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Wild Things

Starring Kevin Bacon, Matt Dillon, Neve Campbell; Denise Richards
Written by Stephen Peters
Directed by John McNaughton
Website: www.sony.com

IN SHORT:  A total blast.

When we're talking roller coasters, twists and turns can be fun. When we're talking movies, twists and turns can confuse the heck out of you. Then again, there's a new movie called Wild Things, in which a the multitude of twists and turns (and Cranky means multitude with a capital "M") forces you to sit back in your seat and giggle like a little kid, when you're not giggling at the ludicrous dialog and spates of incredibly awful acting you'll see on screen. On the plus side, Wild Things is a) very cleverly written and two) an incredible amount of fun.

No, check that. Wild Things is an outrageous amount of fun.

Wild Things is one of those rare movie occurrences where bad is good. It's also one of those flicks where those of us who get to see it early are sworn to secrecy, lest the surprises get out and ruin your moviegoing experience. Hell, even if I told you everything that happens in this movie, you'd look at the list of twists and turns and tell me I was full of it. You'd tell me there'd be no way you'd sit through this nonsense.

But you will, and the preview audience I sat with did, all the way to the very last of the closing credits. You have to sit through the credits, 'cuz short flashback scenes explain it all to you.

Wild Things is the story of high school Seniors Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell -- pot smoking poor white trash) and Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards -- damn fine looking rich white trash); Ray Duquette, obsessed cop (Kevin Bacon) in the "sex crimes" division of a Florida town, and high school guidance counselor Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon), who is accused of raping both of the girls. On the side, Sam is sleeping his way through the rich ladies at the local yacht club, including Kelly's mom (Theresa Russell). Sam's girlfriend (Carrie Snodgress) is the daughter of a high powered lawyer (Robert Wagner) who, it is implied, is also sleeping with Kelly's mom.

Which brings us to the rape trial, the media event of the hour. From here on out, things get complicated. Tee hee.

Wild Things has got sex. Great sex. It's got violence. It's got jealousy and murder and more sex -- the incredibly thumpa thumpa Denise Richards pours champagne all over her naked self for the guys; Kevin Bacon goes full frontal for the ladies.

Wild Things also stars Bill Murray.

So much for edge of your seat noir. There's so much plot to this story that, if you tied it to a rope and wrapped it around your waste, you'd sink to the bottom of the Everglades swamp faster than the murdered body does.

Oops. I'm not supposed to tell you that. Then again, it's in the TV commercial so it's cool. Of course, you can't always believe what you see in the TV commercial. Tee hee.

Murray's presence as a Sam's low class lawyer should be the key clue that not everything is film school brand noir about this flick. So should lines like "your father didn't have to kill himself." Robert Wagner grossly overacts, Theresa Russell looks awesome in a bikini, and I've filled up my space without giving anything away.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Wild Things, he would have paid . . .


Hell, it should only be a $3, 'cuz the story is complicated, the dialog is terrible and the acting is over the top. Despite all that you're gonna have a terrific time.

The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.