New Line // 1997 // 95 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Norman Short (Retired) // December 12th, 1999
All the rules are about to be broken.
This is the third offering in the series of Ivy movies, and it tries to improve on the first, but has it's own problems. Almost the same plot as Poison Ivy, but a more conniving and more sexual Lolita, yet still missing the mark.
There is a bit of a new twist in the plot for this version of the Ivy story. Violet (Jaime Pressly, Jack and Jill, Can't Hardly Wait, Ringmaster) is the sister of Ivy from the first movie (we'll forget that Ivy wasn't the first movie's Lolita real name -- it was given on the fly by Sara Gilbert). Her mother's life was ruined after being discovered in an affair with the father of her best friend Joy (Megan Edwards II, Wang Dang). Eleven years later Ivy is dead and Violet has grown into the loveliest young psychopath you'd ever want to bring home. She moves home and supposedly just drops by to visit her old best friend Joy, but obviously has more in mind. In a plot device that stretches your sense of belief, Joy immediately moves a girl she hasn't seen since she was ten into her palatial home. Of course Violet wants to seduce the father and become the most important member of the family, killing anyone in her way.
I had a few complaints about the first movie, and this one tries to compensate for them. Ivy in the first movie had no real motivation to do what she did. Violet at least had revenge as a motivation. As with the other DVD, this disc contains both a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and a pan-and-scan version, with both the R and Unrated versions. But in the first Ivy film, the unrated version was so tame that I had to wonder what the point was. No such problem in this one; it comes off more like an episode of Red Shoe Diaries. Breasts, soft-core sex, more breasts. Plenty of breasts. Almost all of these scenes are of Jaime Pressly. For some that might be enough to buy it right there. I'm not one of them. In both of these films the manipulations are too easy for the others around to catch her in, but at least in this one that didn't matter, since Violet intended to commit suicide at the end of it anyway.
Video on this disc was again fine, without any artifacts or grain. Blacks were black, flesh tones were good. Colors were a bit washed out sometimes though. Audio was better, with Dolby 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. The Digital 5.1 made decent use of surrounds but was mainly a front centered soundstage.
I feel a bit like Goldilocks as I watched first Poison Ivy and then Poison Ivy: The New Seduction. The first one the Lolita was a bit too cute and cuddly to be believable, though Drew Barrymore made it work, sort of. She was too soft. Jaime Pressly, on the other hand, is too hard. She has this stony look most of the time that it makes me wonder why anyone would have given over their trust to her in the first place.
This New Line non-Platinum release has almost nothing in the way of extras, unlike their better discs. It contains a filmography but no bios on the stars. Not even a trailer on this one. It also comes in the snapper case. Again I stress that I don't believe having a pan-and-scan version makes up for lack of extras. Jaime Pressly fans get as good a look at her as they're going to get, but if that's not what makes you open your wallet, then pass or just rent this thing.
Poison Ivy: The New Seduction is made to sit in the corner with her sister. New Line is cautioned that this court prefers their Platinum editions, which are invariably top notch.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: New Line
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 1997
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Two Cuts of the Film (Unrated & R-Rated)
* Cast and Crew Bios
* Theatrical Trailer