If you want to learn it, learn it from him. He has actually created a market
for his films. He makes no pretensions about making kitsch, but certainly makes
a statement down the line. Zalman King, the king of erotica, certainly knows how
to do justice to his genre, in spite of the flak he receives from the puritans.
And this is one of his better efforts at weaving a story around this genus that
he believes in so much.
The Red Shoe Diary is, in fact, the movie version of a popular mini series made for television called 'The Red Shoe Diaries'. The series was known for its sexual explicitness, and the movie doesn't deviate much from that track.
Jake (what is David Duchovny doing here?) is a young architect who dotes on his fiancée Marlene (Baiko), and as things look, all the doting is reciprocated with enough vigor, both emotionally and physically. Since the audiences appeared to be more concerned with the latter, they were not disappointed at all. After all, it is a Zalman King movie!
But one fine day Marlene commits suicide, or so it seems. After this tragic death, Jake has a very difficult time adjusting to life. This gets even more so when he discovers Marlene's diary. As he begins to read it, he discovers that Marlene had a deep dark secret. She was having an affair with another man, Tom.
We relive Marlene's life through the words in the diary, as Jake reads every heart-wrenching word. Thinking this may ease some of his pain, Jake goes in search of this mystery man, Tom (Billy Worth), who may have led Marlene to her demise.
This leads to some unwarranted drama and some inane suspense. Zalman ought to have stuck to his style here instead of meandering too much. He attempts being a Hitchcock but ends up doing a Woody Allen.
The lucid background of red and black is very seductive. Cinematically, that is
the only asset one gets to speak of. Do we really see art in this genre? But if
you sincerely swear by Zalman's films, if you get what I mean, you would not be
disappointed with this effort.