Fred Olen Ray, if you are familiar with the name then you will know this director has cult status and most of his films he has directed or produced even though they are of low budget, Olen Ray always somehow manages to assemble a cast of respectable actors, a short list of some he has worked with is impressive with the likes of John Carradine, David Carradine, Lee Van Cleef, Michael Berryman, Sid Haig and he always had time to find screen time for friends and forgotten stars Ross Hagen and Robert Quarry of Count Yorga Fame who gets a small part here, Olen Ray is the modern day Ed Wood.
Inner Sanctum II is one of them where the cast in all fairness have appeared in much better films, a murder mystery which its marketing point upon release was to cash in on the erotic thriller straight to video releases of the time, it would share video shelf rental space alongside titles such as Basic Instinct, Body Of Evidence and various films Starring Shannon Tweed and Shannon Whirry.
Now this is a sequel but you definitely do not need to see the first one, and I am a fan of Olen Ray’s films with Armed Response and Warlords getting repeat viewings.
The premise of the Inner Sanctum II is a woman (Tracy Brooks Swope) who has killed her abusive husband Baxter, starts to have flashbacks and begins to see her dead husband returning from the grave while she is alone in the deserted marital home, is it real or is there something else more sinister going on…
At the start of the film it could be conceived to be horror to the viewer as Baxter appears as a zombie but as the film moves on it goes quickly to the erotic thriller mode.
Swope’s character is visited by her family, the brother and sister in law Sharon Reed played by Sandahl Bergman of sword and sorcery pictures Conan and Red Sonja. They all try to get to the bottom of whats going on but we find out that everyone is out to get Swope, and its money and her life they are after.
Other supporting cast members include the late Margaux Hemmingway who returns from the first film.
We are introduced to David Warner’s character Dr Lamont and it is nothing that stretches Warner as he has played doctors numerous times, he’s called by the family to check on Jennifer to see why she is having the visions and breakdowns and returns later to be bumped off by the killer after discovering someone has been switching the medication he has been prescribing but as Warner is the star name they do a good job in editing the scenes so they are short but recurring so he is in the film from start to finish.
Bergman does get involved slightly with the erotic scenes but the rest of the erotic thriller parts of the film is left to the more lesser known actors in the film.
Good points about the film that it looks decent for the low budget it was shot on which Olen Ray manages to do with his films, if your watching it late at night it’s a decent murder mystery which should keep your attention if that doesn’t the Basic Instinct style sex scenes should keep you watching for a bit longer.
Not a great vehicle for Warner and co. but him being a working actor his part wasn’t bad and it pays the bills ready for the next picture.