20 Years Later, “Cruel Intentions” is Still One of My Favorite Erotic Dramas

Back in Theaters on March 22nd for One Week Only.

“Cruel Intentions” is what many would describe as camp, but also high camp–which is probably why I love it so much. For a time where just about everything in the nineties was derived from classic literature only re-worked for teens (“Pygmalion,” “Emma,” “Romeo & Juliet” to name a few), I’m surprised anyone thought it would be a great idea to take “Dangerous Liasons” and turn it in to an erotic thriller marketed for younger audiences. While the movie doesn’t feature teenagers, it’s heavily dominated by a cast of young actors entering their early twenties, along with a lot of intimations toward prepubescent sex.

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Kalifornia (1993): Collector’s Edition [2 Disc Blu-Ray]

In 1993, Brad Pitt was one of the golden boys of Hollywood depicted as nothing more than a sex symbol. For years Pitt tried to reverse that image, and “Kalifornia” is one of his many efforts to break that sex symbol pigeon hole in favor of revealing his inherent acting ability. Paired with the right material, Pitt is a very good actor, but “Kalifornia” isn’t one of his best performances, no matter how hard he tries to channel his inner slime ball. That’s because “Kalifornia” is a bland and forgettable thriller with a great idea that it manages to piss away quite well.

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Kiss Kiss (2019)

I knew I was in trouble with “Kiss Kiss” when twenty minutes in, the film had shifted to its third musical montage involving our female characters. “Kiss Kiss” is not only incredibly silly, but insanely boring to the point where I shut it down once the credits showed. I didn’t even want to soak in what was basically just an excuse to show women bouncing around and inflicting pain on one another for ninety excruciating minutes.

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The Poison Ivy Collection [Blu-Ray]

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.

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Single White Female (1992): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

1992 seems like such a long time ago, and “Single White Female” is one of the more influential thrillers to come out of a decade filled with them. While the eighties had “Fatal Attraction,” the nineties had what is one of the more interesting films that inspired a number of copycats in the latter years. Director Barbet Schroeder’s drama thriller is by no means a masterpiece, but it’s a solid film that takes a few pages from “Fatal Attraction” while offering a villain that’s much more psychologically broken.

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Sex and Fantasies in High Demand: The Girlfriend Experience

It’s no surprise that, rather than a most established performer and actress like Scarlett Johannson or Christina Hendricks, director Steven Soderbergh sought out Sasha Grey for the lead role in “The Girlfriend Experience.” Grey had spent years making millions off building the fantasies of her male (and female) audience with dozens of notable porn movies, as well as building a humongous line of sex toys that promote fantasy fulfillment for an audience that want every piece of her. Much like Grey, “The Girlfriend Experience” is about the fantasy and the reality that we may not realize isn’t always enticing.

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X-Rated Alley: Virtual Encounters 2 (1998), 42nd Street Forever: The Peep Show Collection Vol. 20 (DVD)

“Virtual Encounters 2” is from Surrender Cinema, one of Charles Bands’ sub labels that specialized in the type of movie you’d usually find on late night Fridays and Saturdays on Cinemax back in the nineties. It’s always a good sign when you enter in to a new movie and the first thing you see are a woman’s erect nipples. “Virtual Encounters 2” is the okay sequel to the okay original film. The sequel follows a new group of characters, setting down on two dorm mates at Midvale College. Mel has wet dreams about the girl of his dreams and is discovered by his roommate Sam who actually can score with women. Sam convinces Mel to attend an art class with nude models and Mel is shocked to see one of the nudes are the girl of his dreams.

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X-Rated Alley: 100 Girls By Bunny Yeager (1997) [Blu-Ray], Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon (1982) (DVD)

Many Nikkatsu Roman Porno films tend to integrate sub-genres within their basic frame works of being soft core pornography. While their movies inject frames like crime thrillers, dramas, and romance comedies, every one of these installments garner some long and drawn out sex scene involving petting or molestation. The same can be said for Impulse Pictures’ “Nurse Diary: Beast Afternoon” which is from the Roman Porno library but is deep down a pinku version of a giallo film. Folks that are typically turned off by Nikkatsu films just may find this in their interest.

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