The Turning (L. A. Puopolo, 1992)
[originally posted 6Nov2000]
If you’ve actually made the effort to seek out this film, you did so for one reason and one reason only. And nothing I can say will sway you from renting it. But I’ll try anyway.
This film, the acting debut of Gillian Anderson, is well-known among connoiseurs as containing Ms. Anderson’s only semi-nude scene. Hate to spoil your fun, but the stills you’ve seen online are digitally-enhanced.
And everything you’ve heard about how awful the movie is, aside from the thirty seconds or so in question, is completely true. Clifford Harnish, a white separatist Marine (Michael Dolan, a character actor who often plays military types, most recently in TNT’s original film The Hunley), comes home after spending four years away. His girlfriend (Anderson) is working as a waitress for her father (who never liked Clifford in the first place, and likes him less so now), his parents (Raymond Barry, who plays Senator Matheson in The X-Files, and Tess Harper, who has a penchant for playing “leading man’s wife” in various films) have broken up, and dad is dating the local chanteuse, Glory Lawson (Karen Allen). Everything is predictable; everything is glacial; everyone manages to turn in the worst roles of their careers (and everyone except Anderson had already turned in pretty long careers by this time). Please, for god’s sake, avoid this film like the plague. By far the worst thing I’ve seen this year. (zero stars, of course)