Deadly Little Secrets has a secret. Shhhhhh. It’s a direct to DVD feature. So the only way you can see it is by renting it. Should you? I dunno. It’s a B movie with a B movie plot, but with pretty good technical components.
The plot starts off with a murder, and the brother (of course) has to get to the bottom of it. Craig Sheffer plays the brother, and he’s bland in a beefcake main character sort of way. There’s a really bad doctor (Dylan Walsh) who is injecting football players with letha… steroid overdoses. Walsh doesn’t really do anything special in the role. The women are the real highlights. Dina Meyer, who is excellent in Starship Troopers (among other things), plays Sheffer’s girlfriend, and Michelle Hicks plays Meyer’s vampish “sister”. The “sisters” like each other a bit too much…if you catch my drift. The relationship seems right out of a Mike Hammer novel. Garry Chalk also comes along for the low budget ride in another cop role.
All the B movie elements are here. The movie plods along at a leisurely pace. Not a lot of action. Mostly the movie is about the twists and turns and finding the “true” motives behind people and events. It’s nothing special, but at least the director, Fiona Mackenzie, finds some professionalism in the piece. The camera is in the right place, and there’s no attempt to “cool” it up with fancy camera work or effects. She sets the camera down and goes shot by shot; a throwback to the “classical” directing style of the 40’s and 50’s.
Oh…and the credit sequence is kinda cool. It reminds of a cross between the Se7en sequence and the James Bond one, but in a low budget kinda way.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio sounds quite strong. Walsh’s gravely voice is heard quite distinctly. Although this is a mostly front heavy mix, the music comes off the best on the rear speakers. Some ambience in the rear, but not enough to be noticeable or effective. This is a solid, front heavy mix, with good clarity.
The real dirty little secret is the aspect ratio: 1.85:1. What a nice surprise! I’m so tired of seeming cramped full screen versions of these low budget B movies. It’s nice to see the widescreen transfer for once, without details getting chopped off. The director does a nice job of filling out the mise en scene. And for a low budget movie, the colors look very good. Again, the director does more with less. The transfer is fairly clean. A little bit of speckling, but not enough to be distracting.
There’s a trailer. And subtitles say English if you press your subtitle button, but the words are in Spanish. Weird. The menu is scored.
Deadly Little Secrets is B movie schlock, but is saved from obscurity by Dina Meyer and a cool professionalism in the directing. Video looks great for low budget and the audio is strong. So shhhhhhh. Don’t let this secret get out: direct to DVD isn’t all that bad sometimes.
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