Ahh, the pleasures of guilty pleasures... Poison Ivy is just enough daddy-stealin', lesbian-lovin', body-doublin', creepy eroticism to be one. I discovered it as a kid on late night television -- edited but sleazy on TNT -- back when TNT used to air good trash cinema, not just the high profit garbage cinema they air now. Honestly though, how would anyone have found The Shawshank Redemption without them?
Poison Ivy caught Drew Barrymore at the peak age to not show the goods, so it's all skeevy Tom Skerritt and that (probably lovely) anonymous woman's tits. But that SCORE! It's sultry from the opening credits, it's courtesy of David Michael Frank, and it sounds like what late night TV should sound like. It lets you know things are heating up for those truly great bits. The bits where the naughty Lolita, known only as Ivy -- as named by the tattoo on her upper thigh -- sways the hubby to go down on her in front of his unconscious wife, while wearing the wife's best dress no less! Those bits.
It's pulpy, constantly amusing, and dare I say... kind of thoughtful? It's got Sara Gilbert as Darlene Connor as a bi-curious loner, tire swings, teen-to-dog standoffs, car accidents, pill-popping, fucking in the rain on car hoods! Proceed with caution though.... I'm seriously weirded out by Tom Skerritt on full display in the unrated cut. I'll stick to my childhood comforting TV edit thank you.
Katt Shea seems like a genuinely skilled filmmaker. It all looks very nice, and just the opening scene of the sexy/innocent Ivy floating by on a tire swing is enough to prove the woman's talent. And then she did The Rage: Carrie 2, so who really knows...
Give it a look sometime. Late at night, edited for cable.
*Specifically chosen screengrabs to make it look suspiciously more arty and sexy than it actually is.