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Last Call Blog | Retro Review: Joe Bob Experiments with ‘Body Chemistry Numero Four-o’

The erotic thriller genre was a big deal back in the mid-1990s, giving the cable channel Cinemax the monicker "Skinemax" due to all the aardvarking and garbonzas in the movies it showed. Here, Joe Bob takes a look at the fourth installment of the "Body Chemistry" series.

Believe it or not, back in the 1990s the “erotic thriller” genre even had franchises

Editor’s note: This review was originally syndicated on Jan. 14, 1996. Some things have changed since then. Shannon Tweed finally married Gene Simmons. They had a reality show.

Am I the only person on the planet who’s watched all four “Body Chemistry” movies, including the one where Morton Downey Jr. has sex while making animal noises?

Naw, let’s assume there’s two of us me, and a paraplegic channel surfer in Boise. You guys can call him if any of my facts here are off the mark.

This is a weird series. It starts off with the gorgeous Lisa Pescia ripping off her clothes every 10 minutes of screen time, lurking in bathtubs, hiking up her miniskirt in strange places and luring oversexed dimwits into bed until they realize after it’s too late that she’s the Psycho Girlfriend From Hell who will KILL anybody who tries to break up with her.

For part two, they add Morton Downey Jr. as a sleazy radio-station manager.

Then, for part three, they totally screw it up by firing Lisa Pescia and hiring Morgan Fairchild, even though Morgan REFUSES to spring those babies out of the chute in her big aardvarking scene with B-movie actor/director/producer Andrew Stevens. 

Now, for part four, they bring in the biggest erotic-thriller name of them all Shannon Tweed, the low-budget Demi Moore.

Usually you START the series with Shannon, then pass it down the line to Morgan Fairchild, Sally Kirkland or, when you get right down to the nitty gritty, Brigitte Nielsen.

But in “Body Chemistry 4: Full Exposure,” Shannon is Dr. Claire Archer, standing trial for the murder of Andrew Stevens in Numero Three-o, and, of course, she starts making the sign of the double-snouted water balloon with her defense attorney, Simon Mitchell, played by Larry Poindexter.

What they’re going for here is the drive-in version of “Body of Evidence,” with Leslie Ryan as the hot little wife at home, Marta Martin as the legal assistant with the hots for her boss and Larry as the guy who constantly says, “This is unethical” right before he has sex with Shannon in parking garages, in elevators, on pool tables and in courtrooms all over El Lay.

Of course, you’ve guessed it by now. Here we have the work of veteran director Jim “Remove Your Tops Please, Ladies” Wynorski, and Jimbo even throws in a few references to the O.J. case, including a Japaheeno-Americano judge, a Latino housekeeper who can’t remember what she saw and a tough-but-sexy female prosecutor played by Elaine Giftos, who will be recognized by the very alert as the same Elaine Giftos who starred in “The Student Nurses” in 1974.

Elaine is no longer spilling the groceries on screen, but Jim oughta consider asking her in the future, because Shannon is kinda losing her … uh … enthusiasm.

At LEAST you could wear a different bra in each scene, Shannon. Jeez. The blue one is getting REALLY old.

Anyhow, it’s no “Body Chemistry TWO,” but what the hey. Four dead bodies. Eight breasts. Multiple aardvarking. Multiple cat-fighting.

Drive-In Academy Award nominations for…

Shannon Tweed, as the psycho, for saying, “You’re not walking out on me!” and, “I’m not gonna take no for an answer!” and, “You know, I really thought you could have been the one.” 

Marta Martin, as the insanely jealous legal assistant who says, “Are you attracted to her?” and “She’s MANIPULATING you!” 

Leslie Ryan, as the insanely jealous WIFE who says, “I want my husband home at night!” and, “How long do I have to wait until it’s my turn?” 

Larry Manetti, as the law partner who wants to make sure his buddy is not sleeping with his client (yeah, right). 

And Larry Poindexter, as the lawyer who says, “She maneuvered me like a rat through a maze.”

Three stars.

Joe Bob says check it out.

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