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Seal of Desire

USA 2022
produced by
Markiss McFadden, J. Spencer (executive) for McFadden Family Films, Canishootyou Productions, Etienne Films, Favor Vision Entertainment
directed by Markiss McFadden
starring Markiss McFadden, Ravyn Collier, Mark Justice, Jackie Moore, Curtis Abraham, Nadia Adem, Tyler Abron, James Lee Hawkins, Cayla Green, Brad Coffey, Danny Lee Gomez, Brittney Ayona Clemons, Katy May, Alexa Niemi, Janai Evans, Lauren Wright, Paz Anthwain, Amanda Rawlings, Courtney Battistini, Ashley Taylor, Logan Anthony Lombardo, Daniel Fisher, Holly Headrick, Byron Smith, Rosario Elena (= Rosario E. Rivera), Greg Dodder, Anika Romano, Jeff Willy, Nika Balina, Cindy Choi, Dorothy Mannine, Impress Yumi, Christine Hughes, Larken Woodward, Kris Alys, Cheaza Figueroa, Holly Reichert, William Silver Weaver, Debbie Deltoro, Bahar Barkzi, Mona Arkin, Robbie Marie, Jody Marie, Lamorae Siggal, Greg Wimberley, Robert Polachek, Rachel Burke, Andreani Constanti, Dustin Pennington, Alex Budin, Chris Louis, Brion Griggs, Ifeoma Kpaduwa, Victoria Hamilton, Jenna Fuhrman, Jasmine Sims, Jonathan Nitti, Khari Isom, Chad Davis, Linda Lana, Zelda Flowers, Jonas Woolverton, Make Shah, Andrew Corona, Genae Anderson, Jacob Arriola, Cailyn Rice, Kylon Wade, Rose Littlefield, Avery Rogan, Keith Littlefield, Henry Robinson
written by Markiss McFadden, music by Eric Rickey

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Malcolm (Markiss McFadden) is a psychologist specializing in couples therapy - but he's got a very weird way of going about it, as when he suspects one of his patients of cheating, he goes after them wearing a mask, takes photos as evidence for the respective partner, and has his little revenge, too. This normally ends with the heart-broken wives visiting him in the office to have sex with Malcolm - much to the dismay of his assistant Melissa (Jackie Moore), who also has the hots for Malcolm.

When Malcolm wants to expose yet another cheater (Brad Coffey), he's caught in the act by that man's mistress, Veronica (Ravyn Collier), who proves to be complicit to his scheme, and they even share a tender moment. Now Malcolm was never one for relationships himself, but he can't get Veronica off his mind - so much so that he tracks her down ... to have a (decidedly weird) date with her, him wearing his mask throughout of course. It's not long after that Veronica turns up at Malcolm's office as his patient - unaware of his secret identity of course. The two become romantically involved before long, but with Malcolm having the habit of sleeping with his female patients, it's only a matter of time before that backfires. Plus, it seems somebody has their hands into driving Malcolm and Veronica's relationship into a brick wall ...

 

Now I'm the first to admit, the premise of Seal of Desire - a psychologist who's also a masked avenger for cheated on women - is not just a little far-fetched, and it could have been a recipe for disaster (and/or high camp, your pick) had it gone just for the lurid details of the story. But the main saving grace of the film is that it opts for a character-centered narrative instead and equips its story with the proper psychological undercurrents to come across as relatable. Plus, without totally blending out the sexual elements of the plot, the direction is subtle and elegant enough to show the story's broader scope - and the result is a pretty unusual blend of thriller and romance that remains pretty entertaining throughout.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
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