Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Head to 7-Eleven for wine and crackers, lads, because we've got the cheese right here.

This is a biography of the famous Hollywood Madam, but it's really presented more like a docudrama than a story, except that the typical docudrama would be more reliable. Call Me plays out like a gossip column version of a docudrama - a tell-all that tells virtually nothing. Remember those classic old-time Hollywood gossip columns which began "which big-time Hollywood producer was seen in the clinches with the gorgeous 18 year old blonde who stars in his new movie"? Those stories always left you guessing about who the hell they were talking about, and many people believed that they often weren't talking about anyone - that some of the stories were entirely fabricated to provide filler on days when there was no worthwhile gossip to print. This movie is like those anonymous items. Heidi has sex with characters named "rock star" and "Steve the producer". I guess we are supposed to have fun guessing who they represent. (I ruled out Elton John as the rock star.) 

Oh well, it aired on the USA Network and stars Robert "Captain Cable" Davi, so if you were expecting anything better, you need to realign your expectations.

I wasn't surprised by the poor quality of the movie, but I was disappointed by the obvious flim-flam involved in the body doubling for some nude scenes. In addition to being a perfunctory and shallow biopic, Call Me is a rip-off in terms of presentation. I suppose people will buy the DVD in order to see Meadow Soprano's nude scenes. The character does have several moments of exposed flesh, but it is obviously not Jamie-Lynn Sigler's flesh, except for one brief, blurry nipple seen as the camera pans hastily from her waist to her face. In all other cases, the Fleiss Flesh was provided by a body double. Oh, yes, I know that is common practice, but what distinguishes this from any other use of body doubles is the sheer audacious sleaziness of it. There are three cases where the body double's face is clearly visible - and in two of the cases it looks nothing like Sigler! See the left and center scenes below. In the third case, it is a very dark sex scene which I brightened artificially (below right), and the face could be just about anyone in Hollywood, except maybe Paulie Sorvino.

That last instance might have been a reasonable use of a body double - except that even the body double was using an obvious patch! Meanwhile, poor Stephen Warner was actually kneeling there with Mr Sausage on camera although his co-star was nowhere to be seen and  his co-star's body double was wearing a crotch patch! (See below)

It seems to me that a crotch patch kind of defeats the purpose of hiring a body double. In fact, it could result in having to hire a body triple to do the nudity refused by the double! I'm assuming the patch was the actress's idea and not the director's. The director was obviously not trying to keep the scene modest, since Mr Happy made the cut. Or maybe I could say "made the uncut." Actually, Mr Happy may be wearing a Happy Suit, not that it matters much, except that it makes Warner look like he has a Teddy Bear penis.

So here are two puzzlers for you guys who like to solve mysteries.

  • In the last case, why would you hire a body double who insists on a crotch patch? Surely there are plenty of willing Hollywood hangers-on who would have done the full monty for the same price.
  • In the other two scenes, why would you hire a body double who looks nothing like the star, even though the double's face is to be seen in the shot?


Kinda sloppy, and if the director didn't care, why should we?



  • No features
  • Two versions: 16x9 widescreen, and 4:3 TV ratio.


  • Emmanuelle Vaugier - bum, and one breast from the side

  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler - only one very hurried pan from her waist to her face. Nothing is visible without stop motion.

  • Jamie-Lynn Sigler's body double - breasts in four scenes, bum in one, and a crotch in one - but covered by an obvious patch!!

  • Miscellaneous females: buns from a blonde in a three-way, breasts from a background sunbather at a a pool party.

  • Stephen Warner - full-frontal nudity in a sex scene with Sigler's body double

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • No theatrical release: made for USA Network
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a D - almost without merit. As a biopic, it is shallow, gossipy and sensationalized - a tell-all that tells virtually nothing. It works a bit better as a soft-core sex flick, but Sigler uses body doubles, and the body doubles use crotch patches! There are a few bits of sex and nudity that almost make it a watchable softcore, but almost only counts in horseshoes. The only redeeming feature that I can see is Emmanuelle Vaugier's nude scene, but even that keeps too much strategically hidden

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