Reviews & Columns
International DVDs
In Theaters
Reviews by Studio
Video Games

Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Anime Talk
DVD Savant
Horror DVDs
The M.O.D. Squad
Art House
HD Talk
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum

DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info


Kari Wuhrer Poison

Artisan // R // January 15, 2001
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Gil Jawetz | posted November 7, 2001 | E-mail the Author

I'm not sure where to start. I was going to compare Kari Wuhrer Poison to another late-night psycho-stalker melodrama, Alone With a Stranger, but after watching it, I'm nearly speechless. Kari Wuhrer Poison may contain the worst acting and writing of any professional film that I've ever seen in my life. At least from the last twenty years. And, frankly, I'm glad. If it had only been mediocre to bad, Kari Wuhrer Poison would have been too boring to watch. After all, the plot is so standard that I can barely bring myself to repeat it: Wuhrer plays Anna, whose husband (Larry Poindexter) gets passed over for a promotion and gets fired with six months severance. (boo-hoo!) This happens the day after Anna lets a scummy client have his greasy way with her because she thinks it'll help hubby get his company a new account. Anything to scamper up that corporate ladder! Now hubby is so distraught ("I'm 38! You can't start over at 38!") that he gets in his car and drives off a bridge.

The next morning, insane with rage, Anna goes to her husband's company (an anonymous corporate wasteland) and screams at his boss. While there, she spies the micro-skirted blonde (Barbara Crampton, of Re-Animator) that got the VP position that hubby assumed was his. Immediately her path becomes clear: No time to mourn, she needs to destroy them all. First she kills the boss. Boom. End of story? Not by a long shot! Anna's design on revenge also extends to the unwitting woman who took her husband's promotion and her family. Why? Who knows!

Having watched lots of Lifetime movies herself, Anna knows that the best way to get your revenge against a family is to kill their maid (who nobody will miss) and replace her. Then, by ingratiating yourself to your new employers you will slowly take control of their lives and cause their downfall. The funny thing about this plan is that she's already killed the one guy who's as responsible as anyone can be for her husband's suicide - and she did it with almost no effort at all. This other woman never even met her husband.

Once Anna moves into the household the sparks try to fly. Anna seduces her prey's husband (Jeff Trachta) and son, and talks her daughter into going out on dates. None of this seems to really help her plan in any way. The last twenty minutes are so silly and have so little to do with the rest of the movie that I had to watch them a second time to see if maybe I missed something. I hadn't. This movie makes no sense.

In addition to the terrible writing, Kari Wuhrer Poison features some unbelievably bad acting. Wuhrer herself isn't the worst of the bunch, although her line readings are goofy and whenever she's supposed to be listening she looks like she's just waiting for her chance to talk. Crampton and Trachta are awful. For a self-proclaimed "erotic thriller" they've got to be two of the least attractive stars you could find. Trachta looks like Billy Ray Cyrus and pitcher Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks had a baby. They both holler and shriek during their endless arguments like they're still on the soap operas where they learned their craft. Poindexter practically sleepwalks through his short role. His line readings are so dull and drab that he seems to be repeating his dialog without understanding it. Peggy Trentini is shockingly bad as the housekeeper and the woman playing the daughter (a Tori Spelling knockoff, if you can imagine such a thing) is just as bad. My favorite performance, however, came from the guy playing the the college-age son. He has a sleepy eyed incredulity that makes him look like he thinks the film is as ridiculous as we do. During his big Kari Wuhrer seduction scene he looks totally confused (especially when she, in the middle of doing laundry, growls something about doing a "full load", possibly the most vomitous come-on ever in a movie). He doesn't actually seem to be an actor at all, which only adds to the high school play quality that the entire cast shares.

So why did it even get made? I think there are two reasons: Kari Wuhrer's left breast and Kari Wuhrer's right breast. Her prolonged disrobing plays like it's the true reason for the film's existence. I guess Wuhrer has a big enough following of horndog fans that Kari Wuhrer Poison can probably turn a few bucks. In fact, every major female cast member gets naked at one point or another. That's another reason why it's so hard to write about the film. The makers didn't care about telling a story or creating believable characters (neither of which they even attempted) but just needed some talking to pad the implant parade out to feature length. If that was truly their goal, then I guess they succeeded.

One word about the title. You may be wondering why I keep referring to the film as Kari Wuhrer Poison and not Kari Wuhrer's Poison or, simply, Poison. I thought that the references to Kari Wuhrer Poison on the box were a mistake but the opening credits essentially read "Kari Wuhrer in Kari Wuhrer Poison". Perhaps this was to prevent people from mistaking the film for Todd Haynes' Poison, which, frankly, is what I thought I'd be seeing. One more note: IMDb reveals that the alternate title of the film is Thy Neighbor's Wife, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Therefore, it would have been the perfect title for a perfectly daft movie.

The anamorphic widescreen transfer is mostly clean but not much in the detail department. Also, the cinematography is drab and lacking in imagination.

There are Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. They're both fine, although the 5.1 offers a bit too much volume in the loud parts and not enough in the quiet parts. You wouldn't want to miss any dialog.

A commentary track from director Jay Andrews (who has really fallen since his 1985 directorial debut Chopping Mall), actor Jeff Trachta, and the director of photography is boring to the nth degree. They have nothing to say at all and just laugh at each other while they point out who is onscreen, regardless of whether or not they just pointed them out five seconds earlier. Andrews is particularly infuriating since he obviously thinks that he's some sort of genius. Then again, he does write in the booklet "I hope you enjoy watching the picture as much as I enjoyed cashing the check," so maybe he knows what's up afterall.

NOTE: It has come to my attention, thanks to Mr. Cineschlock-O-Rama, that Jay Andrews is an alias for boob flick legend Jim Wynorski, (Return of Swamp Thing, Ghoulies 4, Bare Wench Project), so it turns out that the guy does indeed know what he's doing. Kari Wuhrer's breasts are clearly in good hands.

A still gallery, some bios, and a bunch of trailers for other similarly trashy movies are also included.

While Kari Wuhrer Poison may be the dumbest movie since Plan 9 From Outer Space, it's also fun in a way. Watch it for the plot holes, dropped threads, continuity errors, and nonsensical, non sequitur dialog. Expecting anything more would be a mistake.

Buy from






Rent It

E - M A I L
this review to a friend
Popular Reviews

Sponsored Links
Sponsored Links