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Format: DVD
sku:  FX8Y
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Unrated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 25 minutes
  • Video: Black & White / Color
  • Released:
  • Originally Released: 1991
  • Label: Zeitgeist Films
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Note: Sundance Film Festival Q&A with Todd Haynes, producer Christine Vachon and executive producer James Schamus, for the 20the anniversary of the film's Grand Jury Prize
    • Archival 1999 audio commentary by Haynes, Vachon, and star/editor James Lyons
    • Original poster concepts and collages by Haynes
    • Behind-th-scenes polaroids by Kelly Reichardt (director of Meek's Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy)
    • Last Address, a 2010 short film by Ira Sachs (director of Married Life)
    • Original 1991 U.S. theatrical trailer
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
  • Audio:
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
    • Subtitles - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Performer: , , &
Directed by
Screenplay by

Entertainment Reviews:

New York Times - 04/05/1991
"...A work of original aspirations....Nicely acted..."
USA Today - 04/12/1991
"...There's raw talent obviously in evidence..."
A.V. Club - 12/07/2011
"[T]he film was a genuine underground hit, a victory for the outsiders it championed." -- Grade: B+

Product Description:

In director Todd Haynes's feature film debut, POISON, three stories, each told in their own unique cinematic style, illustrate the lives of a people living outside the fringes of "normal" society. There is HERO, the pseudo-documentary about a seven-year-old boy who kills his own father; HORROR, a sci-fi spoof about a brilliant research scientist who becomes the victim of his own biochemical discovery when he finds the source of the human sex drive; and HOMO, a noirish drama exploring the obsessive, and sexual, relationship between two male prisoners. As each compelling story is told, their themes become inextricably linked, and the tension intensifies, culminating in an explosive climax of unsettled emotions. POISON is perhaps Todd Haynes most experimental, and most controversial, film.

Plot Synopsis:

Part horror film, part drama, part exposé, POISON is a starkly original, provocative film that weaves together three stories. In one, a doctor turns into a strange creature after discovering the source of the human sex drive; in another, two prisoners become entangled in an obsessive relationship. There is also the story of a seven-year-old who commits murder, leaving his family and the town to wonder if that wasn't such a bad thing after all. Dark, funny, and fascinating, POISON is an anthology of stories each told in a different cinematic style, but connected like an insane, imaginative jigsaw puzzle.

Plot Keywords:

Disturbing | Erotic | Gay / Lesbian | Short Stories | Surreal | Theatrical Release

Production Notes:

  • POISON was named one of the top 10 films of 1991 by Film Comment.
  • "Homo," in POISON, is based on three stories by author Jean Genet, primarily his THIEF'S JOURNAL.
  • The film received the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, while prompting walk-outs during screenings.
  • Tony Pemberton, who plays the young Broom, is also a film director, whose credits include BEYOND THE OCEAN, DESCRIPTION OF A STRUGGLE, and PARADISE IS.
  • James Lyons, who plays Jack Bolton, is also the editor for POISON and another Todd Haynes film, SAFE.
  • Director Todd Haynes previously made SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY using a cast of Barbie dolls. His short film DOTTIE GETS SPANKED was part of the "Avant Garde Visions" program screened at the 1993 New York Film Festival.
  • POISON is available in both NC-17 and R rated versions, but is very difficult to obtain due to its controversial themes.

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Product Info

  • UPC: 795975113533
  • Shipping Weight: 0.23/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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