Friday, November 04, 2022

Intermate (a.k.a. Flashout)

With the advent of digital, some filmmakers can’t resist trying to “fix” things in their old films. Francis Ford Coppola has consistently made his better, where as George Lucas has made the original Star Wars trilogy worse. It is hard to imagine what this schlocky sci-fi movie was like when it was first released as Flashout, because Richard Lerner’s re-cut film, now titled Intermate, still doesn’t make much sense. Regardless, the new and hopefully improved version releases today on VOD and streaming.

In the not-too-distant future, next Sunday A.D., there is a model named Desa, who works as the spokesperson for the Intermate VR-style game. Basically, players go into miniature multiverse worlds, where they have to find the other players among the digitally generated NPCs. When the players eliminate the digital imposters and find each other, they “flashout,” which ends the game with a potent but touchless climax, so to speak.

Desa only hawks Intermate. She usually doesn’t play, but her pals Iastar and Lleva drag her into a game anyway. As fate would have it, their game is the one the disgruntled cosmic “Repairman” chose as part of his plan to sabotage Intermate. Instead of the usually narrowly contained meta-universe, he has brought them all to our world. If he can get the women to flashout with him, they will flashout the game. However, that will be tricky, because the flashout process is consensual and he is a giant creep.

As Desa and her friends try to get back to their own universe, they accept work with Karen, the escort (that really is her name). The flashout process does not make flesh and blood Earthlings disappear, like it did for digital NPCs, but it still has quite a kick. Supposedly, they are looking for the missing fourth player to end their “game,” but it is questionable how consistently and logically Lerner and co-screenwriter John Powers and Wayne Weber adhere to the rules of the game.

That is where the lion’s share of the blame should fall too. Most of the cast actually have extensive guest-star credits on network TV series. They are largely professionals, so there are almost none of the awkward line readings you find in most grade-Z schlock (like
Birdemic). Everyone knows what they are supposed to say—it’s all just nonsensical.

In fact, you kind of have to feel for Lauren Swickard, Maya Stojan, Allison Dunbar, and Vedette Lim (as Desa, Iastar, Karen, and her deputy madam, Angel), because they all bring energetic screen presences to the flick. Let’s hope having
Intermate/Flashout on their resumes will not set their careers back.

Supposedly, this is a “sexier” cut, but there is still no nudity, unless there are brief subliminal flashes during the flashout sequences. That makes it really difficult to figure out the intended audience. It is just cheap and silly in the wrong way. However, if you are perversely curious, you now have the opportunity to compare and contrast cuts. Obviously not recommended,
Intermate is now available on VOD and it streams on Tubi.