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Poison ivy erotica

Debuting at Sundance, Katt Shea's erotic masterwork Poison Ivy changed the future of erotic thrillers forever. Shea, an auteur whose film Stripped to Kill is one of the most courageous and unabashedly feminist erotic films ever made blended elements of horror, erotica, and psychological pathos to create one of the last major studio produced art house films ever made.


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It started out as a quiet night in Gotham City, which was a relief to Barbara Gordon. Batman disappeared six weeks ago, leaving Barbara's alter-ego Batgirl to defend the city all by herself. Every night had been busy since, but tonight, felt like she was going to get a break. Unfortunately, the lull wouldn't last long.

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I felt that. Director Katt Shea, who also co-wrote the film with her then-husband Andy Ruben, stocks her movie with genre tropes, from its hilariously porny saxophone score to an almost chronic abundance of billowing white curtains.

‘poison ivy’ stories

But her film also has far more things on its mind, unexpectedly conjuring one of the most convincing, queasily relatable adolescent friendships in 90s cinema. Sylvie dubs her new friend Ivy after the tattoo she sports on her leg, while they pepper their conversations ivy white lies to make themselves poison cooler. They erotica of the inherent grossness of teenage boys, rebel via tattoos and piercings, and confess to each other their deepest resentments and sadnesses.

I guess I was always drawn to giving that person a voice. Shea knew that she wanted to cast Sara Gilbert, then best known as the snarky miserabilist Darlene on the TV sitcom Roseannein the role of Sylvie, but says that she went back and forth over the possible hiring of Drew Barrymore for Ivy. Shea remembers her as being difficult to pin down. She had her hair up in this little bun, and she just looked very angelic.

And I loved her, like right away. She had that charisma. I then wanted to see Sara and Drew together, and they came over to my house and we went over the script, and they were like two little kittens playing. It was instant rapport.

Shea admits he was slightly miscast as a school bully who teases Sylvie, but confesses that she could hardly resist the future grizzly bear botherer. Poison Ivy began filming in the summer ofbut production was reportedly a nightmare.

Unhappy with the lack of Cinemax-style trashiness, New Line executives fired Ruben, believing it would be easier to control Shea if she was isolated on set. Barrymore, potentially with more to lose if she were to cause trouble, declined to participate in the stand-off.

Revisiting the erotic coming-of-age thriller poison ivy

After a studio cut resulted in test audiences giving disastrous scores, New Line allowed Shea to re-edit the film to her satisfaction. When Poison Ivy was finally released a year later, it became a minor sensation, grossing a million dollars on a limited of screens and eventually cleaning up on VHS. As a result, it gave way to an unexpected franchise of increasingly thrusting-centric Poison Ivy movies, ones with only the loosest of connections to the original film, and substituting Barrymore for the likes of Jaime Pressly and Alyssa Milano in her pre-witchcraft softcore phase.

It was really weird because, after Poison IvyI got very few offers to direct, unfortunately. Up to that point, I really hadn't run into that glass ceiling.

I never even thought about it. And then when it got to the point of hiring me to do studio movies, I hit that glass ceiling really hard, and then I never worked again.

Currently based in Los Angeles, Shea now runs a successful acting class and remains proud of her film work, even if she expresses some sadness at how Hollywood largely turned its back on her. I would have loved to make a few more. Dazed media sites. Five that took body-shaming to a whole new level. Poison Ivy