Movie: Ivy (Drew Barrymore) is the new girl at an expensive, exclusive school in the high class area of town. Of course, being a more wild, street smart girl, Ivy is worried about being rejected by these social elite teens, so she'll do anything to gain their acceptance. Ivy meets Sylvie (Sara Gilbert), a very intelligent girl who no one really understand, and they strike up a friendship. Ivy soon meets Sylvie's parents, her father a television news anchor and her mother a stunning housewife. Ivy puts on a nice performance for them, acting like a perfect angel and gaining their trust. Sylvie's family appears to be perfect, with everything one could want, but problems lurk right under the surface, and Ivy's violent and seductive ways could make those issues explode. Of course, Ivy begins a passionate affair with Sylvie's father, all the while charming her mother as well. But Sylvie is not a stupid girl, and sooner or later she's bound to stumble into the truth of what's happening.
Poison Ivy is the Citizen Kane of soft core films. As we all know, there is a genre of movies dedicated to showing young female stars in soft core scenes, half of the USA late night line up is this type of flick. While most struggle to present themselves as art as well as sexual fodder, most fail that test. But Poison Ivy is the definitive movie of this variety, when I think of these movies, this is the top banana. The acting is decent, with a nice supporting cast that includes Tom Skerritt and Cheryl Ladd. Director Katt Shea brings some interesting imagery into the film, and her work is quite good. But no matter what the movie tries, it's still soft core sex, and not much more. I stress that this movie is a legend in the field, and while not the best movie, it is fun to watch.
Video: Poison Ivy is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with the choice of full screen also included. The visual transfer is very good, but lacks the overall quality for a perfect rating. The print is in excellent condition with very few mars or nicks to be found. The colors look natural, yet full with no traces of bleeding or other color mishaps. Black levels are correct, with great shadow layering and high detail always visible. Aside from some slight grain and a slight softness to the picture, this transfer is very good.
Audio: This disc offers the choice of either a 2.0 surround track or a remastered 5.1 track. For the purpose of this review, I listened to them both. The difference is not that much, but the 5.1 track has a richer sound, and a little better use of the surrounds for more subtle audio. Poison Ivy is not the movie to show off you speakers with, however, as the audio focuses on dialogue for the most part. As i just mentioned, some subtle surround use is evident, but the score is most likely the most active element here. There is some subwoofer activity, but again nothing to shout about. Dialogue is the main audio, sounding crisp and always audible.
Extras: Even though this is a standard release for New Line, the disc contains some goodies, just not that many. As with most New Line discs, you get the theatrical trailer as well as some talent files. This disc also has about four minutes of bonus footage included, which you can choose to view in the movie. The disc offers both the original "R" rated cut as well as the new unrated version, which is very cool. Those bonus four minutes aren't that steamy, but the ladies might enjoy a brief shot of Tom Skerritt's behind.