Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 11th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1989
Director: Yuri Sivo
Writer: Allen Blumberg
Cast: James Saito, Brian Benben, Ginger Donelson, Mary Carol Johnson, Steve Watkins, James Harper, Debrah Farentino, Anthony LaPaglia, Peter Onorati, Maggie Wheeler
DVD released: March 11th, 2014
Approximate running time: 84 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: Troma Entertainment
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $14.95
Synopsis: The leader of a religious community hires a private eye to protect his daughter and to uncover the truth behind the death of one of his preachers before the scandal ruins his ministry.
When one thinks of Troma, films like Toxic Avenger or Class of Nuke em High instantly come to mind. And though Troma’s in house titles that those aforementioned are what they are most remembered for, they have a large number of titles that were picked up after the fact and goes against the Troma grain. And this is exactly were a title like Dangerous Obsession fits in. It was one of many films that were sold to Troma after being completed.
Dangerous Obsession was directed by Yuri Sivo, a first time filmmaker who would go onto to work exclusively in television after making this film. Key collaborators on Dangerous Obsession include cinematographer Bobby Bukowski (Kiss Daddy Goodnight, Saved!) and composer Simon Boswell (Santa Sangre, Hardware).
Content wise, Dangerous Obsession is a straight forward thriller that never strays too far away from connecting A to Z. The characters are well rounded and for the most part likable enough. In between death scenes the film does a good job keeping things moving along by mixing it up with some well timed moments of erotica and a handful of humorous character driven moments and more importantly saving this film’s best moment of miss direction for its finale.
From a performance stand point the majority of the cast are actually surprisingly good in their respective role. Especially this film’s tow main female leads, Debrah Farentino in the role of Laura Rollins, the young woman the private eye is hired to protect and Maggie Wheeler in the role of Marie, the PI’s girlfriend. The love triangle that they help form with this film’s protagonist a PI named Nathan Weinschank is this film’s most durable asset. Brian Benben (‘Dream On’) is cast the role of Nathan Weinschank and though at first this appears to be an odd casting. His quirky take on the character actually serves the character well. Ultimately Dangerous Obsession is a mildly entertaining thriller that works as well as does due to the strength of its casts performances.
Troma Entertainment presents Dangerous Obsession in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. The source used for this transfer is most definitely tape based as there are tape related defects that crop up a few times during the film. Overall considering the source the overall quality looks as good as one could hope for from a tape based source. Also there are issues with compression and edge enhancement is present throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in English. The audio fares much better than the transfer as dialog comes through clearly, everything sounds balanced and surprisingly robust when it needs too.
Extras include trailers for other films also available from Troma, The Radiation March and a segment titled ‘How the director Sells his own Damn Movie’ with filmmaker James Gunn. Overall Dangerous Obsession gets a serviceable audio / video presentation from Troma Entertainment.