[— BASIC INSTINCT
What do Leon Trotsky and Michael Douglas have in common? Both get pretty nervous when someone comes calling with an ice pick. That, and th( . fact that the Russian Revolution and new thriller Basic Instinct seem to . have brought equivalent numbers of banner-wielding lefties out on the streets. The storm of protest from US gay pressure groups has dominated the film’s press coverage and has detracted from the fact that Basic Instinct is easily the best movie of its type since Jagged Edge.
It also contains some of the hottest sex scenes ever witnessed in mainstream cinema — which isn’t really surprising considering dII’CCIOI Paul Verhoeven‘s less-than-subtle C‘ which includes violent blockbusters Robocop and Total Recall. When Douglas and leading lady Sharon Stone get down to business, the sweat trickles down the screen and steam wafts out of the projection room.
Douglas is Nick Curran, a ‘Frisco detective who describes himself as ‘your average, healthy, totally fucked-up cop‘. Currently undergoing psychiatric therapy for a drink and drugs problem that led to the accidental shooting oftwo tourists in the line ofduty, he becomes embroiled with novelist Catherine Tramell (Stone), whose fictional plots have a nasty habit of becoming bloodstained reality.
Prime suspect for an ice-pick
murder, Tramell treats Curran to a series of psychological fornications while going along a similar path with his body. And all around, the corpses pile higher.
Most criticism has been directed at the film’s use of homosexual and bisexual characters as the likeliest murder suspects, but to my eyes, the filmmakers actually deflate audience prejudices by using certain sexual preferences as red herrings. What is dangerous in Basic Instinct. however, is its attitude to female characters— not just in a condemnable ‘date rape‘ scene. but in the ‘boys‘ sexual fantasy‘ aspect of Stone's cat~and-mouse toying with Douglas.
Having said that, this is heart-thudding, mind-bending stuff. Joe Eszterhas's script takes all of the genres conventions and twists them until they beg for mercy. It‘s all summed up in a winding. cliff-top car chase — Douglas follows Stone, overtaking on blind corners, dodging on-coming trucks. In one scene. Verhoevcn conveys that inseparable mix of terror and turn-on that‘s got the leading character and the audience squirming on the end of his celluloid hook. (Alan Morrison) Basic Instinct (18) (Paul Verhoevcn, US, 1992) Michael Douglas. Sharon Stone, Jeanne Triplehorn. George Dzundza. 128 mins. From Fri 8: All Odeons. All UCIs. Cannons: Clarkston Road, The Forge. Falkirk, Kirkcaldy. Kilmarnock. Glasgow: Salon. Central: Allanpark. Strathclyde: Kelburne.
Basic Instinct: ‘sneat trickles down the screen'
ANTHONY HOPKINS VANESSA REDGRAVE HELENA BONHAMCARTER EMMA THOMPSON
“A FILM OF BREATHTAKING BEAUTY AND IMAGINATION”
From Friday May 15th - Odeon, Glasgow
R \IDIO “HES
MERCHANT IVORY PRODI'CTIONS
Based on the Novel by E.M.FORSTER
“ELEGANT AND POWERFUL
MERCHANT I VORY’S FINEST FILM ”
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The List 8 — 21 May 1992 27