Plot: Marie (Sarah Laine) is about to turn eighteen, which means she should be receiving a sizable inheritance from her late mother. The will stated she would be given a large cash inheritance, but also a pair of valuable diamonds that are worth millions. But thanks to her stepfather Jay (Brad Johnson), she might not see any of her inheritance and be left to fend for herself. He has run his business into the ground and desperate for money, he wants to fund his personal life with Marie’s inheritance, though she won’t give up her future without a fight. Soon he is accused of rape and arrested, which means Marie can claim her rightful due, but not everyone is convinced the rape was real, despite the evidence involved. How far will Marie go to protect her inheritance and what lengths has she already gone to?
Entertainment Value: This third installment in the Wild Things series sticks close to the established franchise conventions, but feels like less of a remake than the previous sequel and more like a fresh narrative. Of course, the story is still rooted in the same core thread of denied wealth and betrayal, but at least Diamonds in the Rough isn’t a carbon reprint. While I appreciated the attempt to put a new coat of paint on the concept, this movie just doesn’t have the charisma and b movie vibes of the original, so it comes off as a mostly forgettable experience. I do think it is better than Wild Things 2, but that’s the highest praise I can offer here. The main issue is that the leads aren’t interesting and don’t embrace the premise, so we have middle of the road efforts, just going through the motions. The exceptions are Linden Ashby, who is solid here and Dina Meyer, who rolls with the b movie tone and dials up her performance. I just don’t understand why these sequels are so tame and toned down, when it was the over the top, neo noir elements that made the original so popular. In any case, Diamonds in the Rough is a decent watch, but isn’t in the same universe as the original.
The sleaze is minimal here, despite the effort to once again pay tribute to the infamous threesome from Wild Things. A few topless scenes are on hand, mostly brief and both leads use body doubles. I don’t normally mind or mention the body double use, but I think given the nature of the Wild Things series, you’d think casting would at least find girls comfortable with mild sleaze. This one has some mild violence, but little to no blood is involved. The usual dust ups and infrequent gun brandishing is present, though again, no real bloodshed here. The dialogue has some fun moments, with some trashy talk and family drama, but not much. The cast just doesn’t put much behind the performances, so what could be fun lines wind up as bland. When a little enthusiasm is put in, the dialogue picks up, but that doesn’t happen often. The same holds true for the general craziness, as the volume of dysfunction and betrayals offers some potential, but the cast lets them slip past.
Overall Insanity: 1/10