Basic Instinct

Bomb Rating: 

The only thing this film is remembered for is its famed "bush" shot inwhich suspect Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone), sitting in the interrogation room, uncrosses her legs, and everybody gets to see up her dress. Unfortunately, ever since the famed scene, Stone has been running around Hollywood disingenuously whining that the shot was done against her will and that she had no idea anybody would actually get to see up her dress.

Aside from the fact that Catherine says to the investigating officer, Nick (Michael Douglas), "You know I don't wear any underwear, don't you, Nick?" one has another reason to be bit baffled by her assertion: There was at least a 10,000-watt spotlight shining up her crotch. Perhaps she had complained that her uterus was cold. Anyway, it seems stupid for Stone to bitch about that one scene when she's more or less buck naked through most of the film. Besides, it wasn't like you could see anything that significant. I mean, it could have been pubic hair. It could have been a lost Muppet. The shot wasn't that well-focused.

I like to think of this film as the prequel to "Showgirls." Paul Verhoeven directed it; Joe Ezterhaus wrote it. The world the characters inhabit is basically the same; the only real difference is that somebody in this film is killing people with an ice pick and Nick thinks it's Catherine because she's sly and she wrote a book with the same plot. Nick, an alcoholic, masturbating former coke addict who shot some tourists, does the honorable thing and begins sleeping with Catherine to get at the truth, which is apparently hidden inside the Muppet. In reality, this movie is nothing more than a sad Eszterhaus fantasy about total failures bedding down beautiful women.

The "concept" of just about any Eszterhaus story is that women are murdering lesbian sluts or just plain lesbian sluts, and that the most oft-used words in the English language happen to be "pussy" and "fuck." Beware Joe's next conceptual masterpiece: a two-hour film of himself masturbating, with subtitles. It's coming.

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