The Poison Ivy Collection is making me rediscover one of the 90s’ unsung franchises. Who would have thought that you could get four movies out of young women discovering their love of sexual intrigue? For a film that set Sundance on fire, it died a quick death at the box office. It was only through heavy VHS and HBO rotation that the film caught on. But, there’s something I think people forget.

The first movie is kinda insane. Sure, it has that trashy soap opera with sex feel that was popular in the 90s. It’s just that there seems to be an honest attempt to make a Harper Lee take on The Red Shoe Diaries with this venture. Sara Gilbert does her best with what was meant to be the central role. Playing a young teenager that desperately wants to make sense of her sick family, she nearly pushes Ivy into her world. But, Ivy doesn’t need much of an invitation.

Drew Barrymore does her best in her first leg of the career rehab she experienced in the early 90s. Was it basically softcore with better shots? Sure. But, Barrymore mined a sense of longing out of the material. Her Ivy wants a semblance of a real life and romance. But, she can’t give up the drama of using those that she loves. None of the sequels would tap into this.

Alyssa Milano starred in Poison Ivy 2: Ivy. Due to the first film being a bomb, this one was given a quick Direct-to-Video release due to its later market cult discovery. Barring a striking similarity to Freddy’s Revenge, the film follows a timid art student discovering herself. Somehow, she finds papers and belongings that used to be owned by Ivy Prime. Now, she suddenly has the idea to get sexually frisky and target married men. A popular sculptor tries to dissuade her from this path, but Xander Berkeley is totally cool with it.

Jaime Pressly returns to basics in Poison Ivy: The New Seduction. In this outing, Pressly plays Ivy’s little sister. If this film proves anything, it’s that sexual deceit is genetic. What happens next is a slight retread of the first movie. What’s funny is how a plot point of the film involves falsified employment at Denny’s. When Ivy II is questioned, she proceeds to blow guys into forgetting everything that happened. I’m sure other things happened in this movie, but the rampant oral sex started to border on parody by the end of the film.

Miriam McDonald is the Pete Best of these movies. The film arrived in 2008 long after most people stopped caring about these movies. If that wasn’t enough, they tried to force in a sorority angle. It makes sense when you realize this film was Lifetime TV movie. In the spirit of not getting these movies, the fourth entry has the Ivy figure as a rich girl secret sorority that hazes people to death. Now, it’s up to our new lead to infiltrated the Ivy Cult.

Once upon time, life made sense. Then, I was tasked with rewatching these films. Whomever is the title selector at Shout/Scream needs a pay raise. I know we all hate seeing a couple of MGM movies get a 4th bow on Blu. If that’s what it takes to get films like this released, then I can put up with it. Dear Lord, I’m shocked that no one has tried to make a video series on this stuff.

Poison Ivy

The Poison Ivy Collection special features

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
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