For all three of you fans of the “Poison Ivy” movie series wondering when we’d finally see all four of the films from the series on Blu-Ray, Shout Factory finally brings it to us with extras and restorations. Truth is I’m eagerly awaiting the “Devil in the Flesh” duology on Blu-Ray (Sidenote: Do you think anyone has the balls to release the entire “Wild Things” saga?), but for now we have this neat box set of some of the best worst erotic trash that’s ever been brought to movie fans from Warner bros. And just in time for Valentine’s Day and Women in Horror Month, too! You can ogle a pre-career renaissance Drew Barrymore, or up and comer Jaime Pressly, or a post-“Degrassi” Miriam McDonald.
There’s no wrong option, is the bullet point of my explanation.
In “Poison Ivy,” Sara Gilbert plays Sylvie Cooper, a young student who is detached from her father Darryl (Tom Skerritt), both of whom are coping with her mother’s feigning health. When she befriends a gorgeous young student named Ivy, Ivy begins to insinuate herself in to Sylvie’s home life, seducing Sylvie’s father Darryl, and also slowly works out a plan to murder Sylvie’s ailing mother George (Cheryl Ladd). “Poison Ivy” is classic nineties erotic thriller junk with a decent cast, including a then popular Sara Gilbert, and Drew Barrymore, before she rebuilt her image as a wholesome comedy star. For all intents and purposes, Barrymore is sexy in the role, and “Poison Ivy” is trashy fun that feels like a more legitimized form of late night cable softcore. The Disc for “Poison Ivy” comes with an audio commentary from director Katt Shea, and you can watch “Poison Ivy” in its theatrical or unrated form. There are also the original trailers for “Poison Ivy.”
“Poison Ivy 2: Lily” is another bit of nineties erotic thriller pulp with Alyssa Milano pre-career renaissance, when she was trying to shed her child star persona for more adult, edgier far. Milano plays Lily, a sheltered Midwestern girl who arrives in LA to go to art school. When she moves in with her friends, she discovers a diary in her new apartment filled with sexual misadventures written by someone name Ivy. So thrilled by the diary is she, that she transforms herself in to Ivy and begins her own sexual journey. Along the way she seduces her friends including Gredin (Johnathon Shaech), and teachers and soon she becomes obsessed with one of her lovers. “Lily” is much more sex oriented than the previous film in the series, and garners one of the many heel roles by Xander Berkeley. The disc for “Lily” comes with the theatrical and unrated versions, and the original movie trailer.
“Poison Ivy: The New Seduction” is the series’ diving in to full on softcore porn as a young Jaime Pressly slums it on one of her many horrendous roles before becoming a big television star. Here she plays Violet, a long lost sister to Ivy, whose family was ruined by infidelity. In 1996, she comes back to infiltrate the family that ousted her mother and sisters leaving them homeless and basically ruining her childhood. Pressly as Violet becomes obsessed with her target and begins a campaign of revenge by sexually seducing and enacting pure revenge, which inevitably destroys her. Pressly is a blonde bombshell with a unique look and your mileage with this film depends on how much you admire her. The Disc for this contains the theatrical and unrated versions and the original trailer.
Lastly, “Poison Ivy: The Secret Society” from 2008 now sees the series in TV movie territory. We meet Daisy, a young girl who moves out of her small town after the death of a college student, and joins an elite group of young gorgeous girls called “The Ivies.” As Daisy makes good within the halls of her campus, she soon finds out there’s a lot more to this secret society of sorority girls. This new “Poison Ivy” is less about a temptress seducing and murdering people, and is more in line with the goofy “The Skulls” movie series, as she becomes embroiled with secret society melodrama, and people begin turning up dead. When Daisy becomes implicated in a murder, she has to clear her name while working around this deceitful sisterhood. In any case, it’s entertaining to see the cast, all of whom are far from their respective family based pasts. Miriam McDonald comes off of “Degrassi,” there’s Catherine Hicks from “Seventh Heaven,” and a gorgeous Shawna Waldron from the nineties classic “Little Giants.” This being a TV movie, there’s only one cut of “The Secret Society” on the final disc, along with the original trailer for the movie.