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Total Count: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,902
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Movie Info

Todd Haynes' feature debut is structured around three interlocking vignettes. In the AIDS allegory "Horror," filmed in the style of 1950's science fiction B-movies, a scientist (Larry Maxwell) distills the human sex drive into liquid form; in "Hero," told in the documentary style of a tabloid-television report, the exploits of a seven-year-old boy who shoots his father and then flies away are recounted; and "Homo," based on the writings of Jean Genet, is an examination of the prison romance between two male prisoners.

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Edith Meeks
as Felicia Beacon
Larry Maxwell
as Dr. Graves
Scott Renderer
as John Broom
James Lyons
as Jack Bolton
Millie White
as Millie Sklar
Susan Norman
as Nancy Olsen (as Susan Gayle Norman
Tony Pemberton
as Young Broom
Andrew Harpending
as Young Bolton
Buck Smith
as Gregory Lazar
Anne Giotta
as Evelyn McAlpert
Lydia Lafleur
as Sylvia Manning
Ian Nemser
as Sean White
Evan Dunsky
as Dr. MacArthur
Marina Lutz
as Hazel Lamprecht
Barry Cassidy
as Officer Rilt
Bruce R. Cook
as Dr. Stick
Richard Anthony Crenna
as Edward Comacho
Angela M. Schreiber
as Florence Giddons
Edward Allen
as Fred Beacon
Al Quagliata
as Deputy Hansen
Parlan McGaw
as Newscaster
Frank O'Donnell
as Old Doctor
Joe Dietl
as Woman in the Alley
Don Damico
as 1st Doctor/2nd Cop
Rob LaBelle
as Jay Wete
Kyle DeCamp
as Neighbor
Aimee Scheff
as Neighbor
as Nurse
Angela Schreiber
as Florence Giddons
Jim Cagnard
as Bartender
Chris Henricks
as Sleazy Man
Leah Mullen
as Little Girl
Elyse Steinberg
as Little Girl
Bruce Cook
as Dr. Stick
Andrew Bishop
as Child's Hands
Tom McCullough
as Townsperson
Chava Tiger
as Townsperson
Richard Hansen
as Narration
Tony Gigante
as Inspector
Richard Hansen
as Narration
Les Simpson
as Miss Tim
Joey Grant
as Jamoke
Gary Ray
as Canon
Ken Schatz
as Preacher
Matthew Ebert
as 2nd Guard
Michael Silverman
as Foster Father
Michael Shawn Wilson
as Broom (age 6)
Nino Bau
as Fontenal Inmate
Wayne Compton
as Fontenal Inmate
Raymond Dragen
as Fontenal Inmate
John Duffy
as Fontenal Inmate
John McGhee
as Fontenal Inmate
Anthony J. Ribustello
as Fontenal Inmate
Michael Miranda
as Fontenal Inmate
Anthony Rubustillo
as Fontenal Inmate
Jonathan Smit
as Fontenal Inmate
Oscar Tevez
as Fontenal Inmate
John P. Connolly
as Baton Inmate
Gideon Joslyn Brown
as Baton Inmate
John Connolly
as Baton Inmate
Eric Cubano
as Banton Inmate
Dani Michaeli
as Banton Inmate
Matt Ebert
as Guard 2
Michael A. Miranda
as Fontenal Inmate
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Critic Reviews for Poison

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Poison

  • May 07, 2013
    Less a cohesive motion picture than it is a collection of ugly, awkward, poorly-realized scenarios, "Poison" is the visually repulsive and, at times, incomparably bland debut from director Todd Haynes (who would eventually go on to make bigger and much better things) that was a source of extreme controversy during its time. Not only does it not deserve to be talked about or brought up in conversation, but it isn't worth a second of anyone's time. It's unremarkable, self-important, degenerative trash.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2012
    Three stories about a prison romance, a boy who flies away after killing his father, and a scientist who becomes a leprous sex monster are entwined. I think I could find a way to link these three stories to sexuality, specifically gay sexuality, just as several other reviewers have done, but the acting and writing were so deplorable that it made it difficult to follow the film. I understand that "Horror," the B-movie storyline, was supposed to have bad acting, but there is no such excuse for the other two stories. The performances were so stilted and self-conscious, and it seemed like first-time director Todd Haynes didn't shoot enough takes. Overall, I think there might be something interesting underneath the crappy acting, but I couldn't bring myself to see it clearly.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 14, 2011
    Few auteurs accomplish to understand the true meaning of a debut. While the generally accepted law states that a filmmaker makes progress with experience and time, sometimes the debut is your means of exploding your ideas into a feature. Haynes masterfully divides the implications of living in a homophobic society (Christianity included) into three separate episodes constantly invading our senses through nightmarish and varying styles: a "mockumentary", a sci-fi / horror tribute to the 50s and a slash of what is considered "the queer movement" in cinema. Each one states, in order: 1) The condemnation of society towards homosexuality with a main argument: "You think your neighbor is a completely normal person until you hear these kind of things", a superficial sentence stated by people totally devoid of any emotional maturity and with full ignorance about any background behind the curtain. 2) The monster represented by masses that unleash their anger and disapproval towards those who are different from an established majority. The leper represents the scope of people towards difference. 3) The haunting segment containing the final sentence dictated towards the minority, with the use of thought-provoking imagery of deeply symbolic meaning (hence, the spitting sequence is the most brutal by what it stands for). So, are they poisoning society, or does society is already a poison to anything? 97/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2011
    The small budget for this film did not hold back Todd Haynes' big ideas. This is a disquieting, challenging movie that presents us wiith heavy subject matter without offering immediate or obvious explanations. The structure, tone and concept are extremely polished. A great debut.
    Mike T Super Reviewer

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