Yes, somehow, I’ve never seen Wild Things.
When Kevin Bacon, who acted in it, refers to the script as “the trashiest thing he had ever read” it’s even more amazing that I have never seen this movie.
High school guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) is accused of rape by two of his students, the popular and wealthy good girl Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards playing a teenager at 27) and poor tomboy Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell playing a teenager at 24).
He hires lawyer Kenneth Bowden (Bill Murray) to defend him from these charges. When the case is tried, the girls confess to lying as Suzie was upset that Sam didn’t bail her out on a drug charge and Kelly was upset that her teacher was having an affair with her mother (Theresa Russell). Sam gets an $8.5 million dollar settlement, but it was all another lie, as the three were working together.
Sergeant Ray Duquette (Bacon) knows something isn’t kosher. But as he follows the triad, he learns that they have an ever twisting relationship and even murderous intent toward one another. I’m not spoiling anything else — I mean, the movie is 24 years old — but for a film that seems mostly discussed for its male nudity and threesome scene, it ends up being a not half bad mystery.
I like Roger Ebert’s take on the movie: “lurid trash, with a plot so twisted they’re still explaining it during the closing titles. It’s like a three-way collision between a softcore sex film, a soap opera and a B-grade noir.”
Director John McNaughton is the director and co-writer of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which was his first film, and that alone should tell you he knows what he’s doing. The script comes from Stephen Peters, who wrote the novel that The Park Is Mine is taken from.
There are so many twists in that script that Bacon said, “To determine their motivation in each scene, the cast had to gather with the director, writers, and producers to establish the sequence of events. We’d sit in rehearsals trying to piece together what was going on in the script, whom we were lying to about what, and it’d just get so complicated we’d have to stop and rest.”
The Arrow release of Wild Things has new 4K restorations of both the Original Theatrical Version and the Unrated Edition from the original camera negatives by Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as exclusive new audio commentary by director John McNaughton and producer Steven A. Jones and another commentary by director John McNaughton, cinematographer Jeffrey Kimball, producers Steven A. Jones and Rodney Liber, editor Elena Maganini and score composer George S. Clinton. There are also interviews with McNaughton and Denise Richards, as well as a making of, outtakes, a trailer, an illustrated collectorâs booklet featuring new writing on the film by Anne Billson and Sean Hogan, a double-sided fold-out poster, six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sam Hadley. You can get it from MVD and Arrow.
You can also get a Limited Edition SteelBook housed in deluxe rigid packaging, both featuring newly commissioned artwork by Sam Gilbey from Arrow.