Twisted is a title I came up with for the novel that later became Take My Breath Away (though it also had a brief incarnation as Guilty Creatures). The feeling was that Twisted wouldn't work, because there was another book - not crime of that title. I felt a bit surprised about that at the time, and my belief that it was a decent title was reinforced when Jeffrey Deaver used it as the title for a collection of his short stories, and then for a follow-up volume. And now I've watched a film with the same title. So one thing is for sure, it's not a title I can now use any time soon! No matter - but what about the movie?
Twisted didn't enjoy critical success - quite the reverse, I'm afraid. I've read one review describing it as a "career killer" for Ashley Judd, the star, and it's fair to say that this very appealing actor hasn't been quite as prominent in subsequent movies as her gifts deserve. But Samuel L. Jackson and Andy Garcia haven't done too badly. And I do not think the film is anything like as unsatisfactory as many of its detractors suggest.
The premise is that Ashley is a cop whose father, also a cop, went on a killing spree when he learned of the infidelity of his wife who was one of her victims. Jackson plays her dad's partner, who has taken her under his wing. When she is promoted, she starts working with Garcia, with whom she has an equivocal relationship. Things go rapidly downhill when a man with whom she had a one-night stand is found brutally murdered. The pattern of Ashley's lovers meeting bloody ends then begins to repeat itself. Is Ashley so troubled that she has turned into a deranged killer?
We can all, perhaps, guess the answer to that, but despite weaknesses in the plot, I thought this was a reasonably watchable thriller. I'd bracket it with another Ashley Judd film, Double Jeopardy, which had similar failings, but passed the time pretty well. What I'd really like to see is a crime movie that made the most of Ashley Judd's vulnerable quality. Twisted failed to do so, but the setting in San Francisco is quite nicely evoked, and reminded me how keen I am to visit that city one day.