Body of Evidence

Monday, August 03, 2009

Body of Evidence is about a trollop who likes to fuck rich old men. She shags one in particular who has a weak ticker and who later pops his clogs. As a consequence, she’s put on trial for murder. Is she a killer? Did she screw the man to death?

On one side we have Willem Dafoe who thinks it’s no crime to be a great lay. On the other we have Joe Mantegna who thinks that Madonna herself is a deadly weapon – she’s no different to a knife or a gun. So according to him, the second the old man impaled Madonna, she impaled him with her magnificent screwing abilities – she didn’t stab him in the heart with a knife, she stabbed him in the heart with her vagina.

With this death by pussy theory voiced by the cops, Madonna is taken to trial. She’s either an innocent widow or she’s a lethal shagging machine.

It’s pretty obvious from the start that Madonna is a guilty-as-fuck black widow. But in time-honoured movie tradition, Willem Dafoe falls for her.

Body of Evidence tries to differentiate itself from other fuck happy erotic thrillers by introducing some kinky sex. We have nipple clamps, hot candle wax and oral sex on the bonnet of a car. But because the filmmakers have no interest in character or psychology, these sex scenes end up being empty attempts to titillate.

One such scene is the one where Madonna pours hot candle wax on Willem Dafoe. I guess someone could argue that the scene is about power games, or the link between pleasure and pain, or Dafoe’s self-destructive urges, but instead it’s a scarily earnest attempt to be sexy. We have lingering close-ups of the actors, we have candlelight and in the end we have the orgasmic pay-off. But the scene fails on even the most basic level (to at least give you a boner) because you have to watch the weasel-faced Dafoe gurn like mad as the smug, gap-toothed Madonna pours hot wax all over his knob. Sure this may be the best sex he’s ever had, but all I can see is the horrifying sexual gratification of the Green Goblin, something that’s enough to pour cold water on anyone’s lap (if the dead eyes of Madonna hadn’t already done that for you).

Another scene has Madonna squatting on Dafoe’s face as he lies on shards of broken glass. I’m sure a lot of people would be thinking, ‘Hey, that must smart a bit!’ But no, everything is explained in an earlier scene. You see, as a kid, Madonna liked to crawl through thorns to get her claw-like hands on strawberries. According to her, because of the effort it took to get them, they tasted even sweeter. And so it is for Dafoe. Writhing on broken glass makes Madonna’s cunt taste even nicer.

The pussy-eating scene is again rendered somewhat horrific by the gurning that occurs. However, this time the culprit is Madonna. Her gap-toothed throes of ecstasy leave much to be desired. (A special note for trivia buffs: in this scene Madonna does a Sharon Stone and shows her minge. Good for her.)

But while the cunnilingus scene features some pretty unappealing facial gymnastics, the scene that precedes it features Madonna’s one good bit of acting. You see, Madge is pleased with the work that Dafoe has been doing. Her lawyer has been acting like a little terrier. And so then in a crowded elevator Madonna rewards him with some clandestine wanky-wanky. I say it’s Madonna’s one good bit of acting because as she’s secretly tossing Dafoe off someone says goodnight to her and she cheekily says goodnight, too. It’s the one time that Madonna’s dead eyes have a sparkle in them.

Examples of Madonna’s incompetence as an actress are legion, but the example that springs to mind is when she talks to Dafoe about animal sex. ‘Have you ever seen animals make love, Frank? It’s violent. It’s intense.’ She’s obviously trying to make this bit of dialogue sound steamy, but she sounds like a simpleton who’s watched a little National Geographic. The line delivery is just so flat – badgers fucking are sexier.

I also like the way that Madonna blandly asks Dafoe is he’s scared right before she fucks him – she has him tied up. The only way she could scare me was if she sang the theme song for Die Another Day.

But of course, Dafoe is anything but scared. This is his wildest fantasy come true. I mean, his wife is played by Julianne Moore, and although she has an amazing body, she has a silly poodle-like haircut. Therefore it’s totally okay to cheat on her.

The first sex scene is preceded by one of my favourite pieces of symbolism. Dafoe sits in his car, spying on Madonna, possibly wrestling with his conscience (if he has one). He then sees a curtain billowing in the wind. The way it’s filmed, the curtain looks exactly like a vagina opening. Yes it’s this sight that gives Dafoe the courage to ditch his staid life full of cardigans and missionary position sex and embrace a new one full of hot candles and subterranean fuck fests.

But before Dafoe gets carried away with this amazing new lifestyle, he should have perhaps listened to the hilarious testimony of Frank Langella. He’s another rich old man that was involved with Madonna and he was another rich old man that had a bad heart. And in court he tells the story of how she tried to fuck him to death. He says that she would shag him a little and then before he could come, she would stop. And then she would fuck him some more and stop again. Over and over she did this until he was feeling ill. Now you might feel sorry for this guy. Oh, how Madonna took advantage of me. But he should have just mentally manned up. He should have thought unsexy thoughts in order to lose his erection – hell, he’s pretty old, I’m sure it couldn’t be that difficult to say hello to Mr Floppy. He should have just thought about football scores or rotting corpses or Madonna’s performance in Dick Tracy. Hey presto, boner gone!

Alas nothing will get rid of Dafoe’s erection. He even resorts to rape. Yep, this ordinary family man is so enraptured with his gap-toothed lover that he assaults her when she begins wanking in front of him. And to make the scene even more ridiculous, Enya-style music plays on the soundtrack as he prepares to bugger her. There’s lots of ‘Ooooh, ooh, ooooooh, oh’ Celtic-style nonsense.

However, even more hilariously, the music changes to ominous choral chants once the forced bum fucking begins. Suddenly the soundtrack sounds like something out of The Omen. It’s all very strange.

The strangeness doesn’t last long, though, and the film has a very conventional ending – Madonna gets shot and killed. This isn’t as awesome as it sounds and is something of an anti-climax. Indeed, the only good thing about the ending is when Madonna gets barged into a massive terracotta pot. It’s something I never knew I wanted to see until I saw it.

Directed by Uli Edel
Written by Brad Mirman
Produced by Dino De Laurentiis
Original Music by Graeme Revell
Cinematography by Douglas Milsome
Starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe

Running Time: 101 mins

Rated R for violence, language and candles

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  1. Great review, my friend. Can't say I've ever seen Body of Evidence -- and that I'm not sure I want to. I did, however, recently see Funny People and would love to see a review of it from you when you can. Never has a movie with such a quantity of hilarious penis jokes given me so much genuine food for thought.