Director: Robert Cuffley | 98 minutes | drama, thriller, erotic, comedy | Actors: Leelee Sobieski, Tricia Helfer, Lothaire Bluteau, Jacob Tierney, Michael Eklund, Michael Adamthwaite, Ross McMillan, Sarah Constible, Mike Bell, Nick Ouellette, Blake Taylor
The days when SM was only “practiced” by perverts and weirdos and it was taboo to talk about it alone seems to be gone forever. Kama Sutra fairs are becoming increasingly popular and openly attended by people of all “classes” and ages, and vibrators and sex toys of all kinds are readily available, even in the supermarket. So perhaps the treatment of this activity in films is somewhat less controversial or provocative today than it was about ten or twenty years ago. In 1980, Isabelle Huppert was already dealing with submissive sex clients with strange wishes in Godard’s “Sauve qui peut (la vie)”. In 1992 Ryu Murakami made a kind of sexually oriented “Alice in Wonderland”, in which the “innocent” main character took her first steps into a violent and sexually “alternative” world. And in 2002, there was Steven Shainberg’s daring “Secretary,” which was basically a love story between two equal, sadomasochistic souls and in a sense advocated acceptance for people with different preferences. Although this film had humorous elements, it was mainly a romantic drama.
In “Walk All Over Me”, the SM context is part of a comical, dark thriller. The characters are crazy enough and competently acted, which makes for funny moments, but the film lacks enough development and cohesion to make it a success. “Walk All Over Me” is well cast, with the innocent-looking Leelee Sobieski as the perfect main character to introduce the viewer to the – for Alberta – strange world of SM. Tricia Helfer, known from the series “Battlestar Galactica”, is nice and spicy and, at first, indifferent as Celene, the (ex) babysitter from Alberta. The SM background offers a great excuse to let her walk around in the most tantalizing fetish outfits and role-play costumes, something she barely explains when Alberta finds her in a kinky latex outfit with a man in armor on the day of her visit. on his knees. She pretends it’s the most normal thing in the world, which has its charm and humor. Of course Alberta will secretly try out some of Celene’s clothes and she will also end up in the strange and, in this case, dangerous world of SM. The best scenes in the film take place when she makes an appointment with a non-intimidating (potential) client of Celene, posing as her ex-babysitter. She meets him in a shopping center and is initially very timid of a mistress. Until she slowly gets the hang of it and a smile appears on her face when she orders the man to get her a milkshake and puts a collar around his neck, which he receives willingly. This awkward balance between dominant and shy is touching, but it’s a nuance that later gives way to slapstick and a muddled crime story.
Alberta is intended to become increasingly dominant, but Sobieski does not know how to take the film on her shoulders, partly due to the somewhat unbalanced storyline (s) and tones, which should go from humor, to tension, and light drama, but where often no element is really exploited properly. The stupid criminals have a bit more character and color than is normally the case in these types of films, but the humor is only variable success and there is also not enough tension to keep the viewer fascinated. The film is mostly interesting in independent scenes due to its original plot and nice renditions, but unfortunately it is a bit too chaotic and disjointed to warrant a recommendation.