Sex & Consequences


by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Over the years filmmakers have experimented with the best formats in which to present eroticism. As a general rule, they seem to have concluded that steamy sex goes best with crime, and romantic sex goes best with comedy and light drama. The writer of Sex and Consequences can at least be commended for originality and "thinking outside the box," because this script is something new entirely: the erotic tragedy. And I don't know about you, but nothing turns me on more than mental anguish over the loss of a loved one!

Joan Severance plays the lead, performing nude scenes at age 47, after having kept her clothes on for about a decade. Profile for Murder and In Dark Places, which showed some Severance flesh, were released in 1996-1997, but even then she was moving away from nudity. Those films had relatively subtle exposure, but a year earlier Severance had used a body double for some vigorous and revealing sex scenes in Black Scorpion. Her great frontal scene in Red Shoe Diaries dates back to around 1992.

Severance plays a suburban housewife whose mental health is fragile because of an incident in which her carelessness led to the death of her daughter. She chooses as therapy the same thing that has worked for grannies throughout recorded history: seducing a high school boy. The kid is content to comply with her needs since: (1) hey, she may be fiftyish, but she's still Joan Severance and still looks great, especially her legs which are still just about the best gams on the planet; (2) she drops little hints that keep him interested, subtle things like, "Take advantage of your time with me, because I will do all sorts of things girls your age are just not ready for." This immediately gets him running to the internet to look up the proper procedures for such arcane practices as the Cleveland Steamer, the Dirty Sanchez, the Tijuana Taxi  and, of course, the dreaded Rear Admiral.

As the pair spend more and more time together, Severance wants to increase the risk of being discovered by her husband. She wants to make love with the boy until her husband's car is in the driveway. She wants to take nude Polaroids of the lad and leave them for her husband to see. The young man is understandably terrified of this trend, since the husband is a hot-tempered fellow who carries a gun in his work as a grizzled beat cop, and is already being pushed to the edge by his wife's erratic behavior following the tragic loss of their daughter.

Hot stuff, eh?

As Austin Powers might say, "Am I making you horny?"

This lubricious erotic environment is made even tinglier by Joanie's trips to the cemetery to place flowers on her daughter's tomb, and to have long talks with the departed.

The "hook" of the film, if it can be called that, is the audience's curiosity about why Severance is engaging in such provocative high-risk behavior. It is clear that she is leading herself and her young beau into a violent confrontation with the husband, and it seems apparent from the first ten minutes of the film that her mental state has deteriorated far enough that she can't be restored to health and must lead herself to tragedy. It isn't exactly clear why she has chosen this particular young man, or what kind of mad logic drives her to this sort of jeopardous behavior. We can see that she is not really motivated by sexual lust, but we aren't really clear what does motivate her.


As it turns out, the identity of the specific boy is irrelevant. She chose him only because he happened to be there, and she chose a vigorous young boy in general because she felt it would be the one thing which would be most irritating to her husband. Her apparent motivation is that she wants to die, but she doesn't want to commit suicide so she can be reunited with her daughter in heaven, so her only option is to provoke her husband into killing her. Mission accomplished. Her plan leads to one of the most bizarre endings I've ever seen in a movie - not the murder, which comes off as expected, but the aftermath. The husband comes into a restaurant and blows her away. The situation becomes chaotic, but the sound gradually diminishes and the scene fades to black. The visuals return for one final scene: she and her daughter are together again, chatting away and looking at a beautiful romantic sunset together. WTF? Is this a memory - he final conscious thought before she dies? Is this life after death? The movie doesn't say. It just stops there and rolls the end credits over the sunset. (The original title of the film was "The Last Sunset," and IMDb still lists it under that name.)


The film seems to have been shot through a variety of filters using extreme saturation and/or highly artificial lighting. As a result, the film looks less like live action than one of those rotoscoped films like A Scanner Darkly, in which the actors have been turned into cartoons with various photo imaging techniques. The erotic scenes not only resemble cartoons - and dark cartoons at that - but they are edited in such a way as to reveal only brief glimpses of Joan's flesh. I assume that all of this was done to disguise the lines and sags of the leading lady, but I'll be damned if I can see any reason for it. Severance looks about as good as any woman can look at her age, and would have been plenty sexy even if shot straight-on in natural light. Why not just let her be what she is and show it accurately? In this day and age, a really hot fiftyish woman can still be appealing, even with a few droopy and wrinkly bits here and there.

If I had to pigeonhole the film into a genre, I'd call the film a melodrama with strong sexual elements. It's not an erotic movie because the film's tragic premise, dwelling as it does on death and madness, is enough to deflate your erection, and the exaggerated photographic techniques may make your testicles withdraw completely. It has a lusty moment here and there, but is just not erotic enough to pass as a sexy B-movie. Since the quality of the writing and photography is not exactly Oscar caliber (Corbin Bernsen plays the husband, if that gives you any indication), the film will have a difficult time finding any audience at all, except for those of us who are just die-hard Severance fans and are curious about her return to nudity after nearly ten years.


* widescreen anamorphic

* whatever







No reviews online.


4.8 IMDB summary (of 10)


N/A. Straight to home media.


  • Joan Severance shows her breasts in several scenes.


Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


It's not a good enough movie to recommend on its artistic or entertainment value, and it's not erotic enough to recommend as a titillation film.