[box cover]

Body of Evidence

After ten years, an open mind to re-examine old bombs, and perhaps even enjoy how bad they are, three words effortlessly fall from one's mouth: "Oh-My-God." Yes, folks, you're going to be shocked — but 1993's Body of Evidence remains a piece of crap. What's most interesting about the picture is that, upon reflection, one can only wonder just what the actors were thinking. Even Madonna — who, at this point, didn't need any more publicity, money or nude scenes — made a grievous mistake with this supposedly hot thriller. We had our fill with her poorly received photo book Sex where Madonna is coupled naked alongside S&M clad lesbians, a dog, and Vanilla Ice. However, many of the pictures in Sex are great shots, like a naked Madonna hitchhiking, or Madonna chowing on a piece of pizza nude under a fur coat. Just as her videos reveal, Sex proves that Madonna flourishes in the carefully constructed still photograph or the artfully rendered music short. She doesn't have to talk. Hollywood, on the other hand, hasn't merely foiled Ms. Ciccone, it's made her a laughing-stock, and Body of Evidence by far is her worst effort, not only for her horrific acting, but also for her desperate attempt to appear sexy. She plays Rebecca Carlson, a Portland art dealer who likes to date older men with bad hearts. She also likes to have sex (lots of sex), and she prefers to have total control — particularly when she's strapping men to bed-posts (ooohhh... so deviant!). But one of the rich men dies and a videotape is found. And Rebecca, who gets the booty of his will, is accused of literally screwing him to death. The evidence? Her body! Body of Evidence then transforms into a ridiculous courtroom drama wherein Joe Mantegna plays the prosecutor and Willem Dafoe is the defense attorney Frank Dulaney. Married (to Julianne Moore), Frank nevertheless is tempted by Rebecca's charms and beds her down in an excruciatingly stupid sex scene, during which the spicy blonde pours hot wax on his privates. Wow. They also perform a sexual act on a car strewn with broken light-bulbs. Fun. To be fair, the dialogue (by screenwriter Brad Mirman) is so insipid that Madonna didn't have much to work with (in fact, all the actors are bad here). But even lines like "Don't look so hurt, Alan. I fucked you, I fucked Andrew, I fucked Frank. That's what I do; I fuck. And it made me eight million dollars!" could get a better recitation from any guest star on "Matlock." Across the musical spectrum, Ice Cube, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and even Britney Spears have ease and charisma in front of the movie camera. Why is Madonna — after acting teachers, stage work, and a decent start — so wooden on screen? Can she never let her guard down just once? The only truly sexy moment in the film comes from (then relatively unknown) Julianne Moore, who gets to slap Madonna across the face. MGM's DVD release of Body of Evidence presents a lovely anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) with Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. Extras include both rated and unrated versions of the film, the original theatrical trailer, and a featurette called "Love or Murder" that's basically a longer trailer for the movie. Keep-case.
—Kim Morgan



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