History of Sex in Cinema:
1995, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Never Talk to Strangers (1995)
In this psycho-sexual thriller (similar in part to The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Basic Instinct (1992)), brilliant, cool blonde criminal psychologist Dr. Sarah Taylor (Rebecca DeMornay) was evaluating the sanity of accused serial killer Max Cheski (Harry Dean Stanton).
In the meantime, she fell in love with smooth talking, quick-tempered, passionate, long-haired Latino stranger Tony Ramirez (Antonio Banderas) who she said was "a bad influence."
In Tony's "loft" apartment where walls were composed of wire fencing and wooden cages, she found vigorous, kinky thrills with him inside one of the 'caged' or mesh-screened rooms.
But she was increasingly frightened by things sent to her: threatening phone messages, dead flowers, her own newspaper obituary, and her dead cat.
In the twist ending, it was revealed that Tony was a police officer and surveillance expert investigating the disappearance of Sarah's ex-fiancee a year earlier.
He demonstrated that Sarah had multiple personality disorder - she was stalking herself by sending the strange gifts. Her illness stemmed from an abusive childhood from her despised father Henry (Len Cariou) (who committed incest) during which time she murdered her mother to satisfy Henry and cover up the crime.
In the end, Sarah's homicidal alter ego killed both Tony and her father, and then convinced the police that Tony murdered her father and that she killed Tony in self-defense.
Dr. Sarah Taylor
A Reason to Believe (1995)
Holly Marie Combs (star of TV's magical fantasy series Charmed as Piper Halliwell) was featured in this mostly-unseen, low-budget, independent film by first-time director Douglas Tirola. The intelligent film was about date rape on a college campus, expressed by the tagline:
Combs appeared topless (as Sharon) in one short sex scene that was unrelated to the main plot. As a second male watched (with his hand down his pants masturbating) and drank beer, she ripped open a condom packet with her teeth, then put a condom on another naked guy in front of her, and provided oral sex. She then removed her sweater to reveal her breasts, and let the male fondle her. This scene was possibly one of the few reasons that anyone had even heard of this film.
In the film's main plot, a popular and pretty sorority girl named Charlotte Byrne (Allison Smith) attended a frat party where she was raped (forced into unwanted sex) by her boyfriend Wesley's (Danny Quinn, actor Anthony Quinn's son) womanizing best friend Jim (Jay Underwood).
Subsequently, she lost her boyfriend, was shunned by her sorority sisters, and suffered confusion and terror. She was even accused of raping the aggressive male: "You raped him." When she finally took a stand against the rape and made strong allegations (with support from a campus women's group), her actions led to both positive and negative consequences.
Rape of Charlotte
Director Paul Verhoeven's erotic show-biz, sexploitation drama (teamed up again with screenwriter Joe Eszterhas) was the first attempt of Hollywood to mass market a studio film with an NC-17 rating (since the failure of Caligula (1979)), although it was a tremendous flop (with domestic box-office of only $20 million from a production budget of $45 million). In subsequent years, it has regained some of its status as a deliberately campy, misogynistic guilty-pleasure adult film, with some unfortunate depictions of the mistreatment of women. It remains the highest-grossing NC-17 rated film of all-time with almost double the box-office take of its next major competitor, Henry & June (1990) at $11.6 million.
Although it flopped at the box-office, the notorious film found an audience among cult film-goers, although it reportedly destroyed the career of lead female star Elizabeth Berkley (as aspiring dancer and new stripper in town named Nomi Malone), earlier noted for her role in the late 80s TV show Saved By the Bell. Its campy, dramatically-sleazy story was about the sex industry. It took an uncensored look at cheap Las Vegas strip clubs and shows (beginning with pole-dancing at the low-class Cheetah) and higher-class hotel shows and their headliner dancers. One of the other main stars was Gina Gershon as Cristal Connors, the Stardust Hotel revue showgirl star who performed on stage at the "Goddess" topless dance show.
In one of the earliest scenes, Al Torres (Robert Davi), manager of the topless, pole-clinging dancers at the Cheetah, detailed requirements for a lap dance to new girl Penny (Rena Riffel): "Fifty bucks a pop, you take 'em in the back. Touch and go. They touch, they go. You can touch them. They cannot touch you...Now if they come, that's okay. If they take it out and come all over you, call the bouncer, unless he gives you a big tip. If he gives you a big tip, it's okay. You got that?...lf you want to last longer than a week, you give me a blow job. First l get you used to the money, then l make you swallow."
It was controversially loaded with very frequent nudity, sexuality, and notorious dialogue:
There were many memorable scenes in this infamous film, including the topless 'Chorus Line-like' dance audition and "Thrust It" coaching administered by a crude dancing choreographer, the threesome voyeuristic lap dance, and the overacted, over-the-top swimming pool scene with champagne and thrashing orgasmic activity between leggy pole dancer Nomi and hotel entertainment director and impresario Zack Carey (Kyle Maclachlan) - the scene was voted the # 1 'unsexiest' or worst sex scene in cinema history by Empire Magazine in 2005. Many viewers found the non-stop nudity almost boring after awhile.
During the dance audition scene, Tony Moss (Alan Rachins) introduced himself: "Okay, ladies. I'm Tony Moss. I produce this show. Some of you have probably heard that I'm a prick - I am a prick. I got one interest here, and that's the show. I don't care whether you live or die. I want to see ya dance and I want to see ya smile. I can't use you if you can't smile, I can't use you if you can't show, I can't use you if you can't sell"). He also threatened one of the losing contestants: "Come back when you've f--ked some of this baby fat off. See ya!", and made an insulting comment to Nomi: "You got something wrong with your nipples?...I'm erect. Why aren't you erect?"
There were many other unclad scenes, including numerous dressing room scenes, the love-hate/lesbian sex and kiss encounter between Nomi and Cristal, and much more.
At the Cheetah Club
(Gina Gershon) and Nomi
Director Roger Donaldson's R-rated, titillating science-fiction action thriller contained plentiful sex and nudity - exhibited by a gorgeous, deadly, part-alien/part-human nymphomaniacal creature named Sil. She was the result of a scientific experiment at a top secret Utah facility to combine alien and human DNA.
First portrayed as a 12 year-old by Michelle Williams, Sil grew into a gorgeous but deadly female (model Natasha Henstridge) whom the scientists attempted to gas to death. She escaped and prowled the LA singles scene looking to procreate with a suitable male mate to provide her with the genetic seed necessary to have offspring for colonization.
The beauteous murderous creature enticingly seduced men in many scenes by becoming naked and aggressively demanding sex (a reversal of normal sex roles), especially in one hot tub sequence. When aroused, spikes came sprouting from her back. Whether impregnated or not, she would kill her shocked male victims, Black-Widow style.
Hot Tub Scene
Sil (Natasha Henstridge)
Strange Days (1995)
Director Kathryn Bigelow's realistic science-fiction story told about virtual reality "clips" (sold on computer discs and played back on head-worn devices called SQUIDS or Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). Ex-vice cop and illegal clip peddler/user Lenny Nero (Ralph Fiennes) would also sample the wares - a virtual reality clip of two girls (Kylie Ireland and Dru Berrymore) and a guy making love. Buyers used them for entertainment's sake in the future Los Angeles of late 1999 - to experience the real sensations of others with strong doses of violence and sex.
Lenny also ecstatically enjoyed 'jacking in' to playback a clip of ex-girlfriend Faith Justin (Juliette Lewis) - filmed from a first-person perspective - first roller-skating with him in Venice, California (she wore a skimpy black bikini bottom), and then stripping down before they had sex together (to the tune of Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds"). As she laid back on the bed, he caressed her face: "You're so beautiful." She told him that she loved his eyes as they made love: "I love the way they see."
Lenny pined for Faith whose new crazed and paranoid boyfriend was record promoter Philo Gant (Michael Wincott), even when she told him off in the dressing room of her performing club venue, the Retinal Fetish: "You know one of the ways that movies are still better than playback? 'Cause the music comes up, there's credits, and you always know when it's over. IT'S OVER!"
Lenny promised one of his buying clients:
He had the client sample a clip of an 18 year-old girl taking a shower, and he was excited by his sleazy virtual reality trade: "There's money to be made. Dreams to sell."
One tense playback was more horrifying for Nero to watch - a contraband snuff clip (or 'blackjack'), something he claimed he didn't peddle, in which an anonymous murderer ("sick f--ker") forced his friend, female hooker/victim Iris (Brigitte Bako), to be 'jacked in' - in order to experience her own brutal demise after she was tasered, handcuffed, blindfolded, and simultaneously raped and strangled:
Stoned Looking Girl
(Kylie Ireland) and Stoned Girl's Lover (Dru Berrymore)
The Snuff Clip of Iris
Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)
Todd Solondz's painfully-realistic, uncompromising rites-of-passage black comedy - his first major independent film success, was about bespectacled, geeky 11 year-old outcast Dawn Weiner (Heather Matarazzo) in a middle-class New Jersey family.
Without scenes of sex, nudity, or violence (although there were some vulgarities), the film followed her cruel, miserable, and isolated progress through puberty, when she was called "lesbo," "weiner dog," and "dog-face" by her junior-high classmates and shunned in the cafeteria. She was told that she was "ugly" - the main reason for her tauntings.
In one scene, she developed an obvious crush on her brother's garage band-mate Steve Rodgers (Eric Mabius).
In another scene, violence-prone and jealous Lolita (Victoria Davis) forced Dawn in the toilet to relieve her bowels, to exercise power over her.
And in a potential rape scene, Heather was menacingly told by crass 7th grade bully Brandon (Brendan Sexton, Jr.) at her locker that he was going to rape her at 3 pm, but then didn't follow through (because he didn't actually know what rape was and only wanted to awkwardly express his interest in her) - although she was willing to let him kiss her and submit in order to be accepted.
Dawn Taunted by Others
When Night is Falling (1995, Can.)
Writer/director Patricia Rozema's realistically-told and beautifully-photographed lesbian love story (released unrated rather than as NC-17, for its two lesbian love scenes) was about the repressed and erotic desire within an unexpected and improbable romance, that occurred between:
They first met by chance at a laundromat.
The crisis in the story revolved around Camille's conflict of love due to her relationship with fiancee and ministerial colleague Martin (Henry Czerny) and her choices between homosexual/heterosexual love, her strict religious beliefs and feelings, and between career and free-spirited romance -- succinctly expressed by Petra: "Ordinary with you would be... wild." Petra enticed Camille with the statement:
Wild Side (1995)
Writer/director Donald Cammell's (director of Performance (1970)) tawdry, soft-core erotic thriller (with the tagline: "Going Too Far Was Just the Beginning") was about a love triangle including two lesbians. The film was heavily re-edited by the studio to avoid being unrated or receiving an NC-17 rating, and was released directly to video and cable TV.
After the director committed suicide and self-outed star Anne Heche garnered controversial headlines with TV star Ellen Degeneres in 1997, the film was restored to its original posthumous Director's Cut and re-released in 1999 with extended lesbian scenes.
It followed the growing sexual relationship between:
Because of her debts, Alex took on clients after-hours, including brutish, perverted money-launderer Bruno Buckingham (Christopher Walken). She found herself brutally raped by Bruno's sadistic chauffeur Tony (Steven Bauer), who was under Bruno's orders to check out her background - although he was actually a crooked undercover cop tracking down Bruno. Tony blackmailed her into helping him and the FBI entrap the crook. In the meantime to further complicate matters, one of Alex's new clients setting up a bank account was Virginia Chow, the soon-to-be ex-wife and ongoing lover of Bruno. Together, Alex and Virginia attempted to send up Bruno and escape the country together.
They believably found themselves attracted to each other in an international bank's executive washroom with bright red walls. Later, they convincingly made tender exploratory love in a naturalistically-filmed scene in Virginia's hotel room while rolling around and touching each other:
In another semi-farcical scene, Bruno vengefully threatened forcible sodomy against Bruno to prove a rhetorical point about power ("This is not about sex, this is about power") and how he loved Alex (Bruno: "I need to do this to disgust myself, to become selfless in the name of... love").
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