This is as good as schlock TV-moviemaking gets. Lindsay Wagner stars as Claudia Parr, a ridiculously rich California woman who, before the opening credits of She Woke Up roll, is attacked in her ridiculously large bathtub. A black-hooded intruder leaves her for dead, but Claudia survives, going into a 14-month-long coma only to emerge from it (”Fourteen months? You mean I’ve lost more than a year of my life?”) petrified that her would-be murderer will try again.
Whodunit, and who wants to dunit again? Is it Claudia’s sneery, polo-playing second husband, Sloan (David Dukes, wearing a notably poufy hairdo and a mustache that looks like two sardines kissing)? Is it her chilly stepmother (Frances Sternhagen), a stuffy grouch who can introduce herself to a stranger as ”an Egyptologist and private museum curator” with a perfectly straight face? Is it her sister, Alix (Maureen Mueller, late of Doctor, Doctor), a spoiled-brat sculptor who was playing hide-the-polo-stick with Sloan while Claudia was in her coma?
She Woke Up, written by Claire Labine and directed by Waris Hussein, manages the near-impossible: It’s campy and nerve-rattlingly convincing at the same time. Wagner is serenely good in this superior soap opera thriller, one that doesn’t so much transcend as revitalize the clichés of its genre. A-