Sunday, August 09, 2009

Basic Instinct (1992) Dir. Paul Verhoeven

I couldn't believe that of all of Verhoeven's movies - including the European releases - I have seen I had not seen Basic Instinct. Neither had Amanda so we downloaded it last night.

I love Verhoeven movies -yes, even Show Girls - and while Basic Instinct is not my favorite it was pretty decent soft core Verhoeven sleaze. Nudity, check. Violence, check. Gore, check. More nudity, check. I think part of the reason I dig Verhoeven so much is because in some ways his movies are like European erotic comics come to life (not all but most of them).

I was reading some of the old reviews of the movie and reviewers were split between fans of sleaze/exploitation/psuedo "Grindhouse" qualities of Basic Instinct and the reviewers who thought it was garbage. A common gripe was that Verhoeven rendered "erotic" dull or unsexy. Personally, I like that Verhoeven kind of makes sex unappealling and unpleasant or rather, doesn't try to make some soft focus, "Take My Breath Away" bullshit. In Basic Instinct both Douglas and Stone aren't making sweet sweet Luther Vandross love, they are fucking for purely selfish reasons. Like Sharon Stone's character Catherine Trammel says, "I didn't say I loved him, I said I loved fucking him." Now there's a femme fatale.

An added bonus was a Jerry Goldsmith score. The theme is great but during action sequences Goldsmith brasses all the place and it's kind of a distraction.

Worth rewatching if you haven't seen it in awhile or if you're a Verhoeven fan.

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