Zalman King is not the "misunderstood artist" he styles himself as; he has clearly studied the possibilities of the film medium, but for the millionth time bad writing can sink any project, whether off the Hollywood assembly line or emanating from Bizarro Hollywoodland. Orson Welles had his Rosebud; behind the Oz curtain all King has is an empty Red Shoe.
Sometimes, when the world seems crazy out there, we all get that inside voice going.
You know what I mean; it's like the talk bubble in a cartoon.
Let's say you're out alone one summer night and you pop into a sushi bar.
He moved behind the camera to producing offbeat films in the 1980s, breaking through with the hit Nine 1/2 Weeks, but it wasn't till Red Shoe Diaries wowed those starved-for-softporn cable audiences in the '90s that he earned his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Shame.
It's a shame that Women of the Night (shot in 35mm) wasn't afforded a theatrical release: this total misfire cries out for in-depth analysis by film buffs, but the very ease of watching on video makes it very, very difficult to sit through straight to the end.
Levity, perhaps an appearance by George Carlin in his hippy-dippy weatherman mode, would have helped.
His premise of an 18-wheel truck rolling all night around L. as home of a Shawnee's pirate radio station is obviously dated now thanks to the rise of satellite radio, but reeks of ripoff from another French avant garde master, Marguerite Duras' classic Le Camion.
She meets a savage crime boss called Boca who seemingly wants to help the children and falls under his brutal charm.
A pair of pantyhose worn by an attractive woman becomes an object of desire first to her lover and then to herself.