Picks and Pans Review: Deadly Intentions...again?

updated 02/11/1991 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/11/1991 01:00AM

ABC (Mon., Feb. 11, 9 P.M. ET)

B+

True-life crime stories rarely become TV movies unless the villain has either been convicted or is dead. As a consequence this genre doesn't offer up many sequels. This is the exception.

Deadly Intentions was a 1985 ABC mini-series starring Michael Biehn as a doctor plotting to kill his wife. Based on the 1982 book by Randy Stevens, the prosecutor who tried Dr. Patrick Henry for attempted murder, it ended with Biehn, like his real-life prototype, going off to prison. In this follow-up, a dramatized recounting of the experiences of Henry's second wife, Harry Hamlin plays the doctor, paroled after more than six years in jail. From the movie's opening shot, it's apparent that rehabilitation didn't work; he's literally itching to exact revenge on those who put him away. At the same time, he's working hard on destroying the sanity of his second spouse, Growing Pains' Joanna Kerns. (In 1988 Henry was convicted of drug and weapons charges and returned to prison.)

While the original was too long, director James Sadwith spins out the sequel with a good deal of visual suspense. Even though the characters are only sketched in, Hamlin and Kerns turn in their most engaging and energetic performances ever.

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