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The 100




Poison Ivy: New Seduction
(1997)
Reviewed by Tom Panarese
Rating: 8.5 Beans

ou know, there's a certain type of guy out there. He watches Showtime and Cinemax late on a Friday night when he's not splurging for a Spice Channel movie, he subscribes to Maxim, FHM, Stuff, and other "men's" magazines, and one of his most often-used expressions when he sees a woman is "wow, she's hot." All my life, I've tried not to be this guy. I've prayed at night "Please please please don't let me be this guy."

Well, after watching "Poison Ivy: The New Seduction," I can thankfully say I'm not that guy.

If you're not familiar with the "Poison Ivy" series of movies, consider yourself lucky. If you're not familiar but are slightly curious, I'll give you a quick rundown of their history. "Poison Ivy" is somewhat of a notorious movie, having been the first movie Drew Barrymore made when she was fresh out of rehab as a teenager. The sequel starred Alyssa Milano when she was fresh out of "Who's the Boss?" This movie, the third installment, stars ... no wait, the credits read "And introducing Jamie Pressly as Violet."

Now, this isn't one of those movies Miss Pressly is going to be ashamed of and try to hide later in life when she's compared to the Hepburns of the acting world. That's reserved for "Ringmaster." Anyway, the plot of this movie is pretty obvious: Vampy blonde moves into home, sets out to ruin virginal brunette's life, has sex with everyone but the maid, but ends up getting hers in the end.

No, there's not more to it than that. Violet (Pressly), Ivy's sister (Ivy was Barrymore in the first film), returns to a childhood home of sorts and is reunited with her friend Joy (Megan Edwards), who is now an up-and-coming tennis star with a perfect boyfriend, Michael (Greg Vaughan). Oh, but of course, things aren't as wonderful as they seem. You see, as we see in a flashback that opens the film, Ivy and Violet's mother was ... well, kind of a slut. She worked for Joy's father Ivan (Michael Des Barres) as a maid, and was kicked out of their house when she was discovered not only to have been sleeping with Ivan, but with the pool boy as well.

So Violet has returned for revenge. And I'm sorry if I spoiled any sort of ending for you here, but she basically does it all: swims nude; sleeps with Ivan; sleeps with and then kills Michael (who has a convenient drug problem); kills the new family maid, Mrs. B. (Susan Tyrell); causes Joy to lose her big tennis match, has a day job as a dominatrix; and almost gets away with killing Joy.

I didn't give this movie 10 Beans, because despite being 90 minutes of my life which I'll never get back (only 90 and not 92 because I rented the "R" rated version from Blockbuster), there is a little bit of entertainment value to it.

You'll notice pretty early on that this movie, like most bad soft-core near-porn, takes place almost entirely on one set (Ivan and Joy's mansion in California dominates the movie, with the exception of two or three scenes shot on a sidewalk and in an apartment)and was probably shot in three or four days. There's also a lot to laugh about. Violet's clearly white trash, and her interaction with Joy's richie friends is right out of the Hollywood cliche book, as is her "I know how lonely you must be, why don't you watch me strip out of the dress your wife used to wear" seduction of Ivan. And the last scene is somewhat inexplicable. Joy uncovers everything and faces down Violet (who's in full-on psycho mode by now), ultimately killing her (or at least throwing her down some stairs). What I don't get is why the movie ends with Joy leaving her house while her father lies in the garage, dying slowly from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ah well, I guess some things weren't meant to be pondered. And besides those guys I mentioned before probably aren't thinking about that anyway.






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