John McNaughton’s (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer/Mad Dog & Glory) Wild Things is a superior spin on the erotic thriller genre, which kickstarted by the success of Basic Instinct (1992) was beginning to run out of steam. The movie solidified Neve Campbell’s position as the queen of slick exploitation, and gave Matt Dillon and Kevin Bacon lots of chances to squint ominously, and has a sex scene with Denise Richards that is either gratuitous or indispensable, depending on your point of view.
The labyrinthine plot concerns accusations of rape, blackmail, murder and double/triple crossing, served up in the steaming heat of Miami in high summer. A deep vein of black humour runs throughout Wild Things, with some great dialogue from writer Stephen Peters, who unfortunately appears to have done very little since.
The picture boasts a great cast that includes Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell, Kevin Bacon, Bill Murray, and Theresa Russell. And the aforementioned Denise Richards. Who (for once) is actually pretty good.
Unfortunately the success of the picture led to three straight-to-video sequels, all of which are all fairly useless.
If you dig Wild Things, you’d be better advised to avoid the sequels and check out Dennis Hopper’s The Hot Spot (1990), another steamy modern day noir instead.
“Why don’t we begin with a question? What is a sex crime?
“Not gettin’ any!”
KEVIN BACON -- Ray Duquette
CORY PENDERGAST -- Jimmy Leach