For the third installment in the increasingly tawdry POISON IVY franchise, the filmmakers eliminate the earlier entries' star power, and never apologize for fashioning little more than a straight-to-video soap opera, overflowing with bared flesh and cheap thrills.
As youngsters, sisters Ivy (Sabrinah Christie) and Violet (Tenaya Erich) are separated from their playmate, Joy Greer (Trishalee Hardy), when their housekeeper-mother is discovered to be having an affair with her boss, Mr. Greer. Eleven years later, the 20-year-old Violet (Jaime Pressley) visits
her old friend Joy (Megan Edwards). Joy invites Violet to live with her, her widowed dad (Michael Des Barres), and housekeeper Mrs. B (Susan Tyrrell).
Violet begins secretly rummaging through the huge house. After learning that the sexually repressed Joy won't go all the way with her boyfriend Michael (Greg Vaughan), Violet dresses up in sluttish attire and seduces him with cocaine, which she plants in his jacket, where it can be found by Joy.
Then she goes after Mr. Greer by seducing him with a topless dip in the pool. Later, she dresses in a slinky gown and lures him into bed. When Mrs. B gets suspicious, Violet murders her; she then causes Michael to overdose. The situation explodes when Joy walks in on Violet playing dominatrix with
her father. Refusing to let Greer dump her (as he dumped her mother), Violet knocks him out and kills him by leaving him in the garage, with the car engine running. After Joy discovers the body of Mrs. B, the two young women fight, and Violet falls down a flight of stairs to her death.
This generic flesh-fest has such a tenuous connection to the first POISON IVY (1992) that the filmmakers would've been better served to have started from scratch and not have made it seem like part of a franchise. Still, in terms of low-grade sexploitation, this is a vast improvement over the
previous installment, POISON IVY 2: LILY (1996) with TV-star Alyssa Milano. Filled with more under-baked melodrama than you can possibly digest, the filmmakers use any excuse for an extended sex scene, or a quick strip from the comely Ms. Pressley. Pressley's perpetual pout and vengeful agenda
make Violet seem like a "Melrose Place" reject, while the supporting characters are all depicted as easily-manipulated dullards. Cult favorite Susan Tyrrell seems particularly wasted in the thankless role of Mrs. B.
Meanwhile, the few witty moments (e.g., a segue from a climactic sex scene to a water sprinkler being turned on) only serve to reinforce how limp the majority of the movie is. Rarely sexy (despite its methodically doled-out nudity), this dour melodrama delivers the goods on only the most
undemanding level. (Violence, extensive nudity, adult situations, substance abuse, profanity.)
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