Monday, July 1, 2024

Wild Things

Your feelings on 1998's Wild Things may vary based on whether or not, for you, the over-the-top salacious erotic thriller hits enough spots to be a guilty pleasure or not. Kevin Bacon referred to it as the trashiest script he had ever read. Tightly wrapping sex and titillation around a complicated plot involving a teacher and two of his students involved in a fake rape, a defamation lawsuit, and eventual double-crosses and murder, Wild Things is peak 90s sleaze.

The plot involves Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) being accused of rape by one of his students, Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards). Bolstered by a social outcast's supporting claim the case goes to trial until Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell) breaks under the stand admitting that the whole thing is nothing more than revenge scheme by Kelly against the teacher for his affair with her mother (Theresa Russell). Lombardo is acquitted, wins his own lawsuit, and (in a sleazy little motel) has a threesome with Kelly and Suzie who are revealed to have been part of the plan all along.

And that's really where Wild Things begins with revelations and twists that will continue all the way through to the closing credits as characters begin a flurry of panic and self-interest leading to murder and only one character still standing when all is said and done. Added to the mix are Bacon as one of the cops investigating the case (who is later revealed to be one of the conspirators as well).

The film is not without charm. You only need to compare it to its far lesser straight-to-video sequels to see Wild Things has more than most examples of the genre. It's sleek, fast-paced, and certainly steers into the sex at every turn including catfighting leading to a make-out scene involving Richards and Campbell in a pool and, of course, the trashy threesome. Is it a good film? That's hard to argue, but Wild Things can be a fun time for the right audience.

The new Special Edition available on both Blu-ray and 4K includes both the theatrical cut and an extended unrated version along with previously released extras including interviews, featurettes, trailers, outtakes, and audio commentary.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Wild Things
  • IMDb: link

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