3 Steps to Heaven


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Rating: R

Katrin Cartlidge as Suzanne/Candy/Billie
Freddie Annobil-Dodoo as Paul
Frances Barber as Andrea Wallis
Bridget Brammall as Maaake-up Girl
Siobhan Burke as Dawn
Paul Mark Elliott as John Bowles
James Fleet as Harry Roberts
Constantine Giannaris as Troy
Kevin Graal as Jack’s Sidekick
Elaine Hallam as Maureen
Stuart Laing as Sean
Scott Edmund Lane as Raymond
Caroline Loncq as Kate
Con O’Neill as Angel Farnham
Liz Ranken as Candy Lane
Kate Rhodes as Cindy
Jay Simpson as Robbie
David Sterne as Jack O’Leary

Special Features:

Other Info:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
French and Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 91 Minutes

This film was originally released in 1995 on television in the UK. Here’s the text from the DVD cover:

“An electrifying combination of action and suspense, 3 Steps to Heaven is an award-winning thriller about one woman’s search for the truth at any cost! A beautiful woman becomes obsessed with the death of her boyfriend even after the authorities have written it off as a simple drowning. Convinced that there is more to it, she decides to do her own detective work in an effort to uncover what really happened. When she finds out that he was last seen with three celebrities, she confronts them one by one . . . and slowly begins to piece together what went on that fateful night!”

3 Steps to Heaven is rated R for sexuality/nudity, language and drug use

The Movie:
The DVD cover for “3 Steps to Heaven” declares that the film is “A suspense filled ride! Powerful. Hypnotic. Mysterious.” In reality, I didn’t find it to be any of these things. I found it to be a confusing mess that wasn’t terribly exciting and was fairly perverted.

The first problem with “3 Steps to Heaven” is that it is confusing. If I hadn’t read the synopsis on the back cover, I would have been completely lost. Having read it, though, I was merely mostly lost. It’s very difficult to understand who the characters are, what they are doing, and why they are doing it. I would say that it’s not really clear until at least halfway through the film. It doesn’t help matters that the dialogue is hard to follow and is in thickly accented British. When you do figure it out, you think, “This was all it was about?” It’s fairly anticlimactic.

The second problem with this film is the gratuitous sex and nudity. I think almost every character in this film has a full frontal shot at one point or another. Most of these scenes seemed to serve no other purpose other than to show T&A and everything in between. For example, one scene shows the lead character looking at some keys. Then it’s like the director said, “How can we make this scene better? I know! Let’s make her topless!” So then she’s looking at the keys naked. It was ridiculous. It got worse from there as we are treated to nude shots of men getting out bubble baths and servicing each other with oral sex. I guess they were equal opportunity offenders.

Finally, there’s not a single likable character in the film. All of them are quite despicable for one reason or another. Our heroine Katrin Cartlidge who plays Suzanne/Candy/Billie is about the only basically good character, but her quest for revenge makes her come across as na├»ve and psychotic. This leaves you without anybody to identify with.

So what does 3 Steps to Heaven have going for it? Well, it’s a good looking film. The editing is fast paced and there are a lot of interesting camera angles. At times it even feels like a music video. It’s also an interesting study of celebrity and the corruption that goes along with it. The basic plot is preposterous and few celebrities would ever find themselves in a situation like the ones in this film, but I think their selfish motivations are true to form in some cases.

At this point in a DVD review I typically try and mention who I would recommend this film to. To be honest, I’m not sure who I would recommend watch 3 Steps to Heaven. It just wasn’t that great. I think fans of artsy crime dramas might enjoy it, but that’s about it. I think you’re better off looking elsewhere.

The Extras:
There are no extras included on this DVD.

The Bottom Line:
3 Steps to Heaven is a confusing story that features a lot of gratuitous sex and nudity. You’re better off looking elsewhere for a good crime drama.