Introduction To My Novella Uncontrollable Urges
Uncontrollable Urges grew from one particular source—the 1995 movie Jade. Although the Joe Eszterhas’s script lacked a great deal and the movie flopped at the box office, I saw potential there for an interesting story. The movie focused on the sensationalism of sex and violence but didn’t bother to dig any deeper into their psyches.
I wanted to know why Katrina would become a Call Girl when she was supposedly happily married and I wanted to know why her husband had such murderous impulses. I wasn’t concerned with how Katrina was, like Catherine Tramell, was set up to be a suspect in a serious of unsolved murders. The twisting and turning didn’t turn me on or keep me interested. It was the characterizations and explorations of the darker emotions that I wanted deal with in my story.
The speech that Katrina gives as part of her professional Psychology conference in the movie resonated with me. She spoke of a psychological phenomenon known as Hysterical Blindness, which is now known as Conversion Disorder. Those particular disorders deal with psycho-somatic symptoms of illness though and not what one would label “blind rage.” The movie didn’t quite have the right problem. People who are unaware of their actions would be suffering from dissociation, depersonalization and psychological numbing. Certainly someone who has sociopathic tendencies can have a so-called psychotic break and become what is legally known as temporarily insane. Temporary insanity has been overused to the point that it is near impossible to prove in a court of law.
It would seem more likely that Katrina’s husband was deeply disturbed and probably suffered from Borderline Personality Disorder and/or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I decided that my character Chad would show his dysfunctions and subsequent abuse of his wife in a more prominately way in my story than in the movie Jade. Chad would suffer from an extreme case of a Madonna/Whore complex, which would trigger his rage when he discovered his wife was unfaithful to him.
I also didn’t like that fact that Matt Gavin got away with murder. The end of the movie Jade showed no consequences for his horrific actions. It would seem that Katrina continued to live in terror of her murderous husband for the rest of her days. It bothered me a great deal that she didn’t fight back or turn him in. This ending, of course, echoes Eszterhas’s more successful movie Basic Instinct where the murderous Catherine lives happily ever after with Detective Nick. Nick choosing to live with the dangerous and sexy sociopath Catherine somehow doesn’t seem near as troubling as Katrina living with her abusive husband. That is probably one of many reasons that Jade didn’t do near as well as Basic Instinct. Nick doesn’t come off as a victim, but Katrina does.
Although being a high class Call Girl would seem empowering, it really doesn’t seem to empower Katrina at all. She is rich and doesn’t need the money at all so why have a secret identity as a prostitute? It made much more sense to me that an unhappy house wife would simply choose to take the opportunity experiment sexually. I could identify with the need to be wild and crazy without having to get into all the political scandals of blackmailing Senators, Governors and other people of power. Ultimately prostitutes don’t wield as much power as they think they do and the role of victim is just replayed over and over by Katrina. My character of Lorena is less jaded than Jade and that makes her more sympathetic. She doesn’t realize who she really married or what she is getting herself into when she experiments, but those events lead to her awakening. Lorena is empowered once she confronts her husband and her fears and that is a much better ending to the story. The idea that she could be empowered in the face of all that sex and violence is what inspired me to write Uncontrollable Urges in the first place.