Deep End

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John Moulder-Brown and Jane Asher in Deep End

Set in a London more seedy than swinging, Jerzy Skolimowski's underrated psychosexual potboiler was snatched up for domestic release by Paramount at the tail end of the trippy youth-culture cinema fad. Once the brass realized that, despite the presence of Cat Stevens on the soundtrack and some peripheral period grooviness, they hadn't purchased a typical anticonformity romp, the movie got dumped quicker than a bad date.

Thankfully, this twisted tale of adolescence gone wrong returns to remind viewers of some important life lessons: If you're a strapping young lad (Moulder-Brown) who works at a public pool, watch out for the older female clientele. Don't fall head over heels for a flirtatious coworker (Asher), regardless of whether she's the hottest thing in go-go boots. And for heaven's sake, never ever lead a 15-year-old boy pumped up with too much testosterone into believing you'll help him lose his virginity. It will end in either tears or head wounds.

Instead of lauding the glories of young lust, Skolimowski's stalker love story charts the moment when puberty turns perversely predatory; its creepiness emerges from the way the hero's schoolboy crush slowly shifts from hormonal to horrifying. You think you're in for another coming-of-age movie about getting into someone's pants until you realize Deep End's real goal is getting under your skin.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

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Release details

Rated: R
Release date: Friday June 10 2011
Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Screenwriter: Jerzy Skolimowski, Jerzy Gruza, Boleslaw Sulik
Cast: Jane Asher
Christopher Sandford
Karl Michael Vogler
John Moulder-Brown
Diana Dors
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