicolor sunsets of New York for Montana in '72. I didn't see the Trade Towers again in person until 1997.
Directed masterfully by John Dahl ((Kill Me Again (1989), (Red Rock West (1993), You Kill Me (2007)). Smartly penned by Steve Barancik, with cinematography by Jeff Jur (You Kill Me (2007)), and a cool jazzy piano score composed by Joseph Vitarelli which is very reminiscent of Brubeck's "Take Five."
The film stars Linda Fiorentino (After Hours (1985), as Bridget, "Wendy - Total Fucking Bitch," Gregory, Bill Pullman (Lost Highway (1997), Zero Effect (1998), The Killer Inside Me (2010)) as "Credulous" Clay Gregory, Peter Berg (Collateral (2004)) as the emotionally "Moronic" Mike Swale, J.T. Walsh (House of Games (1987), The Grifters (1990), Narrow Margin (1990), Red Rock West (1993)) as as larcenist lawyer Frank Griffith, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad TV) as townie Shep, Brien Varady as townie Chris, Donna W. Scott as townie Stacy, and Bill Nunn as PI Harlan.
|Broadway near 125th Street, Manhattan|
Bridget: I can't hear you people... you maggots sound like suburbanites... fifty bucks for a lousy coin and you sell one at a time... I got a hundred bucks for the last sucker that makes a triple sale. (she bends over towards a caller with a stopwatch) A minute fifty seconds Bernie, you expect these leaves to grow on fucking trees? What me over your shoulder all day Bernie? Ask for the sale four times every time, got it?
Heads Home. Home sweet Harlem, hi honey I'm home, home (technically the Northern tip of Morningside Heights). Bridget mouths off. Clay gives Bridge a "to the moon Alice" slap across the choppers. Bridge is hurt. Bridge is pissed. Clay makes nice. Bridge plays nice. But Bridge is cold as ice. Clay craves coitus. She shows him the shower. Credulous Clay is in her power.
|To the moon|
|... with the smell of money...|
|and the taste of money|
|Tiemann Street, Morningside Heights/Manhattanville, Bridget bolts with cash|
|You'd better run|
Ooh wah, ooh wah cool, cool kitty
Tell us about the "gal" from New York City.....
Linda Fiorentino gives, what I feel is probably the ultimate sizzling femme fatale performance. Her sun like brilliance and tantalizingly naughty, siren sexuality, turns the the bottom feeders she encounters into the dimmest of bulbs. She uses her sexual attraction to stun the hapless men (who reside in the Western, Southern Tier, Route 17 corridor of New York State, South of Buffalo) into slobbering idiots.
|Shep (Dean Norris )|
|Chris (Brien Varady)|
|Stacy ( Donna W. Scott)|
|I am a total fucking bitch.|
|Who's a girl gotta suck around here to get a drink?|
|I'm from a galaxy far far away|
|Mr. Ed, let's see.|
|I believe what we're looking for is a certain horse-like quality?|
|Smelling his scent|
|PI Harlan (Bill Nunn)|
|Griffiths (J.T. Walsh)|
Fiorentino's performance generated Oscar buzz but she was unfortunately ineligible because the film was aired on cable (HBO) before it was released to theaters. Bad rule.
Clay Gregory (Bill Pullman) is the one man who knows Bridget (Wendy) well enough to even be able to stay a couple of paces behind her, but he's no match. Mike Swale (Berg) her "designated fuck" is hopelessly pussy whipped in a complete role reversal that most women will just lap up. He ripe for the picking having to prove himself after a bout of alcohol impaired "bad" judgement in Buffalo. The rest of the cast smoothly advances the plot. Lots of twists and turns make this film a fun ride. The film was produced by ITC Entertainment and distributed by October Films. The screencaps are from the Artisan DVD, 10/10