JOE D’AMATO WEEK: High Finance Woman (1990)

Tara Buckman blasted me into puberty when she showed up in the Lamborghini with Adrienna Beabeau in Cannonball Run and for that we should always remember and thank her. Well, maybe not totally into puberty — I was nine — but I finally understood why guys in movies were going crazy for women.

Frem memorably playing the mother who gets her throat slit in Silent Night, Deadly Night to roles in HooperXtro II: The Second Encounter and showing up in D’Amato’s Blue Angel Cafe and the unforgettable Night Killer, Ms. Buckman has won me over.

In High Finance Woman — a title so ridiculous that I often drive around yelling it at people just to get their reaction — she plays Brenda Baxter, a successful broken who sleeps with people to get insider trading information. People like Albert (Louie Elias, the older brother of James Stacy, which means he was the ex-brother-in-law of both Connie Stevens and Kim Darby; he also had a scar on his chin from a fight scene gone awry on Spartacus when Kirk Douglas drowned him a soup cauldron), her rich man who is the only mentor she’s ever had.

Then she meets Alex (Charlie Edwards, whose only other role is in Hitcher in the Dark and God bless Filmirage), a poor journalist hired to write a story about her career. They fall in love, she reveals to him that she’s basically a high-priced escort for her clients, they break up, she starts dating Albert, Alex proposes, she breaks it off with Albert and then finds out that — surprise! — he’s the father of the man she’s engaged to, so Albert pays her off to never see her son again.

Then Albert dies and his mistress gets all the money. And that would be…Brenda, which means that she may never end up with Alex until his new job sends him to interview another high finance woman who is…yes, Brenda. Oh what a tangled web we weave, Joe D’Amato.

As with all 1990s Joe movies, Laura Gemser makes a cameo and yes, she’s a prostitute. But hey — free trip to America, right?

Look, some day Vinegar Syndrome is going to re-release all of these D’Amato movies for $40 in a cool slipcase in the proper aspect ratio and people are going to be losing their brains over getting them. Get in on the basement floor now, find them online and just have some fun. They’re not great, but they have great synth sax, incredible overacting and amazing posters. What else do you want?

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