Synopsis: Grammy and Golden Globe winner Madonna stars with Oscar nominees Willem Dafoe, Anne Archer, and Julianne Moore in this “bold, shocking (and ) titillating” (Entertainment Tonight Radio” erotic thriller.
Rebecca Carlson (Madonna) is a powerful woman. Intelligent, successful and breathtakingly beautiful, she can bring almost any man to his knees. And that’s exactly where she wants them. But when a night of sexual abandon ends in the death of a prominent businessman, Rebecca finds herself on trial for murder. Now it’s up to her attorney (Dafoe) to prove her innocence… but when he becomes entangled in her web of erotic game playing, his body of evidence begins to contain as many curves as his client.
Body of Evidence 3.75
eyelights: Rebecca’s house. the sexy parking lot sequence.
eyesores: Madonna. its farcical dialogues. its weak performances. its cheap-o production. its dullness. its overall ineptitude.
“All we did was make love.”
Even before Madonna became a pop star, she really wanted to be a movie star. It all boded well for her in 1985, when she starred in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan‘, a box office hit that also garnered her decent reviews.
Then came a string of career-hobbling misfires that made a laughing stock of her “acting” ability; the argument became that she had been good in ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ merely because she was playing herself.
Then came ‘Body of Evidence’.
Released in 1993, the Uli Edel erotic drama followed hot on the heels of Madonna’s transformation into a sexplicit bondage queen – at first through the videos for “Justify My Love” and “Erotica“, then her ‘Sex’ book.
One would think that this would have made the part of Rebecca Carlson, a sexy BDSM aficionado who is accused of murder, a simple extension of herself then (it’s even said that the script was bought with her in mind!).
Alas, it wasn’t so easy.
The poor man’s ‘Basic Instinct‘ found Madonna at her worst and least convincing, unable to utter a line or emote in a natural fashion. She was widely panned for it and even garnered her a third Golden Raspberry award.
Her close-ups are especially brutal to watch.
She befouls the screen.
Truly, ‘Body of Evidence’ is a piece of $#!t. It really is. There’s no defending the p!$$-poor quality of this motion picture, which spends an undue amount of time blathering on in a courtroom and the rest faking sexual tension.
A shame, because, let’s face it, the only reason this picture got made and attracted any attention, it’s because it was Madonna and there was going to be a lot of boundaries-pushing in it. People were a bit curious to see it.
What they got instead was a display of Madonna’s then-passion for lightweight BDSM along with an endless series of short monologues defending the validity of the lifestyle. Despite her valiant efforts, it came off as a farce.
“When I was a kid, I liked to steal strawberries. I’d sneak into the neighbor’s yard. I remember they had a big fence. I’d always scrape my knees climbing over it. On the other side, they had these wild rose bushes. The thorns would dig into my legs and cut my thighs when l slid down. But the strawberries always tasted so sweet.”
Hahaha! And that‘s the most convincing one of the lot!
The fact it’s not just her who’s awful: the script is utter garbage, filled with some of the most risible dialogues ever written. It’s so damned bad that I actually laughed out loud at least a good dozen times while watching it.
And it’s not a comedy.
Check this out for fun:
- While investigating the scene of the crime, a home movie of Rebecca having sex with the victim is playing on a loop for some reason. One cop looks closely at the screen and says “Nice quality”. Another replies “Nice ass”.
Ha! (Trying to be funny and failing miserably is funny.)
- The lead investigator, Robert Garrett, spends a small amount of time explaining all the simplistic BDSM gear to the other cops, who somehow have no idea what it is. Um… clearly, it was done for the audience’s benefit.
- A woman walks into the scene of the crime, shouts “She killed him!”, and walk away.
- Rebecca asks Frank, the attorney she’s hiring, “Do you think I killed him?”
- Defending her lifestyle, she tells him “They’ve taken something good between two people in love and made it dirty.”
- At dinner that evening, discussing the case with his family, Frank’s preteen son asks “Dad, can you really screw someone to death?”
- During her (strangely ‘Basic Instinct’-esque) interrogation at the police station: “I don’t know why men lie. They just do. Men lie.”
- The cops decide to charge her with murder merely because she was there that night and because she got 8 million dollars from the victim in the Will. WTF. That’s it? That‘s your case? Seriously… with a straight face?
- “It’s not a crime to be a great lay!”
- “It was different, but it was still making love. Have you ever seen animals make love, Frank? It’s intense. It’s violent. But they never really hurt each other.”
- While trying to prove to Frank that she’s not taking cocaine, she takes him to her alternative medicine shop, gets some of the white powder she consumes, puts it on her hand and offer it to him “Go ahead!”.
- “She is a beautiful woman. But when this trial is over, you will see her no differently than a gun, or a knife, or any other instrument used as a weapon. She’s a killer, and the worst kind. A killer who disguised herself as a loving partner! “
- “It’s not a crime to be a beautiful woman.”
God, they keep saying how beautiful Rebecca is. It’s so much stinks of celebrity vanity that it makes me puke – especially since I find Madonna less than irresistible at this juncture in her career. Um… just get over yourself, dahlin’!
- “I’m hard to resist.”
Yeah, right. A couple of years earlier, a few years later, certainly. But not then.
- “She said she was going to fuck me like I’d never been fucked before.”
- “Men don’t marry women like her!”
- “Don’t look so hurt, Alan. I fucked you, I fucked Andrew, I fucked Frank. That’s what I do: I fuck.”
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Shakespeare would be so jealous!
So how was the sex, anyway?
Oh, there’s plenty of it but it’s really not my thing; I just don’t find BDSM hot. But there is this one scene in which Rebecca straddles Frank’s face in the parking lot that I find sexy because I love that plus she’s so dominant.
There’s also the look on her face when they’re doing it rear-entry style. However, the scene is appalling because she supposedly manipulates him into “raping” her – which is inexcusable in any context but is “justified” here.
This is a $#!t movie. The whole production is $#!t, from the grainy long-shots, to the cheap interior shots of cars, to the crap body doubles for Willem Dafoe and Julianne Moore (who’s wearing hilariously fake nipples!).
There’s this amazing moment when Rebecca and Sharon cross paths in the bathroom: When Rebecca asks her to wish her good luck, Sharon turns around and slaps her – but the slap came from the right and Madonna’s head turned left.
That’s how $#!t this movie is.
Well, Rebecca’s waterborne house is cool.
There is that.
But, other than the house, ‘Body of Evidence’ has no redeeming value whatsoever. It’s utter trash. It’s surprising that any of the people involved had a career after this; you’d half expect that this would have been a career-killer.
You know, à la ‘Showgirls‘.
And even that had a campy quality that garnered it cult status.
Whereas this piece of garbage shows no such evidence.
Date of viewing: January 23, 2017