POISON IVY was a movie, then a franchise, and a genre, and an American institution. I don’t know if it was the first erotic thriller that could be described as “teenage FATAL ATTRACTION,” but I do think it kicked off many more of them, likely influencing movies like THE CRUSH, THE BABYSITTER, DEVIL IN THE FLESH and SWIMFAN, and evolving into WILD THINGS and CRUEL INTENTIONS and their DTV sequels. POISON IVY mostly spread its metaphorical itchy rash of underage femme fatalery by growing in clusters on late night cable and in the suspense/thriller section of video stores, but before that it had a very limited theatrical release on May 8, 1992.
Sara Gilbert (four seasons into Roseanne) made her movie debut starring as Sylvie “Coop” Cooper, protagonist and narrator-via-journal-entries. She’s a private school kid who sees herself as an outcast whose very rich parents don’t understand her. She wears Doc Martens, a tie-dyed yin yang shirt, and has an Egyptian eye design shaved discreetly under her hair. She smokes cigarillos, including in bed. She claims to have no friends*. She tells needless lies, like that she’s adopted, and that she’s half Black, and that she tried to commit suicide. Also she plays piano, loves her dog Fred (who she says doesn’t like any other humans), and teaches reading to inner city kids two days a week. A messed up kid but a good kid. (read the rest of this shit…)