6.5/10
3,577
26 user 35 critic

Poison (1991)

A boy shoots his father and flies out the window. A man falls in love with a fellow inmate in prison. A doctor accidentally ingests his experimental sex serum, wrecking havoc on the community.

Director:

Todd Haynes

Writers:

Jean Genet (inspired by the novels of Jean Genet with quotations from "Miracle of the Rose", "Our Lady of the Flowers" and "Thief's Journal"), Todd Haynes
4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edith Meeks Edith Meeks ... Felicia Beacon
Millie White Millie White ... Millie Sklar
Buck Smith Buck Smith ... Gregory Lazar
Anne Giotta Anne Giotta ... Evelyn McAlpert
Lydia Lafleur Lydia Lafleur ... Sylvia Manning
Ian Nemser Ian Nemser ... Sean White
Rob LaBelle ... Jay Wete
Evan Dunsky ... Dr. MacArthur
Marina Lutz Marina Lutz ... Hazel Lamprecht
Barry Cassidy Barry Cassidy ... Officer Rilt
Richard Anthony ... Edward Comacho
Angela M. Schreiber Angela M. Schreiber ... Florence Giddens
Justin Silverstein Justin Silverstein ... Jake
Chris Singh Chris Singh ... Chris
Edward Allen Edward Allen ... Fred Beacon
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Storyline

Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what Richie was like and what led up to the shooting. In the black and white "Horror," a scientist isolates the elixir of human sexuality, drinks it, and becomes a festering, contagious murderer; a female colleague who loves him tries to help, to her peril. In "Homo," a prisoner in Fontenal prison is drawn to an inmate whom he knew some years before, at Baton juvenile institute, and whose humiliations he witnessed. This story is told in dim light, except for the bright flashbacks. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality, strong language and sexual violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1991 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Veneno See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$787,280

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$787,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film received a $25,000 completion grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. This caught the attention of Republican senator Jesse Helms, who in spite of not having seen the film declared it an abomination and a waste of taxpayer money. See more »

Quotes

Sean White: Some people felt sorry for him, but most of them wanted to hit him and stuff. It was weird, because he was just the kind of person that you want to see get creamed.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When first released on video in the US by Fox Lorber, three versions were offered. The director's cut was released as the NC-17 version; an "unrated" version was released which was essentially the same, minus a brief shot of an erect penis sticking out of a man's shorts; and finally an R rated version was sold, one which was cut in several places to placate the MPAA. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Killing Floor (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
profound and provocative
6 August 2005 | by you_ruin_meSee all my reviews

Despite this film receiving a lot of negative feed back from a lot of its viewers, I think the film is a truly provocative experience. Granted this film is definitely not everyones cup of tea to say the least, but it operates beyond entertainment. It is not there to be liked or disliked, it is there to be analysed and that is where the enjoyment comes into play.

The film is constructed of 3 stories; the homo, the horror and the hero. Spread out over three different time periods. If any one is thinking The Hours or 21grams think again, its not. This is a much slower paced film and for want of a better word, 'duller' than the two previously mentioned films.

Upon first viewing of the film, it appears that the three characters share no apparent link. However, each story acts as a metaphor for a wider issue, which does connect them all. I wont say what it is, thats your job! Overall poison is a very clever work of art, which belongs to the sub genres of expose and art-house. So if you enjoy those types of films and are interested in queer cinema go watch it! Finally I think Todd Haynes is a genius, a true auteur.


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