Zebra Lounge (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

The Robbins Recipe: "Single White Male and Female"

Zebra Lounge is a made-for-cable erotic thriller film now available on DVD.

After a few years together and having a couple of kids, a young couple has lost the pizzazz in their marriage. They try self-help books and counseling, and ultimately decide to attempt to become swingers and swap with another couple. After some experimentation they finally decide on Original Buffy and Blond Baldwin as their first swapmates. Up until the "date", the film plays out like some kind of domestic soap opera. The first sexual encounter with the new couple turns the film into something quite different.  

From that point forward, "Zebra Lounge" builds an ever more sinister ambiance, like "Single White Female". In SWF, Bridget Fonda places an ad for a roommate, and she ends up with an ostensibly normal woman who turns out to be the psycho roommate from hell. In this one, the couple places the ads for a swinging couple, and they end up with ostensibly normal people who turn out to be the persistent psycho swingers from hell.

This plays out fairly well for a non-theatrical "B" film, and even comes in a widescreen version! Not an all-time classic, but I enjoyed a couple of the plot twists, and I thought they handled the ending creatively.  

It was a much better than average story for an erotic thriller, but it seems to me that people who watch erotic thrillers expect to see a fairly substantial amount of skin. While this film has plenty of sex scenes, it has only a fleeting look at Brandy Ledford's chest, and no skin from the other three players. While the story would be excellent for a softcore sex film, it is too derivative to carry a legitimate film.

Therefore, I'd say that it's a C- erotic thriller, based  on an "A" story by genre standards and "D" skin by genre norms, or a C- as a regular thriller - watchable, but not dazzling. I would have recommended it as a good erotic thriller if it had presented more flesh in the sex scenes, but fully-dressed sex scenes aren't my thing.

Tuna says:

Zebra Lounge (2001) is a made for cable with a decent premise. A couple,  married for several years and with two kids, are doing well in most areas, but boredom has set in in the bedroom. They decide to place an ad for another couple, and possibly have sex with them. The four meet at the Zebra Lounge, and do end up in bed. Brandy Ledford as Wendy Barnet and her husband Cameron Daddo as Alan Barnet enjoy the evening, find their sex life now has the jump start it needed, and try to break off the relationship, but the other couple won't take no for an answer. From there, we pretty much have the mixed doubles version of Play Misty for Me.


Brandy Ledford showed her breasts in a sex scene

Original Buffy (Kristy Swanson) didn't show anything, although she was in many sex scenes.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen letterbox, 1.85:1

  • no features

This would have been enough to sustain a soft core, but was not unique or involved enough for a 90 minute thriller. Brandy shows her breasts in two tame love scenes. With more sex and exposure, this would have been watchable, but bombs as a thriller. It is technically adequate, and the acting is not completely impossible, but, with the script, it had no chance. There are some turds you just can't polish. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.7 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. (Tuna says D+) An erotic thriller with above average plotting, acting, and characterization but almost no skin! 

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