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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Basic Instinct (1992)

After a retired rock star (Bill Cable) is brutally stabbed to death with an ice pick, suspicion points to a bi-sexual writer (Sharon Stone) he had been sleeping with. The detective (Michael Douglas) on the case, a loose cannon with psychological problems himself, is attracted to the suspect but it's a dangerous attraction as the bodies start piling up. When it premiered in 1992, BASIC INSTINCT was a hot button for the gay community who objected to its depiction of gay/bi-sexual women as killers and the sexual content pushed the envelope. The director Paul Verhoeven had to cut the film to avoid an NC-17 rating. Fortunately, the edits have since been restored. The reviews were mixed but the film was an international massive hit that made Sharon Stone a star. I think it's an excellent, if flawed, film and the animosity toward it misguided. Verhoeven has made an erotic thriller that has content to it rather than just visceral kicks. He's not only made a film in the style of Hitchcock but unlike many of the Hitchcock clones, like Hitchcock he's given the movie a subtext. Compare this to a dud wannabe like STILL OF THE NIGHT and you'll get what I mean. The often stunning lensing by Jan De Bont and the terrific score by Jerry Goldsmith elevate the film. With Dorothy Malone, Jeanne Tripplehorn, George Dzundza, Wayne Knight and Leilani Sarelle.

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