Lisa (1990 film)

Lisa is a 1990 American thriller film directed by Gary Sherman and starring Staci Keanan, D. W. Moffett, Cheryl Ladd, and Jeffrey Tambor. Its plot follows a teenage girl's infatuation with a stranger that, unknown to her, is a serial killer-stalker.

Film Poster for the 1990 film Lisa.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGary Sherman
Written byGary Sherman
Karen Clark
Produced byFrank Yablans
CinematographyAlex Nepomniaschy
Edited byRoss Albert
Music byJoe Renzetti
Distributed byMGM/UA Communications Co.
Release date
  • April 20, 1990 (1990-04-20)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4.3 million[1]


Fourteen-year-old Lisa Holland lives with her mother Katherine, a successful florist, in Venice Beach, California. Lisa is beginning to show a keen interest in boys but is not allowed to date due to her mother’s strict rule about not dating until she is 16. It is revealed that Katherine had Lisa when she was 14 years old. Abandoned by Lisa's father, Katherine was forced to leave home after her parents demanded that she put Lisa up for adoption. These facts have made Katherine very wary about Lisa dating, feeling she would end up like her mother. Lisa’s desire to have a boyfriend is furthered by her best friend Wendy Marks, whose less-strict mother and father have allowed her to start dating.

Meanwhile, there is a serial killer running loose in Venice Beach, nicknamed the Candlelight Killer, so called because he seduces and rapes his victims by candlelight before killing them. The Candlelight Killer is a suave, good-looking, and successful restaurateur named Richard, who looks more like a sexy model than a serial killer. Richard stalks good-looking women once he finds out where they live. Uniquely, Richard calls his victims over the telephone leaving messages on their answering machines saying he's in their house and is going to kill them. As the women are listening to his message, Richard grabs them from behind and then begins his vicious attacks.

One night, Lisa is coming home from the grocery store and accidentally runs into Richard, leaving the house of another victim. Lisa is mesmerized by his good looks and follows him to his car once he leaves, copying down his license plate number. Through the DMV she is able to get his address and telephone number. Lisa then begins to call up Richard on the phone and engages him in seductive conversation. Richard is intrigued by their conversations, yet is more interested in finding out who she is, mainly because he is the one now being stalked.

Lisa and Wendy follow Richard, finding out where he lives and works. Lisa even gets into Richard's car alone at one point only to have to hide in the back seat when he unexpectedly shows up. All this goes on unknown to Katherine, and with each succeeding conversation, in which Lisa reveals more about herself, Richard pushes Lisa towards meeting him for a date. Still at a standoff with her mother when it comes to dating, Wendy suggests that Lisa set up Katherine with Richard, implying that maybe if her mother "gets some," she will ease up and let Lisa date.

As Easter weekend approaches, Lisa plans to go away with Wendy and her family to Big Bear, California. Katherine and Lisa decide to have a girls' night out dinner before she leaves, and Lisa makes reservations at Richard's restaurant. Lisa calls Richard telling him that she will be at the restaurant that night. While at the restaurant Lisa and her mother get into a quiet argument over dating again, with Lisa telling her mother that if she "got laid once in a while, maybe she wouldn't be such a bitch about [her] dating." A furious Katherine goes to the bathroom telling Lisa to pay the bill with her credit card. Richard gets a love note from Lisa with the bill, which reveals Katherine's credit card information, which he uses to track her down.

Meanwhile, Richard begins to stalk the unsuspecting Katherine. While in Big Bear, Lisa decides to give Richard a call. He reveals to her that he knows her name is Katherine, and that he knows where she lives. On the night Lisa is to return from Big Bear, Katherine enters the apartment and hears a message from Richard. Meanwhile, Lisa returns home and enters the apartment. Running into her room she is attacked by Richard who has knocked her mother unconscious. Richard brings Lisa into Katherine's bedroom and plans to assault her; Lisa sees the candles and realizes he is the Candlelight Killer. Katherine regains consciousness, however, and knocks Richard out a window to his death.



Home mediaEdit

This film was part of MGM MOD Wave 16 and was released on DVD-R on June 28, 2012.[2] A Blu-ray edition, featuring a commentary track from director Gary Sherman and an interview with D. W. Moffett supervised by Scorpion Releasing, was released in December 2015 by Kino Lorber.


  1. ^ "Lisa (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  2. ^ "Lisa DVD on".

External linksEdit