Poison

( 1 )

Overview

This film has become infamous thanks to the efforts of the Rev. Donald Wildmon, who publicly questioned the fact that NEA dollars were spent on this "filth." While Wildmon's point was certainly overstated, this debut feature from Todd Haynes is quite disturbing. The Poison in question is sex, and its toxic effects are explored in three segments which have been shuffled together like a deck of cards. "Hero" is a pseudo-documentary about a seven-year-old boy who shoots his father and then ascends into the sky. ...
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Overview

This film has become infamous thanks to the efforts of the Rev. Donald Wildmon, who publicly questioned the fact that NEA dollars were spent on this "filth." While Wildmon's point was certainly overstated, this debut feature from Todd Haynes is quite disturbing. The Poison in question is sex, and its toxic effects are explored in three segments which have been shuffled together like a deck of cards. "Hero" is a pseudo-documentary about a seven-year-old boy who shoots his father and then ascends into the sky. "Horror" is a mad-scientist story filmed like a Roger Corman "B"-movie. The scientist in question has managed to distill the essence of the human sex drive into a test tube. When he inadvertently drinks it, he turns into a leprous monster, terrorizing the city. "Homo" is a gay love story set in a prison. All three segments are based on the writings of Jean Genet.
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Special Features

Sundance Film Festival Q&A with Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and executive producer James Schamus, for the 20the anniversary of the film's Grand Jury Prize; Archival 1999 audio commentary by Haynes, Vachon, and star/editor James Lyons; Original poster concepts and collages by Haynes; Behind-th-scenes polaroids by Kelly Reichardt (director of Meek's Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy); Last Address, a 2010 short film by Ira Sachs (director of Married Life); Original 1991 U.S. theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
This arresting feature debut from the always interesting Todd Haynes explores human differences and alienation in the form of three seamlessly interweaved storylines. As in Dottie Gets Spanked and Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Haynes draws from familiar cinematic genres and devices to tell his distinct and bizarre tales. Genuinely subversive, even if its parts are sometimes greater than the whole, this film feels like the truest form of independent cinema -- endlessly inventive despite its low budget. Based in part on the writings of Jean Genet, the film is at times peculiar and difficult to follow, but worth sticking with, if only for its striking originality. Poison was partly funded by the NEA, a fact that stirred up controversy when the film was eventually released with an NC-17 rating due to a shot of an erect penis. Many have speculated that it was the film's gay context -- not just one "obscene" shot -- that was under attack by anti-NEA forces.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/2011
  • UPC: 795975113533
  • Original Release: 1991
  • Source: Zeitgeist Films
  • Presentation: Remastered / Anniversary Edition
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 49,102

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Larry Maxwell Dr. Graves
Edith Meeks Felicia Beacon
Susan Norman Nancy Olsen
Millie White Millie Sklar
Scott Renderer John Broom
Buck Smith Gregory Lazar
James Lyons Jack Bolton
Al Quagliata Dep. Hansen
Michelle Sullivan Prostitute
John R. Lombardi Rass
Tony Pemberton Young Broom
Andrew Harpending Young Bolton
Edward Allen Fred Beacon
Richard Anthony Edward Comacho
Nino Bau Fontenal Inmate
Jason Bauer Doran
Andrew Bishop Child's Hands
Gideon Joslyn Brown Baton Inmate
Jim Cagnard Bartender
Barry Cassidy Officer Rilt
Charles Cavalier 1st Cop
Maurice Clapisson 1st Guard
Wayne Compton Fontenal Inmate
John P. Connolly Baton Inmate
Bruce R. Cook Dr. Stick
Eric Cubano Baton Inmate
Don Damico 1st Doctor, 2nd Cop
David Danford Basco
Kyle de Camp Neighbor
Joe Dietl Woman in the Alley
Raymond Dragen Fontenal Inmate
John Duffy Fontenal Inmate
Evan Dunsky Dr. MacArthur
Matt Ebert Guard 2
Damien Garcia Chanci
Douglas F. Gibson Van Roven
Tony Gigante Inspector
Anne Giotta Evelyn McAlpert
Joey Grant Jamoke
Richard Hansen Voice Only
Chris Henricks Sleazy Man
Jessica Nurse
Carlos Jimenez Jose
Rob La Belle Jay Wete
Lydia Lafleur Sylvia Manning
Marina Lutz Hazel Lamprecht
Tom McCullough Townsperson
Parlan McGaw Newscaster
John McGhee Fontenal Inmate
Dani Michaeli Baton Inmate
Michael A. Miranda Fontenal Inmate
Leah Mullen Little Girl
John Nadeau Doctor
Ian Nemser Sean White
Frank O'Donnell Old Doctor
Phil W. Petrie Doctor
Gary Ray Canon
Anthony Rubustillo Fontenal Inmate
Ken Schatz Preacher
Aimee Scheff Neighbor
Angela Schreiber Florence Giddons
Michael Silverman Foster Father
Justin Silverstein Jake
Les Simpson Miss Tim
Chris Singh Chris
Jonathan Smit Fontenal Inmate
Elyse Steinberg Little Girl
Oscar Tevez Fontenal Inmate
Chava Tiger Townsperson
Lorraine Traverson Nurse
Marie-Francoise Vachon Foster Mother
Shawn Wilson Broom-Age 6
Lauren Zalaznick Waitress
Technical Credits
Todd Haynes Director, Editor, Screenwriter
Maryse Alberti Cinematographer
James Bennett Score Composer
Barry Ellsworth Cinematographer
Jean Genet Original Story
Brian Greenbaum Producer
John Hansen Production Designer, Set Decoration/Design
Jessica Haston Costumes/Costume Designer
James Lyons Editor
Chas Plummer Art Director
James Schamus Producer
Sarah Stollman Production Designer
Denny Vachlioti Producer
Christine Vachon Producer
Lauren Zalaznick Associate Producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Poison
1. "The Whole World is Dying of Panicky Fright" [5:30]
2. Homo [3:08]
3. Horror [5:06]
4. Hero [5:36]
5. "Love Comes Slyly Like a Thief" [10:36]
6. Scarred Souls [12:31]
7. "My Heart is Caught" [8:52]
8. The Infected [6:54]
9. Angel of Judgment [2:13]
10. Stolen Glances [4:22]
11. "Dreaming is Nursed in Darkness" [10:18]
12. End Credits [7:15]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Poison
   Play the Movie
   Chapters
   Subtitles
      English SDH - On
      English SDH - Off
   Extras
      Sundace Q&A
         Play
      Audio Commentary
         Recorded in 1999, This Archival Commentary Track Features Director Todd Haynes, Producer Christine Vachon and Star/Editor James Lyons: Commentary - On
         Recorded in 1999, This Archival Commentary Track Features Director Todd Haynes, Producer Christine Vachon and Star/Editor James Lyons: Commentary - Off
      Poster Concept Art
         Gallery
      Set Polaroids
         Gallery
      1991 Theatrical Trailer
      Last Address
         Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    'Homo' quite hilarious, shocking.

    Don't know exactly what to say. Know that I tried to read Gene Genet and always will check out a Haynes film from now on. The first 2 episodes I admit I've forgotten. 'Homo', in addition to its shocking humor, struck me vividly in presentation. The possibly artificial background of rocky landscape eerily reminded me of those simple religious frescoes, where the figures are larger than their bleak, simple medirranean landscape. Call me crazy. Maybe you'll call Haynes crazy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews