POISON IVY (1992)

drew1

 

Directed By: Katt Shea
Story By: Melissa Goddard
Written By: Katt Shea &  Andy Ruben
Cinematography By: Phedon Papamichael
Editor: Gina Mittelman 


Cast: Drew Barrymore, Sara Gilbert, Tom Skeritt, Cynthia Gibb

Ivy a sexy teen who lives with her aunt, moves in with a reclusive teen and slowly works her way into the lives of her adopted family. The mother is sickly and can’t sexually satisfy her husband any more, and to the daughter’s horror, Ivy begins seducing her father.

This film takes me back, due to the success of sexual thrillers such as basic instinct everywhere you looked there seemed to be Films like it. Some were actually inspired most weren’t they filmmakers cast playboy playmates ironically who usually listed actress or movie star on their profiles or professional nude models. His was the days before the Internet so softcore porn as head films usually were called. Were staples of industry especially on the straight to home idea market and after hours on mast cable stations where cable stations like Cinemax actually earned the name skinemax. There were certain stars of these films. Usually an actress with fake body parts parading around nude acting unconvincingly. Also a lot of the times actors whose prime had since extinguished starred in these films. I am sure for the check. Then his film came along and kind of gave star Drew Barrymore a resurgence soon you would see child stars pop up in these films later in life wanting to be seen in a different light as an adult that is how soon you had Alyssa Milano IN EMBRACE THE VAMPIRE to recently Christy Carlson Romano of the Disney channel show EVEN STEVENS in MIRRORS 2.

Based on an experience that producer Melissa Goddard had when she was younger. She had a friend stay with her and her family and eventually she seduced her father.

Drew Barrymore is some kind of genius as his film began he resurrection of her career that pretty much has always found a way to stabilize and stay afloat. She has proven to be a survivor and a competent actress. I will admit y whole reason for watching his when I was 14 was because I had a crush on her Plus Sara Gilbert starred in it and at the time I was a huge fan of the show ROSEANNE. As I said before this was before the internet, but this film got covered so much on the entertainment show ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT which at the time other the. Movie magazines were my only real connection to the film world. So of course the film intrigued me. Plus they kept saying how controversial and sexually explicit the film was. So of course at the time they had me hook line and sinker. When I first watched the film i was mesmerized didn’t remember much of the story but remembered drew Barrymore. I thought the film was incredibly sexy and shocking in ways. To tell the truth half the time I believe most people rented these films and like some with porn fast forwarded through the story and just got to the action. I was not one of them most of the time.

The Character of Ivy was originally written to live at the end of the film. The script had Ivy leave the Coopers home at the end and go hitch-hiking. It was only when New Line Cinema told Director, Katt Shea, that they wanted Drew Barrymore’s character to die, that she had to go back and film the ending once all the other shooting had finished.

Now having watched the film again recently I could see my hormones were working overtime and I clearly had not seen a lot of good cinema. The film is the equivalent of fast food and by today’s standards is really tame. It’s slow as with these types no films he story is predictable and simple. The drama is played up and treated so seriously when in reality it’s nothing but melodrama to move the plot forward for seduction and sex scenes. Which are more hinted at and explicit rather than fully shown. It is more about titillation and trying to make the scenes look glossy then any actual truth.

When it comes to these types of erotic dramas for some odd reason the directors focus on materials such as sheets and fabric of clothing and the atmosphere and camera all of a sudden become hazy. In some cases to hide the faces of the body doubles. That makes he action hard to see and rather makes the footage moist rather than hot, See the films of Adrian Lyne and the films plus series of Zalaman king to see it done well. Though highly pretentious which I believe was to give it a touch of class, to hide it’s usual creepy or smarmy undertone that the characters and story revolve around.

This film is all about lies and seduction which most are and a death is involved. You can watch the film to see a partially nude Drew Barrymore (yeah they screw you on the promise of seeing her full naked which you can see in other films surprisingly studio films at that) but this film obviously isn’t for the ladies as they couple her with a much older Tom Skeritt which makes this film already have a hint of perversion. As she is playing underage. maybe all the foreplay and seduction is meant for the females in the audience. Or the producers know obviously who their audience is.

When I was younger i will admit this was one of my preferred favorite films to watch me. I was a fan of Sara Gilbert (loved the show ROSEANNE at the time) so her plus bad girl troubled Drew Barrymore and the promise of erotica and girl on girl kissing. I was in heaven and I wasn’t disappointed. There was sex, betrayal, sex, Murder, sex. Even if Tom Skeritt has to be involved in the sex scenes. It was o.k. Though as I watch it now this film which spawned more straight to home Video sequels.

The acting is good in this film, Drew Barrymore making an excellent femme fatale and Sara Gilbert as the unsuspecting wise cracking poor little rich girl. Even though it’s an erotic thriller aimed at men. It seems to play more to women as it is more soft core. Though really it seems a movie of interest to teens as a kind of beginner into erotica. Starring characters in the lead roles closer to their own age.

This is it a heartless film. Everything here pretty much happens by accidents in this film nothing was too premeditated. This film is sleazy and you feel dirty after watching it, but it’s nice to watch Drew Barrymore come into her own acting wise.

Though this film wouldn’t rate as an erotic thriller much these days. The modern day ones show any and everything. This one would be considered tame and kind of a tease.

While the film is bad . Director Katt Shea tries hard to make the material work. Heavy reliance on symbolism ad trying to make scenes deep when they aren’t makes a lot of the film feels overwrought, This is actually one of the better made straight to video erotic thrillers and or of the earliest before the market became swamped with them. They ended up making plenty of sequels to the film where none of he original stars return, but always revolves around the character of ivy usually a friend or family member of hers stirs up trouble. Some of the sequels actually starred Alyssa Milano needing a career boost at the time as again erotic scenes bit her mostly clothed and Jamie Pressley who actually went full nude. almost like this series of films was a right of passage. Though they don’t make films like this anymore. Like most films and it’s sequels this one is the best made one (though the one with Jamie Pressley is the best scripted one as it seems to realize what it is and ventures into campiness quite a few times)

I know his review might seem sexist. I just wanted to shed a light on a log forgotten genre and a film that I remember vividly having an impact of my film viewing. There is even a blink and you miss it cameo bit Role played by Leonardo DiCaprio back before he was a star.

I would say proceed of you want to for more of a nostalgia trip. On the plus side you can probably find all the movies together in one package.

Grade: D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s