Erotic Cinema

Forgotten EROTIC MOVIES from the 90s

Although the 80s seem to be the golden age of erotic cinema, the 90s are not far behind.

Michalina Peruga

17 July 2023

Forgotten EROTIC MOVIES from the 90s

Although the 1980s seem to be the golden age of erotic cinema, the 1990s are not far behind when it comes to producing erotic thrillers and dramas. Basic Instinct and Eyes Wide Shut are probably the most famous erotica of the 1990s, together with Roman Polanski’s Bitter Moon and Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls. However, these are not the only successful erotic films of this period – here are some that have been completely forgotten.

The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

The Comfort of Strangers Rupert Everett Natasha Richardson

Paul Schrader, screenwriter of Taxi Driver (1976) and Raging Bull (1980), returns in another list of erotica. In the text about forgotten erotic films of the 1980s, I wrote about American Gigolo (1980). In the 1990s, Paul Schrader directed another good but forgotten erotic thriller. The protagonists of his The Comfort of Strangers are Mary (Natasha Richardson) and Colin (Rupert Everett), an unmarried couple who go on holiday to Venice to rekindle the passion in their relationship. As they walk through the streets of the city, they are secretly photographed by a stranger. During one such walk, they get lost in the alleys of the Venetian streets and meet Robert (Christopher Walken), an elegant British man who invites them to the bar he runs. At first, the man inspires Mary and Colin’s trust, but over time he starts telling them increasingly strange stories about his childhood and asking them about very private matters. Soon, Mary and Colin are invited to Robert’s house, where they meet his wife Caroline (Helen Mirren).

Poison Ivy (1992)

Poison Ivy Drew Barrymore Tom Skerritt

The director of the film Katt Shea began her film career as a screenwriter for the films of Roger Corman, today a recognized cult filmmaker, sometimes referred to as the king of B-movies. In 1992, she was hired by New Line Cinema to direct the erotic thriller Poison Ivy. The studio wanted to make “a teenage version of Fatal Attraction.” The main role in Poison Ivy was played by 17-year-old Drew Barrymore, playing the mysterious, beautiful and smart Ivy. The film is told from the perspective of Sylvie (Sara Gilbert), a smart girl from a rich family who meets Ivy at a popular hangout for local kids. She is fascinated by her peer and soon the girls become friends. Ivy becomes a regular at Sylvie’s house, where her father Darryl (Tom Skerritt) and her sick mother Georgie (Cheryl Ladd) live. Ivy is getting closer and closer to all family members, which she starts to use effectively. The film was nominated at the Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards. It spawned three sequels.

Dream Lover (1993)

Dream Lover James Spader Mädchen Amick

This surprisingly successful erotic thriller is directed by Nicholas Kazan, son of director Elia Kazan (A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront) and father of actress Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks, I Love You So). Ray Reardon (James Spader) is a successful architect who recently divorced his wife. During a vernissage in a gallery, he bumps into a woman and accidentally spills wine on her. Soon after, he encounters her in the supermarket, where she decides to apologize to him for her outburst at the opening. Her name is Lena (Mädchen Amick) and Ray falls in love with her almost instantly. Soon the couple gets married and become parents, but Lena’s strange behavior and secrets from her past come to light.

Dream Lover is an erotic thriller that balances on the brink of a B-movie, but is surprisingly engaging. Certainly, it cannot be denied its unique atmosphere, unpredictable plot twists and suspense that it keeps until the very end. Fans of Twin Peaks will surely be delighted with the atmosphere of the film, and above all Mädchen Amick, who played the role of Shelly Johnson in Lynch’s popular cult series.

Color of Night (1994)

Color of Night Bruce Willis Jane March

The protagonist of the film, New York psychologist Dr. Bill Capa (Bruce Willis), suffers from depression after witnessing the suicide of his patient, who jumped out of his office window. The sight of her bloody body wearing a green dress traumatized Bill and caused him to suffer from psychosomatic color blindness since the incident and prevented him from seeing the color red. His friend, Dr. Bob Moore (Scott Bakula), invites him to a group therapy session in Los Angeles. Bill agrees, but soon Bob is murdered, and he himself is suspected of the murder. In Los Angeles, he begins an affair with the beautiful, mysterious Rose (Jane March).

Color of Night won the Razzie for the worst film of 1994, but John Wilson, one of the founders of the award, cited the film as one of the most enjoyable bad films to win the Razzie Let that alone be a recommendation to reach for this guilty pleasure with Bruce Willis.

The Last Seduction (1994)

The Last Seduction Linda Fiorentino

Bridget Gregory (Linda Fiorentino) is a beautiful and intelligent marketer. Her husband Clay (Bill Pullman) is studying to become a doctor. The man is in debt and Bridget persuades him to sell stolen pharmaceutical cocaine to dealers. After the exchange is made, Bridget steals Clay’s money and runs away with it. The abandoned man does not give up and starts looking for a wife. Linda Fiorentino, who became famous for her role in another erotic film, William Friedkin’s Jade, won a number of awards for The Last Seduction, including a BAFTA for Best Actress. Her role was highly appreciated. Producers tried to get Linda Fiorentino nominated for an Oscar, but the Academy did not agree to it, because The Last Seduction first showed on HBO and only then in cinemas.

Bound (1996)

bound Jennifer Tilly Gina Gershon

Bound is the directorial debut of the Wachowski sisters, the only film Lana and Lilly made before The Matrix (1998), their big hit. In this first film, you can find autobiographical threads, because in interviews, the Wachowski sisters have repeatedly said that their film is about people who are afraid to be truly themselves and live a life that is not their own, which they have created for themselves. As an intimate scene coordinator, a profession that was virtually non-existent in the film industry in the 1990s, Susie Bright, a feminist author and sexuality journalist, worked on the film. The heroine of this erotic thriller, Corky (Gina Gershon), an ex-prisoner, lesbian, works in the renovation of the building as a painter and plumber. The neighbors of the building that she is renovating are a couple – Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and Caesar (Joe Pantoliano). Corky and Violet soon start an affair. Violet confides in her lover that her boyfriend is a mafioso and together they participate in money laundering for the mafia. The women plan to escape and rob Caesar.

Michalina Peruga

Michalina Peruga

Film scholar, art historian and lover of contemporary horror cinema and classic Hollywood cinema, especially film noir and the work of Alfred Hitchcock. In cinema, she loves mixing genres, breaking patterns and looking closely at characters.

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