BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Poison Ivy Collection (1992 – 2008) - Blu-ray Review

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Poison Ivy Collection - Blu-ray

Poison Ivy.  The itch you shouldn’t scratch.  But we did, didn’t we?!  And we got a collection of movies that helped former child stars strip out of their past image and into something new and racy and all kinds of shocking!  That is what the 1990s brought those of us raised on E.T., Firestarter, Who’s the Boss, and so on: former child stars gone wild!  You know you want it.

"It’s Fatal Attraction for teens and young adults thanks to The Poison Ivy Collection. "


Before becoming a vehicle for starlets to shed their clothes and reignite their stalled careers, Katt Shea’s film, Poison Ivy was quite the barnburner.  Erotic and tense, the film took Sundance by surprise, eventually earning Sara Gilbert a nomination at the Independent Spirt Awards for Best Supporting Female.  But, when the film failed to perform (I know, I know) at the box office, it eventually took root in the fertile ground of late night cable television . . .

. . . which is how I first saw.  The story at the high school I was attending at the time was that in Poison Ivy, Drew Barrymore (in the role of Ivy), proves herself to be fully . . . developed.  And, yes, there was a line of curious men AND women at the video store, all ready to see just how she had matured.  Everyone – and I do mean everyone – was caught off guard by just how thrilling and suspenseful the story about shy teen Sylvie (Gilbert) and her family’s unexpected brush with the dark fate that only a seductress like Ivy could bring about.

Featuring Tom Skerritt, and Cheryl Ladd, Poison Ivy’s erotic status was cemented thanks to the blistering performance from Barrymore, who was more than ready to shed her image that many of us had remembered her by. 

It made sense then that Poison Ivy, after being the hit that it was at video stores and then on television, would have a direct-to-video sequel.  But the killer hook was just who it was that would be featured in it.  Poison Ivy 2: Lily would feature the adorable Alyssa Milano from television’s Who’s the Boss and the successful Embrace of the Vampire, where she first shed her child star image. Poison Ivy Collection - Blu-ray

Milano.  That was all I needed to be front and center.  The bonus in the story of a guarded art student turned wild woman once she discovers Ivy’s secret diaries was the amount of nudity Milano agreed to.  We were all dumbfounded by it.  Was Lily a better film?  Absolutely not; nothing about the film suggests anything more than softcore dalliances.  But New Line Cinema knew they had something that fans wanted more of: celebrity skin.  And so the guilty pleasures would continue . . .

And then along comes Jaime Pressly in Poison Ivy: The New Seduction as the master manipulator, Violet.  She is out for revenge and will tear apart the entire family to right a wrong that happened so long ago in the Greer household.  Holy shit and hot tamales, ladies and gentlemen.  Pressly, a model at the time, simply cranks up the heat and burns through the Greer family.  Pressly is a firecracker here: complete and total seduction.  It is no wonder that she took her performance here and was able to ride that rocket to a number of television sitcoms, including My Name is Earl. Poison Ivy Collection - Blu-ray

But, as a number of years had passed since the original, the time was running out for these films.  Which is why the final film, Poison Ivy: The Secret Society, appearing eleven years after the third film, feels so very different.  In this one, we have Miriam McDonald involved in a group of women that will do anything to get their way.  The film premiered on Lifetime for God’s sake, so obviously things had changed.  Co-starring Catherine Hicks and Shawna Waldron, it is this film itself that would be the final panel in the greenhouse that once grew so much Poison Ivy. 

Thanks to Scream Factory, now putting the entire film series on blu-ray, fans can watch the devolution of the 1990s erotic thriller.  Grab the noxema!  It’s Fatal Attraction for teens and young adults thanks to The Poison Ivy Collection

3 beers

Poison Ivy Collection - Blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- February 12, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:

Discs: Blu-ray Disc; four-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

All four films look strong.  The new 1080p transfers of all four films are pretty great, pumping up the lines, the shadows, and the colors.  However, they aren’t the best-looking productions in the world.  Fans know this.  There is a fuzziness to some of the textures.  Nothing is too terribly crisp either, but colors are bold and lines are better than they were.  Again, the make-up looks strong and the shadow levels are passible but there’s little filmic quality to the transfer.  This is the fate of these low-budget affairs.  Fortunately, Shout! Factory has done their best and gives us what details there are to mine out of the print.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • See individual breakdowns.

Special Features:

Most films contain the unrated versions and the R-rated, but anyone looking for anything else about this collection will be disappointed.  

Disc One: Poison Ivy

  • R-Rated Version Of The Film
  • Unrated Version (With Standard Definition Inserts)
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Co-writer/Director Katt Shea (Theatrical Version)
  • Trailer

Disc Two: Poison Ivy 2: Lily

  • R-Rated Version Of The Film
  • Unrated Version (With Standard Definition Inserts)
  • Trailer

Disc Three: Poison Ivy: The New Seduction

  • R-Rated Version Of The Film
  • Unrated Version (With Standard Definition Inserts)
  • Trailer

Disc Four: Poison Ivy: The Secret Society

  • Unrated Version
  • Trailer

Poison Ivy Collection - blu-ray

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