The second feature film by Todd Haynes – the award-winning director behind Safe, Far from Heaven, Velvet Goldmine, Carol and many more – Poison was a groundbreaking American indie, one of the most fervently debated films of the early 1990s and a trailblazing landmark of queer cinema. A work of immense visual invention, Haynes’ spectacular follow-up to his legendary, copyright-infringing underground Barbie Doll-biopic Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is still audacious, disturbing and thrillingly cinematic.
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival, this amazingly self-assured early feature proved to be quite a controversial work upon its release. It made national headlines when it was attacked by right-wing figures. Interweaving three seemingly unconnected stories, each with its own individual filmmaking style, this low-budget independent effort will mesmerize many, perplex others and possibly even disgust more than a few.
Hero, the first tale, told in a semi-documentary form, recounts a young boy’s killing of his abusive father and his miraculous flight away. Horror, filmed in a 1950s sci-fi horror flick manner, follows the tragedy that strikes a scientist after he successfully isolates the human sex drive in liquid form. The final tale, adapted from the writings of Jean Genet, is Homo, an intensely sensual and lyrical story of obsessive, unrequited love set in a prison. Together, these three interweaving stories combine to make Poison a wholly original, provocative, unsettling and intelligent film that is still a must-see for adventurous gay cinephiles.
After a small re-release in theaters, this New Queer Cinema classic is finally coming back to DVD – and to Blu-ray for the first time – in an all new must-own edition! If you haven’t seen it, we highly recommend you place an order. It’s not for all tastes, but it’s history and reputation make it an absolute must-see!
Watch the original trailer for Poison below and click here to pre-order your copy. The DVD and the new Blu-ray will be available on June 29th.