Thursday, May 24, 2007
With more sultry steam than a Shanghai spa and more sub-plots than Forest Lawn, WILD THINGS aims to put a little hitch in your cock. I think Alfred would approve.
And for you females out there, Kevin's bacon is hung out to dry in a shower scene. Honest.
Award-winning Director John McNaughton (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) has assembled a strong cast that includes Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Theresa Russell, Denise Richards, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Robert Wagner, Bill Murray, Carrie Snodgrass and the aforementioned Mr. Bacon. Shot in stimulating "Voyeur Vision" by cinematographer Jeffrey L. Kimball (of TOP GUN fame) and with a throbbing musical score by George S. Clinton, WILD THINGS would admittedly be little more than a guilty pleasure without the slew of surprises from screenwriter Stephen Peters. Combining a sexy scene every five minutes with a plot twist every three minutes, this Florida film noir combining gator bait with jail bait will have you guessing until the final credits. Trust your old Uncle Bob, Stephen's screenplay never, ever peters out...
The tag line for WILD THINGS is "They can turn you on or turn on you." Clearly the nubile Denise Richards is a case in point, especially when she is dripping water. (This reminds me of the famous quote about Esther Williams: "Dry, she ain't much. Wet, she's a star!")
Dillon plays a guidance counselor at the local high school in Blue Bay, Florida. With an abundance of foxy females -- both students and moms -- the town should be called Blue Balls. Unfortunately, I could not find this place within the pages of my trusty Rand McNally. Bummer, I guess Bulverde will have to do...
The opening scenes revolve around a school assembly featuring two detectives, Bacon and Rubin-Vega, who have been invited to give a talk on sex crimes. When they ask, "What is a sex crime?" one of the students replies, "Not gettin' any." That's one answer. Another involves the word "rape" -- which is exactly what Dillon is accused of, first by Richards, the daughter of one of the yachting enclave's most financially prominent families, and then by Campbell, a sleezy swamp trash vixen who lives alone on an alligator farm. Given the corroborating charges, Dillon is suspended from his job, loses his home and is outcast from his little slice of paradise.
Desperate, and with no other alternatives, Dillon turns to Murray who portrays a slimy shyster who hangs his shingle on the seedy side of town. Murray's performance is just one of many surprising highlights; this is undoubtedly one of his best on-screen performances. Needless to say, Murray is sharper than he looks and Dillon ultimately gets a $8.5 million settlement from Richards' wealthy estate.
What happens next contains more twists and turns than the new Maverick roller coaster at Cedar Point. Bottom line: If you are into Technicolor titillation, if you like your cinema more cheesy than Cheetos, if you agree that "lurid" trash is the best kind of all and if you miss Russ Meyer, then you'll find WILD THINGS to be right up your alley.
Your Uncle Bob sure did...