Melissa (1995) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes

Also known as Secret Sins

And they should have fuckin' stayed secret!

The director started shooting this in 1995 and did not appear anywhere until a DVD was released in late 2004. It isn't really a move at all, but a collection of footage from an aborted 1995 project that was cobbled together nearly a decade later, because the investors thought they might have a way to get some money back on their write-off. The film has at least some market appeal because it includes rare, previously unseen topless footage of Nicole Eggert, the film's star, who became semi-famous on Baywatch. If not for Nicole's B-list celebrity, the footage used to assemble this movie would probably still be languishing on a shelf somewhere.

The narrative is basically just gibberish. If the film had been completed as originally planned, no more than forty minutes of the existing footage could have made it into the film, and the version now available on DVD could be pared back down to 40 minutes without missing one substantial element. The running time has been padded out to an 81 minute "movie" in the following way:

1) Many scenes are shown again and again, sometimes in flashback sequences, sometimes just in the hope that you won't remember having already seen the footage before.

2) The running time is further padded out by adding a musical score to create montages from raw footage and outtakes. There must be five minutes of Nicole Eggert dancing around her new apartment as she unpacks her things. It is my guess that this would have provided five or ten seconds of footage if the film had been completed, but since the DVD running time needed padding, the editor simply used everything he had.

3) The missing parts of the plot were filled out at the end with the dreaded "word slides."

Two of the cast members are recognizable: Eggert and the guy with the Bride of Frankenstein hair who plays Paulie Walnuts on The Sopranos. Unsurprisingly, Paulie Walnuts plays a strip club operator. Eggert plays a hopeful Broadway dancer who is supporting herself by working as a stripper in Paulie's fine establishment. She ends up getting arrested because there is a dead man in her bedroom, and she is found a block away grasping the murder weapon. The murder story is told in flashback from a framing story in which Eggert tells her psychiatrist and her lawyer the details of how her life led inevitably to the corpse in her bed.



  • no features except the original trailer
  • the transfer is not anamorphically enhanced, and is not especially vivid



  • Nicole Eggert - breasts

  • Denise Faye - buns in a thong

  • Two unidentified strippers - breasts

  • One unidentified actress (as "Donna the model") - breasts

Tuna's notes

Melissa (1995), AKA Secret Sins, sat unfinished for years, and was then cobbled from the existing footage into something which would allow the producers to recoup some of their investment.

The film is chiefly known for topless exposure from Nicole Eggert in the lead. Soem people that she has two topless scenes dancing in a strip club, but that one of them is a body double. It makes no sense to me that she would show her boobies in one scene in a strip club and not in another nearly identical scene. Here is the sequence of events in the scene that supposedly uses a double. She dances for the first time on stage. Cut to the club owner and a woman never seen before or since commenting that she is good. Cut back to her dancing, still fully dressed in a light green lacy dress. Cut to unknown stripper number one showing her boobs in a blue satin dress. Cut to Nicole telling her best friend in the dressing room how much she made.

Here is a comparison of Nicole (before the cut) and the supposed double (after the cut). Nicole is the one in the blue-green lace dress; the other woman is in the blue satin dress.

It obviously was not intended to be a double. The other woman has different hair, a different face, very different boobs, a different dress, and was dancing in a completely different part of the stage. The principle of Occam's Razor leads to a more logical explanation: it's simply a different character. Remember that the film was assembled years after it was lensed and there was no more footage available to the editor, so he had no way to explain that Nicole had left the stage and had been replaced by another dancer. The different dress color accomplished that sufficiently for the audience. There's really to reason to believe that the scene was ever intended to be Nicole's character in the first place.

Now, on to the plot. The opening sequence cuts between a strip club and Nicole in a prison hospital cell, recovering from slitting her wrists. We soon learn that an unidentified man was found shot in her apartment, and she was found in a nearby cafe still possessing the murder weapon and with her wrists cut. Her public defender reports that she is uncooperative, but he tells the court- appointed shrink that she is worth saving. We then learn her story in a series of flashbacks as she slowly opens up to the shrink.

The brief story of her life is trite tripe - the aspiring dancer who comes to New York and ends up a stripper, and then makes bad relationship decisions. What makes this one slightly different, and probably would have saved it had they been able to finish filming, was that they kept the identity of the stiff in doubt until the end.

In other words, this is not a whodunit from the audience point of view, but a who-got-done.

Scoopy thoroughly trashed it, and I can certainly see his points. It was not finished. In fact, they may have changed the plot line to match the footage they already had. There were flow problems due to missing establishing shots and inserts. They had to use every frame of existing footage even to get to the reduced running time of 81 minutes. And they had to tell the end of the story with word slides.

It is not entirely without plusses, however. Nicole Eggert gave a strong performance, and nobody was especially bad in the film. Breast exposure from someone famous is always good news for us. The lighting in the strip club was excellent in that it didn't take away from the nudity but still gave the proper mood.

The Critics Vote ...

  • No major reviews online

The People Vote ...

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, Scoop says, "It's an E. It's not even really a movie, but eighty minutes of footage culled from some larger amount of footage which was shot years earlier for a film that was never completed." Tuna says, "I can imagine this film being a C- to C if they had been able to finish shooting. As it is, it is a D+."

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