Monday, January 6, 2014

mortal thoughts about wild things

One of these things is not like the others. Mortal Thoughts (1991), directed by Alan Rudolph, could be called a thriller, but it's not an erotic thriller. Demi Moore keeps her clothes on the entire movie. So does Harvey Keitel.

Moving on to the second DVD promotional insert—I think they were included with Brian De Palma's Body Double (1984), which someone left in the lobby of my apartment building five years ago—one of these things is like two of the others, but the straight-to-video sequels to John McNaughton's erotic thriller Wild Things (1998) are sequels in name only, conveniently tagged with a brand name Sony could slap on DVD boxes since "Erotic Thriller Set in South Florida 2" and "3" may not immediately remind potential renters of Neve Campbell, Denise Richards, and Matt Dillon having a three-way in a scuzzy motel room.

One more thing about all of these things, because one of these things is not like any of the others: In the Cut (2003) was cowritten and directed by Jane Campion, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Piano (1993) (costarring Harvey Keitel in all his full-frontal glory) and was nominated for Best Director, making her only the second female since 1929 to be nominated for that Oscar, and the first for an English-language film—Seven Beauties (1975), directed by the first-ever female nominee, Lina Wertmüller, is an Italian-language production.

That said, In the Cut is still an erotic thriller. America's onetime sweetheart Meg Ryan takes her clothes off. But the movie wasn't a hit with critics or audiences. Maybe it's improved with age—I haven't seen it—but for trashy fun, stick with the original Wild Things. And if you're in the mood to respect Demi Moore for her acting, not her body, see Mortal Thoughts.