Kiss of Fire (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Kiss of Fire (1998)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Antonio Tibaldi directed this drama set off the Georgia coast on remote Dolphin Island, where young Italian Stefano Mauri (Stefano Dionisi) mysteriously arrives out of the blue one day, promptly finding work as a handyman at a rundown motel, although he never explains just who he is, where he came from, or why he landed on Dolphin Island. The motel's laundress is the attractive Claudine Van Doozen (Christina Applegate). Subject to major mood swings and occasional erratic behavior, Claudine moonlights as a dance hostess in the evenings. Amid the coastal splendor, Stefano and Claudine fall into a riddle of a relationship, explored with enigmatic twists and turns. The screenplay by director Tibaldi and Heidi Hall is based on Hall's short story, The Magnificent Rescue. Shown at the 1998 L.A. Independent Film Festival.
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Jazz Pictures


Steani Dionisi
as Stefano
Stefano Dionisi
as Stefano Mauri
Matt Clark
as Pelican
Tony Torn
as Roscoe
Gabriel Mann
as Kenneth
Torrie Gold
as Chloe
Tom Nowick
as Doctor
Ric Reitz
as Chloe's Father
Maia Lien
as Chole's Mother
Tom Nowicki
as Doctor
John Lawhorn
as Mansion Caretaker
Richie Dye
as Cockatoo Store Owner
John Chappell
as Traveling Salesman
Julie Lee
as Asian Woman
Peggy Davis
as Elderly Woman No. 1
Beverly Shelton
as Elderly Woman No. 2
Valerie Perrine
as Claudine's Stepmom
Tim Ware
as Bus Terminal Worker
Bill Crabb
as Lakebottom
Theodore Manson
as Bus Ticket Seller
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Critic Reviews for Kiss of Fire

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Audience Reviews for Kiss of Fire

Any viewer expecting to find Applegate amidst a 'journey of erotic desire,' 'a world of seduction and betrayal,' or 'the seedy world of exotic dancing' as promoted by the case artwork and PR blurbs is going to be very disappointed indeed. The film's best described as much akin to "9 1/2 Weeks," "Two Moon Junction," "Wild Orchid," "Lake Consequence," et. al. - with all the erotic scenes missing. Given that fact - and the film's 90 minute length - it's not entirely unlikely that Applegate invoked a contractual clause allowing her to leave all her really naughty bits on the cutting-room floor. What's left is plot and characterizations that barely stand on their own, atmospheric cinematography, an ethereal background score - and DVD cases desperately promoting sizzle where there's no steak. Miramax repackaged and retitled the film (from "Christine's Return") in a lame attempt to break even on the go-to-video. In 1998, Applegate was just off ten years of "Married With Children," a proven actress facing a serious typecasting issue to overcome. That's just the scenario that would lead her to toy with soft erotica, as it led Elizabeth Berkley to "Showgirls." The difference being Applegate's enormous, eternal MWC cash-flows would have allowed her to demand escape hatches in her contract. And that difference may also explain the extraordinarily prudish lingerie worn during the quite brief gentlemen's club scene as portrayed on the box artwork. Applegate's delivery is decent; her running partner is little more than Italian showhorse, resulting in low chemistry between the two - what chemistry not left on the cutting room floor, that is. Evocative cinematography of Charleston and Savannah coastlines and landscapes remains intact. Toward film's end, some semblance of interesting plot, dollopped with a bit of enigmatic & romantic mysticism, emerges. RECOMMENDATION: As it stands, it's better suited to the Harlequin crowd.

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