Jean-Claude Van Damme, Rosanna Arquette, Kieran Culkin, Joss Ackland

The title of this grotesquely violent action film, which unreels with the pace of coagulating blood, could well he Somewhere to Punch. Kick. Shoot or Swat with Various Objects: The Crotch.

Van Damme plays a hank robber who escapes from a California prison. He hooks up with Arquette, a widow trying to protect her home from Ackland, a voracious land developer who wants to build a golf course in the area.

Ackland's predictable strong-arm tactics provoke Van Damme's predictable gallantry (and predictable peeking at Arquette without her shirt on). Director Robert Harmon tosses out one implausible scuffle after another. The bad guys think it's a killer move to spray Van Damme with cold water. He in turn jumps out of his well-covered hiding place so that, while diving, he can fire his handgun at a shotgun-wielding villain.

Most of the time, the phlegmatic Van Damme and the unidimensional Arquette seem to be having an impassivity contest; he's leading when time runs out. Arquette has two children, played by Tiffany Taubman and Culkin, who is not nearly as self-consciously cute as his brother Macaulay but is a much better actor. Writers Joe Eszterhas, Leslie Bohem and Randy Feldman are consistently uninventive and gratuitously obscene. Even when they try to give Van Damme an "hasta la vista, baby" tagline, it comes out ""au revoir,——er." (R)

>MADONNA'S MOVIE MISADVENTURE

MOVIE CRITIC ROGER EBERT GAVE IT HALF A STAR SUSAN STARK OF The Detroit News called it "trash." And in Peoria, where sexy is not supposed to "play" without Sturm und Drang, 52 people gathered in a 237-seat theater and giggled. Body of Evidence did not have an opening night to remember. Below, a roundup of reactions from around the U.S.:

THEATER

Loew's Fresh Pond Cinema, Cambridge, Mass.

Marketplace Cinemas, Marina del Key, Calif.

Water Tower Theatre, Chicago

Pembroke Pines 8, Fort Lauderdale

United Artists East Theater, Manhattan

Renaissance Theatre, Detroit

AUDIENCE REACTION

Belly laughs that dwindled to snorts and cackles

Sighs, coughs, nose blowing

Gasps of discomfort during hot-wax scene

Chuckles at reference to nipple clamps

Applause at Madonna's first nude scene; laughs when Anne Archer calls her a "coke-head slut"

A combination of laughter and squirming during S & M stuff

OVERHEARD REMARKS

"Stupid and contusing."

"I'm thinking about sneaking into A Few Good Men."

"Joe Mantegna does it for me."

"I'm traumatized. Madonna must work out all the time.

"She's got ugly panties."

"Without the sex, it could have been a made-for-TV movie."

  • Contributors:
  • Ralph Novak.