Fatal Flip full movie review - O.K. Lifetime Gothic
I watched last night's Lifetime "world premiere," a film called "Fatal Flip," a pretty routine production from that channel ? it was also shot under the working title "The Fixer Upper" but if Christine Conradt had written it (she didn't, though it might have been better if she had!
) she would have called it "The Perfect Handyman." Jeff (Michael Steger) and Alex (Dominique Swain), a young couple who've been living together but have avoided even getting formally engaged, much less married, decide to take out a loan, buy a dilapidated house somewhere (this is nominally taking place in New England but, being a Lifetime production, it was almost certainly shot in Canada), fix it up themselves and then "flip" it ? sell it to someone else for a higher price that will cover the loan and their expenses. Only because of the terms of the loan, if they can't finish the job and resell the house in 45 days they're going to be socked with heavy interest penalties and will lose so much on the deal they'll probably have to declare bankruptcy. They quickly realize they're in over their heads on the repair job, and one day at the analogue of Home Depot in this fictional world they run into Nick (Mike Faiola), an all-purpose handyman. Jeff cuts a deal with Nick to hire him to help them with the remodel in exchange for a share of the profits they expect from flipping the house, and since he's homeless part of the deal is that he can live in the house while they do the job.
There seem to be only two other significant characters, both women: the realtor who sold them the house (unidentified, at least this early, on IMDb.com's cast list), and Alex's friend Roslyn (Tatiana Ali ? the only cast member I've heard of before), whose plot function is obscure but who at least provides some nice eye candy for any straight guys who might be watching this. Both the women are instantly attracted to Nick and they even make a bet with each other over who can get him first, but Nick is casting lascivious eyes at Alex and challenging her to go to bed with him just to prove she wants something more than the boring life she's trying to escape. Of course, being a reasonably attractive man in a Lifetime movie, he's also got other particularly unpleasant quirks. "Fatal Flip" is a pretty straightforward Lifetime movie, neither as bad as some of them nor as good as others, and though director Bharoocha gets some nice Gothic effects during the silent scenes in which Nick is sinisterly stalking Jeff and Alex through the crumbling old pile they're trying to restore into something saleable, she's hamstrung by the weaknesses of her cast. Mike Faiola as Nick is a reasonably attractive man but hardly the drop-dead gorgeous babe-magnet the script tells us he is, and Michael Steger looks like the result of a bizarre genetic experiment that attempted to cross-breed Harry Langdon and Tim Allen. I can't really tell you how good these people are as actors since the script doesn't require much from them in the way of acting, but I suspect there's a reason Tatiana Ali is the only cast member here you're likely to have heard of before!