aka Teacher’s Pet
Director – Marcus Spiegel, Screenplay/Producer – Richard Brandes, Photography – M. David Mullen, Music – Steve Gurevitch, Production Design – Melissa Blanchard & Radha Mehta. Production Company – Le Monde/Unapix Entertainment.
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Debbie Strand), Jsu Garcia (Professor Sam Deckner), Jeanette Brox (Laney), Katherine Kendall (Carla Briggs), Christiana Frank (Sydney Hollings), Bill Gratton (Sheriff Bill Taylor), Todd Robert Anderson (Deputy Toby Taylor), Susan Lancaster (Tracy Carley), Rel Hunt (Buddy Lyle)
Debbie Strand makes an escape from the Laughlin Institute for the Criminally Insane. She is picked up on the road by rich child Tracy Carley who is on her way to sign into Holmsby College in San Carlos. Instead, Debbie kills Tracy and adopts her identity. Signing into a harshly authoritarian dormitory, she develops a crush on her creative writing professor Sam Deckner. She then starts to kill those she sees as being in the way to prevent the two of them from being together.
Devil in the Flesh (1998) was a modest variant on the predatory teenage girl stalker film. It worked due to effective direction and the dangerously charged presence of Rose McGowan in the central role. Minus McGowan and director Steve Cohen, Devil in the Flesh 2 is invariably a lesser sequel.
The plot – indeed the entire setup – of the stalker escaping from an asylum and then fixating on a particular idealised fantasy under a different identity is oddly reminiscent of Stepfather II (1989). In the central role, the sequel now casts Jodi Lyn O’Keefe. Alas, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe is just an anonymous face in the host of California twentysomething actresses that inhabit the Beverly Hills 90210‘s, Melrose Place‘s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s and Roswell‘s of tv land with their good looks and banal inability to evoke any real emotion. O’Keefe lacks any of Rose McGowan’s ability to evoke a brooding and dangerously anti-authoritarian intelligence and the sense of calculating teen just learning to use her body for the first time – all she is is a cliche psycho.
One good aspect this time around is the greater ambiguity in regard to Debbie and her object of affections – here the teacher does sleep with her and then the morning after decides it was all a bad idea, a much more convincing and morally shaded motivation than the one given to Alex McArthur in the first film.
Unfortunately, Devil in the Flesh 2 is poorly directed, with the style Steve Cohen invested in the original now giving away to some Friday the 13th (1980)-styled cliche slasher violence – spiked nails in the head and a very silly sequence where Sarah Lancaster brings out her pepper-spray to ward Jodi Lyn O’Keefe off only to get it the wrong way around, spray herself in the face and trip over and impale herself on a piece of protruding metal. There is also a silly erotic dream scene that seems all the more gratuitous for the distracting obviousness of the fact that Jodi Lyn O’Keefe has refused to take her clothes off.
Full film available online here:-