Poison Ivy

Friday, March 17 - Saturday, March 18, 2023

“This culty erotic thriller received enough negative criticism from ignorant men when New Line Cinema released it in 1992, so I won’t waste time confronting its apparent problems. I’ll just write from my wicked little heart: I love Poison Ivy—but of course I love Poison Ivy, because I love the color red, and I love lots of rain in a movie, and I love horny melodrama. Director Katt Shea stuffs Poison Ivy with all three.

A teenaged Drew Barrymore plays Ivy, a poisonous teen and powerful slut. She befriends a weird girl named Sylvie (played by Sara Gilbert), and they begin a lesbianesque relationship. Not quite lesbian. But almost. Ivy quickly moves in with Sylvie (why? just because) and her parents, who own a pink castle. Sylvie’s father is a Danny Westneat-like editorialist, and Sylvie’s mom is bedridden and hot. Ivy turns on the entire family, eventually murders one of them, fucks another, and spends the rest of the film tormenting the third.

Singer SZA named a song after Barrymore, and specifically Barrymore’s performance in Poison Ivy. Let’s close this blurb with SZA’s take on the movie: ‘She was fucking up families and being weird, but she really just wanted to be loved. She was lashing out because she was lonely and pissed that her life was like this. I felt that.’ I felt that, too.”

– Chase Burns, The Stranger 

  • Year 1992
  • Running Time 88 minutes
  • Distributor Warner Brothers
  • Director Katt Shea
  • Cast Drew Barrymore, Tom Skerritt, Sara Gilbert

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