- 1 hr 25 min
The movie Poison from 1991 is a unique and daring film directed by Todd Haynes who explores interconnected stories of individuals who are struggling with their limitations and desires. The movie is divided into three parts and each of them deals with different characters in different settings but all of them are connected by a common theme of taboo desires and societal limitations.
In the first part of the movie, entitled "Hero," we are introduced to a young boy named Richie (played by Evan Dunsky) who is living in the 1950s. Richie is fascinated by his favorite comic book character, a superhero named The Bat Lady. The Bat Lady is a fictional character who is brave, heroic, and daring. However, Richie is conflicted as his father forbids him to read comic books, so he hides his comics under his mattress. Richie's mother is desperate to mold him into a "normal" and "respectable" boy but Richie is more interested in the violent and chaotic world of comic books.
The second part of the movie, entitled "Horror," is about a scientist named Dr. Carl (played by Larry Maxwell) who is working on a cure for a sexually transmitted disease that has been killing off gay men. His experiments are being conducted on a prisoner named J.D. (played by Scott Renderer), who is willing to be a subject in the hopes of finding a cure. However, the experiments have gone awry and J.D. starts to experience violent and disturbing hallucinations.
The third and final part of the movie, entitled "Homo," deals with two men named John (played by James Lyons) and Jack (played by John Leguizamo) who have a passionate and violent relationship. John is a convicted murderer who is on the run with Jack after a prison riot. The two men have an intense sexual attraction to each other but also indulge in sadomasochistic acts. As their journey continues, John's violent tendencies escalate, and things take a dangerous turn.
The overall theme of the movie is about the societal limitations and taboos that individuals face when trying to explore their desires. The characters in each of the parts all have some form of desire that is deemed unacceptable or wrong by society. The young boy Richie is fascinated by the world of comic books but is told by his parents that it's not a normal interest for a boy to have. Dr. Carl is conducting experiments to cure a disease that is killing gay men, but his work is met with disdain and criticism. John and Jack have a violent and sexual relationship that is seen as immoral and wrong.
The movie is shot in an experimental and unconventional way, with each part of the movie being filmed in a different style. The first part is shot in black and white and has a retro, nostalgic feel to it. The second part is shot in color but with a blurred and distorted filter to mimic J.D.'s hallucinations. The third part is shot in a gritty and raw style, with handheld camera movements and close-ups that accentuate the violence and sexuality.
Overall, Poison is a thought-provoking, daring, and unconventional movie that explores themes of sexuality, violence, and societal limitations. It's a movie that challenges the audience to question their own preconceptions and biases about taboo desires and the individuals who have them. The movie may not be for everyone, but for those who are willing to take the journey, it's an experience that won't be easily forgotten.
Poison is a 1991 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 25 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.3 and a MetaScore of 67.