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The 100




Crush, The
(1993)
Reviewed by Ned Daigle
Rating: 5.5 Beans

n 1987 a movie called "Fatal Attraction" was an international success and signaled the start of a new subgenre of flicks that I like to call the "_____ from Hell" movies. Just fill in the blank and you have an instant movie. You had "the mistress from Hell" ("Fatal Attraction"), "the tenant from Hell" ("Pacific Heights"), the roommate from Hell" ("Single White Female"), "the cop from Hell" ("Unlawful Entry"), "the little boy from Hell" ("The Good Son"), "the secretary from Hell" ("The Temp") and last, and certainly least came "The Crush" or "the teenage nymphette from Hell".

"The Crush" also deserves a place in history as the film where a large group of movie executives and casting agents saw the screen test of Alicia Silverstone and went "Wow, what a great actress!"

Dimbulb magazine writer Nick Eliot (Cary Elwes) rents the guest house from a wealthy family and is immediately preyed upon by the teenage daughter Darian (Silverstone). Elwes is so unaware that Silverstone has the hots for him, even though she sunbathes beneath his window, steals glances at his tush while he dresses (with the door open, natch), looks at him with "do me" goo-goo eyes, and bites her lip.

Every event in this movie goes according to formula, Elwes spurns Silverstone, so she must do away with any competition and ruin his life in the process. She hacks into his computer and erases his articles, builds a shrine to him in the basement, and even feigns her own rape in an attempt to win him back. Like that will work when he's put in jail. Not too bright for a chick who is a brilliant entomologist, equestrian, and piano prodigy. Jennifer Rubin is Elwes' main squeeze, but she's hospitalized by Silverstone who instigates a bee attack. One head-scratching element has a not-too-obvious scene of foreshadowing where Rubin and Silverstone discuss a nest of bees. Silverstone corrects Rubin and states that they are wasps. However, we get a shot of the nest and note that they are, indeed, bees. Later it's explained Rubin was nearly stung to death by wasps, but during the attack we see that they are, still, bees. Odd.

After Elwes has been pushed to the edge, he breaks into Silverstone's house to steal her diary. The grand finale takes place in the attic where Cheyenne, Silverstone's friend who is trying to help Elwes, is tied and gagged to a circus carousel (don't ask), and instead of knocking off Silverstone, Elwes punches her in the face, which sends her, literally flying across the room. No joke, he hits her, and she is miraculously lifted off her feet and sails across the attic. Afterwards, Silverstone is committed into an asylum, where it is apparant that she will continue her evil ways.

The performace by Silverstone is extremely funny. It's hard to describe how someone can heinously overact, and remain bland and lethargic at the same time. She does outrages things, but does them flat. Whether it's wielding a mean pool cue, chopping the bejesus out of some lemons, or saying outrageous things like, "That's okay. Some men like small breasts", she shows not a whit of personality or energy. Cary Elwes doesn't fare much better either, but we came to expect that from him.

"The Crush" was such a critical and commercial failure that it signalled the end of the "_____ from Hell" movies.

There, I finally said something positive about it.






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