Calendar Girl Murders (1984)

Originally airing on April 8, 1984 on the ABC Network, this made-for-TV movie aspires to be a giallo just as much as it is a slasher, but it’s hamstrung by network TV limits. Sure, there’s murder and mayhem, but it’s a bloodless affair.

Speaking of affairs — Tom Skerritt stars as Lieutenant Dan Stoner, a married cop who falls for Cassie Bascombone, one of the girls pursued by a killer. She’s played by an incredibly young Sharon Stone. If you look this movie up, chances are you’ll see plenty of foreign VHS covers that make it seem like Stone is the main reason this film was made.

Millionaire Richard Trainor (Robert Culp) is pretty much Hugh Hefner in this. However, on the very night that he announces his calendar girls for this year, Miss January falls from her hotel room and Miss February gets stabbed.

There are — as there always are — many red herrings, as well as Alan Thicke, who shows up as a photographer. And oh look — it’s Barbara Perkins from Valley of the Dolls and The Mephisto Waltz.

If I were Hefner, I may have been peeved at this film. That said, it’s as toothless as it is bloodless, but it’s also a fun romp through early 80’s TV. It’s directed by William Graham, who was also behind Elvis’ last movie Change of Habit and Return to the Blue Lagoon.

Interestingly enough, the Stoner character would appear again in the HBO made-for-TV movie Red King, White Knight. That case is even brought up by Stoner’s captain at the end of this film.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime.

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