The Kiss (1988)

Rating: N/A

Dir: Pen Densham
Star: Joanna Pacula, Meredith Salenger, Nicholas Kilbertus, Mimi Kuzyk

[5] This one was a late replacement for Phantom of the Opera, which Medusa failed to come up with. Its cinema release was pretty limited, though, as the company seemed unsure of the target audience; it was introduced as having elements of The Witch and The Omen, and I can perhaps see a resemblance to To the Devil a Daughter, or am I being Kinski-ist again? The film centers around two sisters; Felice (Pacula), who’s been in Africa and is now a successful model into black magic, and Hilary, now married with a teenage daughter, Amy (Salenger). Hilary is killed in an auto accident and Aunt Felice comes to stay, but Amy has bad vibes about her, which get worse when ‘accidents’ start happening to Amy’s friends.

Although not especially messy in the 18-rated version we saw, the director racks up a fair bit of tension towards the end which cover up the plot deficiencies. Pacula and Salenger are both very pretty (when the latter asked “Am I old enough for sex yet?”, the ripple round the cinema suggested the male members of the audience thought so!), and I stayed awake throughout, which is more than I did for the preceding and following movies! Well crafted all round, though the Chris Walas special effects aren’t up to much (the man is very good at Gremlins, but does every movie – bar The Fly – he does have to have them?). A film with a good chance of crossing over to a mainstream audience.