Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Wild Things (1998)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Wild Things (1998)

Director John McNaughton's 'guilty pleasure' erotic, film-noirish thriller was a film that featured many complex twists and turns - and prominent younger stars in sexy/dirty situations in a South Florida Everglades town named Blue Bay. Greed, betrayal, and seductive manipulation were the film's main themes, exemplified by the tagline:

They can turn you on or turn on you.

The film was available in an unrated (or uncut) extended DVD version with more explicit and lengthier scenes not included in the theatrical release. See Sex in Films for uncensored version

There were three follow-up films, all DTV (direct-to-video):

  • Wild Things 2 (2004) (without nudity), by director Jack Perez
  • Wild Things 3: Diamonds in the Rough (2005) (with nudity), by director Jay Lowi
  • Wild Things: Foursome (2010) (with nudity), by director Andy Hurst

The main characters were:

  • Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), a rich, popular, vixenish teen student/socialite
  • Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), the Blue Bay High School guidance counselor
  • Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell), a disturbed, outcast, and trashy goth trailer inhabitant
  • Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon), a duplicitous and corrupt police sergeant, who was involved in investigation of Kelly's alleged rape case

In the wealthy Miami, Florida suburb of Blue Bay, the film's major plot involved a rape case including three of the cast's characters - Sam, Kelly, and Suzie. In the trial, Sam was defended by free-lance lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray). Accusations were made by the two females that Sam raped Kelly and also raped Suzie.

Included early in the film, a dripping-wet Kelly performed seductively while washing Sam's Jeep in a wet T-shirt, charity-fundraising, car-wash sequence to the tune of Lauren Christy's "I Want What I Want" - and afterwards, she seduced her sexually-promiscuous guidance counselor Sam in his home. This sequence provided Kelly with the grounds for making an accusation of rape against Sam.

Lombardo was acquitted since it was revealed during cross-examination that the charges against him had been fabricated.

  • Kelly had pressed charges against Sam due to her jealousy over him, because he was a former lover of her wealthy mother Sandra Van Ryan (Theresa Russell)
  • Suzie had pressed charges against Sam, because he hadn't bailed her out of jail (on minor drug charges)

(It was later discovered that both females were accomplices). The idea to extort money from the Van Ryan estate had succeeded - the trial's settlement payout awarded Sam $8.5 million dollars (from Kelly's trust fund established by her mother Sandra) for defamation.

In the midst of the scheming, Kelly exited a school swimming pool - filmed in sensuous slow-motion to the tune of Morphine's "I Had My Chance" (lyrics: "I had my chance and I let it go, I had my chance and I let it go, Well if I ever have myself another chance like that, I'm going to grab it and I won't look back"). She was confronted by suspicious Sgt. Duquette who complimented her: "Nice stroke." She jokingly asked if he was interested in improving his "breast stroke."

He questioned her about a possible conspiracy between her and Sam to get rid of Suzie ("pill-head") and take off for the Caribbean now that Sam had been awarded the settlement money. He was trying to create a wedge between the two females to reveal the scam.

After a catfight between Kelly and Suzie due to Suzie's fears that she would be eliminated, Kelly then unexpectedly celebrated lesbianism with Suzie in a swimming pool (extended only in the uncut version). Suzie untied the straps of Kelly's bikini top, as they kissed, and soon they were both topless and in each other's arms - while the perverted Ray watched from the shadows videotaping their escapades.

In the midst of the plotting was a highly-publicized, champagne-drenched menage a trois sequence with Sam to celebrate their newfound wealth and success, although Sam warned the conspiratorial and scheming trio to not be seen together again.

Sam: "After tonight, the three of us are not to be seen together again."
Kelly (smiling): "After tonight?"
Sam: "Yeah, well, we're here, aren't we?" (He began to undress Kelly) So maybe one celebration is okay if we're in agreement that from here on out, you do exactly as I say. (He fondled Kelly's breasts under her bra and kissed her, seen in close-up. Suzie also stepped forward for a kiss from Sam. He pulled up Kelly's skirt, slipped her panties off, and placed them in his left pocket.) Guidance counselors get to find out all sorts of interesting things. Now I want you two to kiss. Come on now. Never let the sun go down on an argument. (After the two kissed, Sam stripped off his shirt, and let Kelly straddle him on the bed. (She unhooked her bra from the front, and he nuzzled between her breasts. As she stretched back, Suzie poured champagne over her breasts which Sam then licked off. He was literally sandwiched between the two half-naked females as the scene faded to black)

But then, one by one, suspicion and distrust led to a number of betrayals, double-crossing murders and unexpected events. The twists and turns included the following:

  • Sam and Kelly took Suzie to a seaside beach where Sam bludgeoned Suzie with a wine bottle (off-screen), and disposed of her plastic-wrapped body in a swamp; during an investigation into her disappearance, Suzie's blood and teeth were found; however, her death was faked (shown later, pliers were used to remove her own teeth to be left as evidence); although Sam was a murder suspect, he gave the authorities Kelly's school file with evidence of her mental instability - due to her father's suicide; subsequently, Suzie's death could easily be blamed on Kelly
  • Sgt. Duquette visited Kelly's home, and although his motive appeared either to involve protecting Kelly from Sam's wrath, or to frame her for Suzie's murder, he confronted Kelly; in a shootout, Ray murdered Kelly, then argued that he killed her in self-defense (shown later, he shot her with two rounds and inflicted a shoulder wound on himself with a third shot to make it look like Kelly shot him)
  • now that both Kelly and Suzie were dead, Sam was in the clear, and he didn't have to split the money with anyone; Sam departed for a tropical resort
  • after Sgt. Duquette's discharge from the police force, he visited the same tropical resort (where he provided a full-frontal view of himself in the shower); another unexpected revelation occurred - both he and Lombardo were secretly working together and had masterminded everything and could now split the money
  • on Sam's sailboat (while awaiting bank transfers for the money), Sam attempted to kill Ray, who was deliberately thrown overboard when Sam jerked the steering, but Ray was ultimately finished off by Suzie (now with a bleached blonde pixie hair cut and ALIVE!) with two shots from a spear gun - he was propelled backwards into the water where he drowned; Suzie revealed herself to be a double-crosser when she appeared to side with Sam against Ray
  • but then Suzie poisoned Sam with a doctored drink and the sailboat's boom knocked him overboard; Suzie was left as the only survivor

Suzie With Spear Gun Aimed at Ray

Sam's Doctored Drink

Suzie was the plot's mastermind with a high IQ ("that girl could do just about anything she put her mind to"), although she had always been underestimated for her abilities due to her lowly upbringing, poverty, and lack of education. She had planned the entire vengeful scheme, beginning with the rape allegations and the trial, to make it look like Sam was the mastermind - it was further explained:

  • Suzie sought revenge against Kelly's wealthy mother - her step-sister - for scorning and abandoning her
  • She killed Ray to retaliate against him for two murders: (1) the killing of Kelly, and (2) the killing of Suzie's boyfriend Davie years earlier in the Everglades. In a side-plot, Ray had killed Davie (and then falsely claimed self-defense), and then put Suzie away so she couldn't testify against him, by busting her for drugs and locking her away in a correctional facility
  • Suzie had blackmailed Sam into joining the scheme with Kelly, using incriminating photos of Sam and Kelly with drugs and engaged in underage kinky sex
The Film's Ending Pay-Off Scene



"Suzie, be good"

The film concluded in a beach scene when Sam's unscrupulous lawyer Kenneth Bowden handed Suzie the payoff - a case loaded with cash:

Cash is just walkin'-around money. The check is the balance of the numbered account minus the million we set aside for Ruby and Walter, less my usual fee. Case closed. (She kissed him, then strolled off with the briefcase) Suzie, be good.

The end credits showed off-screen sequences (explained above), rewinding the film to show scenes that hadn't been shown earlier in the film to further explain the plot.

Wet T-Shirt Scene: Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards)

Kelly's Confession to Her Mother Sandra (Theresa Russell) That Sam Had Raped Her

Investigating Police Sgt Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon)

Kelly's Sexy Exit From Swimming Pool

Druggie Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell)

Start of Catfight Between Kelly and Suzie

Catfight Turned Into Kissing

The Schemers - A Drunken Celebration

Suzie's (Neve Campbell) Faked Death

Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon)

Kelly Murdered by Ray (Who Shot Himself in the Shoulder to Make It Look Like Self-Defense)

Ray Collaborating with Sam (Matt Dillon)


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