(Geoff Steven, New Zealand, 1978) 103 minutes


Director: Geoff Steven
Producer: John Maynard
Screenplay: Piers Davies, Roger Horrocks, Geoff Steven
Photography: Leon Narbey
Editor: Simon Sedgely
Art Director: Ron Highfield
Sound: Graham Morris
Deryn Cooper (Sandra Ray)
Ken Blackburn (Bob Warner)
Grant Tilly (Philip Barrett)
Alan Jervis (Vic Shaw)
Glenis Levestam (Alice Barrett)
Heather Lindsay (Rita Warner)
Bill Johnston (Michael Campbell)

Reviews and notes

Honest, worldly wise and often very funny - that's my impression of SKIN DEEP. Here's a movie about a small town in New Zealand. filmed at Raetihi and authentic in every detail. Yet its story has universal meaning. The language is Kiwi but the story is about people as they are everywhere in the world. Real people.

Founded on a good, shapely screenplay by director Geoff Steven in collaboration with Piers Davies and Roger Horrocks, SKIN DEEP has the sort of lively dialogue you can hear daily anywhere in New Zealand and nowhere else at all.

What happens in the small town, though, when the gym manager lures a masseuse from Auckland as part of the businessmen's association's efforts to modernise and expand, is a variation on an all-too familiar old story.

The observation is spot on, the satire often witty. Wisely, some of the best shots have been assembled in an exceptionally effective trailer advertising the film.

Your sympathy is won from the start by the good-humoured scene where the masseuse at the wheel of her jalopy keeps her cool while another driver, eyeing her with appreciation, tries to overtake.

Deryn Cooper plays the masseuse admirably, bringing authority to her role and conveying disillusion without cynicism. Grant Tilly and Ken Blackburn as the men most affected by her disturbing presence are also excellent. So, congratulations to Geoff Steven and all concerned on the production. Of its kind this film is good - a social comedy without exaggerated pretensions and above all, good entertainment.
-Catherine de la Roche, The Dominion, 16 February 1979.

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