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Alligator Eyes

Though this thriller never lives up to its potential, it gets off to a scorching start. Three New York friends drive south for a vacation. Robbie (Roger Kabler) has just split up with his girl, while Lance (Allen McCullough) and Marjorie (Mary McLain) are trying to renew their once hot romance. On the road the trio picks up a hitchhiker whose long legs are set off by a short skirt and red spike heels. Her name is Pauline (Annabelle Larsen), and her presence is so hypnotic that it takes hours for them to realize she is blind. That handicap doesn’t stop Pauline from bedding Robbie and Lance, betraying Marjorie and leading them down the back roads of North Carolina to Portsmouth Island, where she claims she will take part in a music festival. But the only thing there for pistol-packing Pauline is a chance for revenge against the man who killed her mother.

First-time feature director John Feldman does wonders in building suspense on a low budget. But the script, which Feldman adapted from a short story he wrote in 1984, moves through the genres of comedy, fantasy, shocker and psychodrama without staying in one place long enough to make an impression. The actors, most of them new to features, are competent, except for Larsen, who is a knockout. Her erotic, obsessive performance is the one element of this meandering road movie that never goes off course.

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