Monday, July 22, 2019

Hell Hath Nothing On AnnaLynne McCord

Sometimes, you see cover art on Amazon Prime and feel a warm, comfy feeling that someone out there knows what you like: elevated Lifetime thrillers about dramatically angry women taking control of their lives. Then you look closer and see the cast involves Billy Zane, AnnaLynne McCord, and Spartacus's Viva Bianca and you wonder if you're actually dead because folks, Scorned...Scorned is heaven.

Quick Plot: We open a very cheap way of showing a text conversation between two hip abbreviations-using cheaters as they discuss their next meetup. Next, we meet the man on the end of it and yes, it's none other than Billy Zane tied to a chair.

Zane is Kevin, a wealthy gentleman with an incredibly active libido. 28 hours before his capture, his girlfriend Sadie (the glorious, never restrained McCord) was predicting his marriage proposal over shots with her best friend Jen. If you haven't guessed by now, Jen happened to be the other woman on that fateful text chain, she with the "magical pussy" and use of "U"s.

After some lakeside lovemaking, Sadie discovers the affair via Kevin's phone. Lucky for her, she's packed a generous supply of Vicodin despite this just being a weekend getaway. Having disabled the former Demon Knight with surprising ease, Sadie lures Jen and her Yorkie puppy Bootsie to their remote mansion for a wild evening of teeth pulling, shin hobbling, taco eating, and so much more.

I'm not going to tease anything here: Scorned is a ridiculous good time.

Emphasis on ridiculous.

Directed by Doll's House royalty Mark Jones (he of the first Leprechaun and the one and only Rumplestilskin) with a script cowritten by Sadie Katz, Scorned understands its Eat-Your-Heart-Out-Lifetime place and GOES for it. Is Sadie faster than The Flash? Sure! Do we get Billy Zane attempting to foot call the police? HELL YES. Even the music choices seem tongue-in-your-cheek clever, which makes perfect sense if you watch the credits long enough to see that Jones wrote most of the lyrics. 

This is the kind of movie that has a character try to get even by shouting, "you flat-chested whore!" One where two women can be lifelong best friends and yet somehow one doesn't really seem to know anything about the fact that her BFF was committed to a mental hospital and given electric shock therapy for seven years. Size 0 Sadie drinks 3/4 of a full bottle of Maker's Mark and is not only still standing, but has the ability to kidnap two people, make a full dinner, blind her boyfriend, and plot an elaborate escape plan by picking up an escaped prisoner at just the right time.

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that.

Throughout Scorned, there are a few probably filmed-in-one-day asides where we discover a heavily tattooed violent criminal is on the run (Checkhov's Law of Prisons in full force). Naturally, we're constantly waiting for him to show up at just the wrong time, a deus ex machina in a film that's already skirting any rules. The way Scorned works this into the main plot is even better than I could have imagined. 

As much as the "b*thces be crazy" subgenre pioneered by Lifetime can be insulting to women, Scorned manages to elevate it into something that might even be empowering. There are no boiled bunnies to be found here, even if there's a constant threat of little Bootsie drying off in the microwave. That's not Scorned's game: Sadie IS crazy, but she's not stupid, and there's something about her determination that's almost, dare I say it, admirable. Not all heroines wear capes: some of them just sport rainbow hair and spaghetti straps.

High Points
AnnaLynne McCord probably doesn't have the A-list career she initially dreamed of, but it's clear that she's become a genuinely interesting actress who makes a point of choosing roles where she can let loose. She's on fire in Scorned, and it's a damn beautiful thing to watch

Low Points
I actually love the yes-they-went-there ending, but if you sit back and try to put the details together, there are a LOT of holes in Sadie's plan

Lessons Learned
Girls put up with a lot of things before they lock you in

The key to making good tacos is cover up crappy meat with tons of spices

You know someone's a villain when she feeds a dog chili

Cigars are less likely to give you cancer than cigarettes, at least according to the Book of Zane

If you're a fan of fun trash, Scorned is an absolute delight. Get your fix on Amazon Prime now. 

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