Sam Sharpe

Created by Thomas K. Nash

The 2002 "erotic thriller" Wicked Temptations was re-titled "Sex, Secrets and Lies 2" for its DVD release, although it doesn't seem to have much of anything to do with the original Sex, Secrets and Lie that came out a year earlier. Not the same cast, characters, writers, producers or plot -- the only thing the two films seem to share is a slightly noirish vibe, some soft core sex and the same production company, MRG Entertainment, a company that specializes in this sort of fare.

SAMANTHA "SAM" SHARPE is an ambitious but lonely (but, of course, drop dead gorgeous) private eye whose cases aren't exactly going to make any headlines, but that changes when she's hired to track down a publishing mogul's missing trophy wife. But when a corpse turns up at the bottom of a pool, Sam decides to set a trap for the killer.

Yes, along the way there's plenty of steamy -- but not too steamy -- sex. In fact, it seems like there's a (simulated) sex scene about every five minutes or so. And even more amazing is that, in a refreshing change for this sort of flick, the detective isn't a participant in every sex scene -- Sam really only gets her man in the end. Although the single most common complaint in online "customer reviews" is that the sex isn't explicit enough.

As one wag pointed out, "I don't think these films were ever considered hardcore porn to begin with, so I don't know who the knucklehead was who thought it would be a good idea to release these as "cleaned-up" versions. What--they actually thought customers were gonna buy these just for the plots and the great acting?"

Still, it would have been interesting to scrap all the heavy breathing and grunting, and see this film done as a more-or-less straight P.I. flick Sam is actually a pretty appealling detective. Yeah, yeah, she's pretty easy on the eyes, and yes, I looked when she finally dropped trou, but she's also got a little more grit to her than usual for this sort of thing. She's got a rather curt, no-nonsense approach to business, and she makes no attempt to hide her ambitions -- although she's working out of her apartment when we first meet her, she makes no bones about hoping to milk the case for enough to finally get her own office.

By the way, the actress who plays Sam is billed as "Scarlet Johansing," although her real name is apparently Monique Parent, -- about as as French-Canadian a name as you can get, although her IMDB bio insists she was born in California. Then again, several of her early film credits were in Canadian productions, and the bio says she was once married to someone whose last name was Johansing, whose only credit seems to be a documentary of the porn industry that was filmed in English and French... in Canada.

But I digress...

Parent has starred in such straight-to-video classics as The Breastford Wives, Lust Connection and Sex and the Single Alien. One of her early credits was an unaired episode of the short-lived P.I. series South of Sunset, starring the Eagles' Glenn Frey.