Monday, June 30, 2008

KISSED (1996)


: R
: 78 minutes
: Lynne Stopkewich ("The L Word”; Suspicious River)
: Lynne Stopkewich (“The Atwood Stories”; Suspicious River) and Angus Fraser (“Terminal City”; A Girl is a Girl)
: Molly Parker, Peter Outerbridge, Jay Brazeau, Natasha Morley, Jessie Winter Mudie, James Timmons

Kissed” isn’t exactly about a very often used film subject, you know, being about necrophilia and all (unless you count those dozen or so ‘backwoods’ horror films like “Hills Have Eyes” and why should you?). Movies that tackle issues that audiences usually walk into with preconceived notions against the protagonist’s actions have it tough. Take “The Woodsman” for example- a movie where Kevin Bacon played a child molester recently released from prison. That film tried to give a human face/soul to people that the human race generally doesn’t give one too. I didn’t like the movie because I thought it tried too hard and even still it was tough to find Bacon’s character sympathetic. Comparing child molestation and necrophilia is an apple and oranges kind of deal. Is it more wrong to take advantage of a helpless child and scar him for life or to be taken advantage of when, you know, you’re dead? Sandra Larson (“Deadwood”’s Molly Parker) has had a fascination with death her entire life. As a young pre-teen (Natasha Morley) she and her best friend, Carol (Jessie Winter Mudie) would collect road kill and give them proper burials, but at night Sandra would return and dig up the graves and hold the bodies. In any other movie, this would be where the film would start turning into the horror category. Here it is weird, yet her fascination is so passionate it’s hard to explain. One day, after gathering road kill, Sandra and Carol undress and dance in the woods and Carol catches Sandra rubbing a dead animal in a rather sexual way all over her neck. The friendship, naturally, ends right there. Now grown up, Sandra is distant and has just earned her dream job working at a morgue. She even gets a boyfriend, Matt (Peter Outerbridge), who likes her even after she confesses to him that she has a fantasy of sleeping with a dead man (Molly Parker is hot and all, but that is devotion). It doesn’t take too long before Sandra makes that fantasy a reality. So what is the film about? A grown woman who is into necrophilia and trying to juggle having an actual relationship where “live” sex just doesn’t do it for her. How do you make a relationship like that work? More importantly how do you make a movie like that work? Somehow Canadian director Lynne Stopkewich does it. It is also, most impressively, her debut film. The movie depends so much on Molly Parker’s performance and she delivers. It was the role that after years of mingling in made for T.V. movies and cancelled shows, she finally broke into the indie world. Now she is finally getting her due as an amazing actress and what a job she does here. Kevin Bacon, a decent actor, just wasn’t strong enough to sway the audience in “The Woodsman” the way Parker does here. Her passion and need for love is displayed so delicately that even though she is, without question, not all there mentally- you understand why and just kind of accept it. I think it goes without saying that this is not a film for everybody, so please don’t Netflix it and then call me a lunatic for recommending a movie about a girl that sleeps with dead guys (it really is done rather tastefully, believe it or not). I thought it was well made and under extremely difficult circumstances too. It’s easy to make a movie about assassins or cute animated robots and make them accessible to practically everybody, but to make a movie like this and have it accessible to anyone is a challenge. Stopkewich and Parker are up for it and they pull it off. Hey some people have foot fetishes, others have dead people fetishes. We live in a strange world.

Download Soundtrack MP3:
Sarah MacLachlan- Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Buy the DVD Here
Buy the Soundtrack Here

Rotten Tomatoes

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