From February through May, the IFC Center in New York is featuring something unique, odd, and spectacular: a late-night weekend film series spotlighting the erotic thrillers of the 1980s and 1990s. This genre was huge business in America throughout those two decades. It’s hard to imagine now, in an era where the multiplexes are almost entirely purged of sexuality in favor of puritanical blockbusters, but movies in this country used to be a bunch more pervy.
Honestly, this trend is a bit before my time also — the only film featured here I ever saw theatrically was WILD THINGS, and I only really did that because it features Bill Murray in a hilarious extended cameo as a sleazy lawyer. You youngsters can’t recall a time where erotica wasn’t a simple click away, but older readers remember a time when you’d have to wait up late to catch movies like these on cable to get a flash of hard-R goodness. Again, I kind of straddle the generational line here — I was too young for Drew Barrymore in POISON IVY and even too young for Alyssa Milano in POISON IVY 2, but I know more than I might let on about Jaime Pressly and POISON IVY 3.
For whatever reasons (the Bush presidency? war? religion? Janet Jackson? porn? the internet? feminist blog culture? nerd culture? Netflix?) the popularity of the theatrically-released erotic thriller virtually died out in the 2000s. The only recent example that comes quickly to mind is 2009’s OBSESSED, with Beyoncé Knowles and Idris Elba, and that was a PG-13. Culturally speaking, it’s genuinely fascinating to contemplate the ebb and flow of genre trends by revisiting these films — many of which are from vitally important filmmakers — or then again, maybe I’m just making up excuses to go see Neve Campbell kissing on Denise Richards again. Could it even be both?
Here’s the line-up:
February 14th – February 16th
FATAL ATTRACTION (1987, d. Adrian Lyne)
February 21 – February 22
JADE (1995, d. William Friedkin)
February 28 – March 1
SINGLE WHITE FEMALE (1992, d. Barbet Schroeder)
March 7 – March 8
SLIVER (1993, d. Phillip Noyce)
March 14 – March 15
DRESSED TO KILL (1980, d. Brian De Palma)
March 21 – March 22
BLACK WIDOW (1987, d. Bob Rafelson)
March 28 – March 29
WILD THINGS (1998, d. John McNaughton)
April 4 – April 5
BODY DOUBLE (1984, d. Brian De Palma)
April 11 – April 12
CAT PEOPLE (1982, d. Paul Schrader)
April 18 – April 19
BODY HEAT (1981, d. Lawrence Kasdan)
April 25 – April 26
BASIC INSTINCT (1992, d. Paul Verhoeven)
May 2 – May 3
POISON IVY (1992, d. Katt Shea Ruben)
All the movies are midnight screenings. Buy tickets in advance from the official site!
- [THE BIG QUESTION] WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE ENSEMBLE IN MOVIES? - July 22, 2016
- [IN THEATERS NOW] THE BOY (2016) - January 24, 2016
- Cult Movie Mania Releases Lucio Fulci Limited Edition VHS Sets - January 5, 2016
Tags: Adrian Lyne, Angie Dickinson, Barbet Schroeder, bill murray, brian de palma, Denise Richards, Film Series, Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas, New York, paul schrader, Paul Verhoeven, Sharon Stone, Theresa Russell, William Friedkin