Poison

Inspired by Jean Genet, Haynes' enigmatic movie interweaves three apparently unconnected stories. In 'Hero' (shot in the style of a vox-pop TV documentary on suburban life), a young boy's mother (Meeks), schoolmates and neighbours relate how he disappeared, miraculously, after killing his father; in 'Horror' (reminiscent of '50s B movie sci-fi fantasies), a scientist (Maxwell) isolates the human sex-drive in a serum which turns him into a lethally infectious, grotesque mutant; and 'Homo', a mix of pastoral lyricism and claustrophobic grittiness, portrays the cruel, obsessive love felt by an imprisoned thief (Renderer) for an inmate he first met at reform school. The disparate styles and the absence of clear links between the stories make for unusually provocative viewing, because their shared themes (deviancy, alienation, persecution, monstrousness) are merely implied through the cutting. Compelling and quirkily intelligent; Genet, one feels, would have been impressed.

Release details

Duration: 85 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Todd Haynes
Screenwriter: Todd Haynes
Cast: Edith Meeks
Scott Renderer
James Lyons
John R Lombardi
Larry Maxwell
Susan Norman
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